Holiday cooking for family or friends can be stressful. Especially, if the stakes are higher and it’s a wedding-related holiday fête.
Holidays are full of traditional fare and as Chef Clark points out, traditions get started by someone just trying a new recipe or food and having it stick.
“For my final Caterer’s Choice of 2018,” says Clark. “I am going to suggest you try something new for this holiday season: a holiday brunch with savory gougerés and salty/sweet praline bacon.”
He’s sure any guest you serve these tasty treats to are sure to come back begging for more.
ROQUEFORT AND WALNUT GOUGERÉS
(40-50 hors d’oeuvres)
- 1 cup milk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached flour; sifted
- 5 each eggs
- 1.5 cups Roquefort cheese; crumbled
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese; freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly butter a baking sheet.
- Combine milk, butter and salt in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat, and add flour all at once. Whisk vigorously for a few minutes, then return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until batter has thickened and is pulling away from sides and bottom of pan, 5 minutes or less.
- Again, remove pan from the heat and stir in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, making certain each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the Roquefort.
- Drop batter by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Beat remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush top of each puff with beaten egg, and then sprinkle with parmesan.
- Place baking sheet on the center rack of the oven, bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and bake until the gourgerés are puffed and well browned, another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
PRALINE BACON RECIPE
- 1 pound thick cut bacon
- 2 1/2 ounces light brown sugar, about 6 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 ounces pecan halves
- Heat the oven to 400 F.
- Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a cooling rack, and set it in the prepared sheet pan. Bake until bacon browns and the fat is rendered and bubbly. About 30 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine brown sugar and pecans in a small food processor. Pulse about 15 times or until pecans are finely chopped.
- Remove bacon from the oven, sprinkle with brown sugar mixture, and pat down to adhere. Return to the oven a bake until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Cool on rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Happy Holidays from Chef Clark!