Football parties are an opportunity for me to see friends, taste a myriad potluck items, and most importantly, to try to cook or bake something new. Notice I didn't mention anything to do with actually watching the football game.
Short on time, I needed something quick and easy to make for today's garage party, so named because once per year I have friends who enjoy watching the Vikings on a TV inside the garage, without benefit of heaters and other such frilly modern inventions. I don't know why this is fun, standing there shivering in snowmobile suits and Sorels, but they like it. I like to see everyone, but I tend to make it a short visit. So this morning I thought about a recipe I had read about recently that took the usually complicated pate a choux dough and simplified it for the every day cook, like me. It seemed like a good, basic recipe to have in one's repertoire, a versatile recipe that could go from sweet to savory in no time flat and could be made increasingly indulgent with any number of add-ins. I chose to go simple today with just gruyere cheese so that the little cheesy puffs, called gougeres, could be served alongside chili or other soups.
Easy doesn't begin to cover this recipe. I simply simmered some water with butter, added flour and cooked and stirred the mixture for a couple of minutes. Then I placed the dough into my KitchenAid and mixed in the cheese, eggs and salt. Final step was piping the dough onto cookie sheets and baking. Easy peasy, and the result was divine. Friends seemed to love them and now I am determined to turn them into some sort of dessert. And I'm not waiting for a dumb ol' football game to do it.