Food and Lifestyle Expert Laura McIntosh visits Jim Boyce, the owner of Marin French Cheese Company in Petaluma. Each year visitors from all over the world come to "The Cheese Factory" to sample award winning cheeses, learn about how they are made, and find new recipes and serving ideas. Begin your visit by watching the artisan cheese makers produce over 35 cheeses by hand. After the farm, Laura moves on to the outdoor kitchen where she teams up with Darren McRonald formerly lead chef at the West County Grill in Sebastopol. Together they make a fun dish, Gougeres with Arugula and Bacon. The special ingredient in this dish is Gruyere cheese.
Gougeres with Arugula and Bacon
Gougeres are little cream puffs studded with Gruyere cheese.
Makes about two dozen
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Darren McRonald, West County Grill, Sebastopol, CA
1 Cup Water
3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
1 Tspn Salt, preferably sea salt or kosher
1 Cup Flour
4 Each Eggs, large
1/2 Cup Gruyere, cut into small pieces or grated
1/2 Tspn Black Pepper, fresh
10-12 Slices Bacon, slices pan-fried and drained
2 Cups Arugula
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place first three ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. When butter has melted reduce heat to low. Stir in flour and beat until mixture is smooth and shiny. Remove pan from heat and beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Once the eggs have all been added fold in the Gruyere, a few grinds of Black Pepper and a pinch of Cayenne.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use non-stick baking sheets. Use a pastry bag to pipe out heaping tablespoons of batter, spacing the dough about two inches apart. If you have never used a pastry bag you can spoon the mixture out using two spoons; one to scoop the batter and one to scrape it off the other.
Place in oven and bake until golden brown and lightweight, about 25 minutes. To check doneness remove one Gougeres from oven and pry open. The exterior should be slightly crisp while the interior should be tender and moist.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon and drain off fat. Tear bacon into bite size pieces, just slightly larger than the Gougers diameter. Also, in a bowl, toss the Arugula with a few drops of good Olive Oil and a pinch of salt.
To serve the Gougeres remove them from the oven and split horizontally down the middle. Stuff with bacon and a few leaves of arugula and serve while still warm.
The Gougeres can be made ahead and reheated.