Thursday, January 26, 2012

Potato Leek Soup and Ale Gougeres

Now that I have started doing a bit of food blogging, there are a few food blogs that I peek at regularly. I got this recipe for gougeres from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks. So I guess I have already resorted to stealing material from other food bloggers. It's a blog eat blog world out there. 

This was my first time making gougeres. I hear that Thomas Keller serves them often at The French Laundry. I wouldn't know. The French Laundry is considered by many to be one of the best restaurants in the world. Yeah, the world. Solar-system even. And it is only about an hour away from my parents' house, and less than 30 minutes from my in-laws. Although my in-laws have been there once for dinner, my parents, who include a restaurant-obsessed father, have not. They find it difficult, as I do, to rationalize the $600 bill that would accompany a meal for two there. And that is with maybe a glass of house wine each. Many of the bottles of wine on their wine list are over a grand. I saw one for $15,000, a 2005 Burgundy. The 2005 Screaming Eagle Napa Valley Cab will set you back $10,500 for a bottle. So that's not that bad. Completely within the average working stiff's budget...NOT. We're talking 1% action here. It is hard to imagine that a bottle of wine could be worth that to someone. I could build a wine cellar AND stock it for money like that. 

My, how I digress. 

Back to dinner. I made a simple potato leek soup. Saute chopped onion, garlic, and leeks in generous olive oil and butter. Season with dill (or thyme) and salt. Cook thin-skinned potatoes, peeled or un-peeled in vegetable or chicken or beef broth/stock. Add sauteed mixture to broth. Let cool. Blend till smooth. Heat and salt to taste.

And then I made these French puffed-pastry things called gougeres. Really easy to do with unique and impressive results. I won't post the recipe here. You can follow the link to it on Heidi's blog above. I tried crushed rosemary on some and fennel on others. They were equally good. It is hard for me to think of a hot-from-the-oven bread creation that doesn't just call out for a slathering of pure butter. These gougeres were an exception. They are rich, moist, buttery, and super-flavorful just as they are. Husband loved these! 



  1. Had to laugh out loud at the concept of "blog eat blog world" Excellent post.

  2. "Blog eat blog world"---I love it! Someone is going to steal that one from you, copyright or no.

    gougeres...I wonder how you pronounce that. They look a little like popovers or cream puffs without the cream.

  3. I have made the gougeres without the ale and formed them in a ring of 7 to bake, it looks lovely when done. Yummy! You can probably do the same with these. Also the link to the recipe could be dangerous, so many other great looking recipes to try.

    1. Back 40 - I like the ring (or heart, or peace sign!) idea. I may try that.

      Yeah, Heidi (101 cookbooks) is a bit of a rock star in the food blogosphere. Last summer our family went to stay at a friend's house in Tahoe while she was away. She left Heidi's "Super Natural Everyday" cookbook out on the table for me to check out thinking I would like it. The photos are sensual and many of the vegetarian recipes are similar to things that I like to make.

      The surprise came when Craig looked at it and announced that he knows Heidi Swanson. He and Kara went to school with her in San Jose. She was on Kara's soccer team and coached by Walter.

  4. Hearts and peace signs I love it. Once again it is a small world after all. :-) We have been in Seattle a couple of days at the NW Flower and Garden Show. It was great, but today we are headed to Pike Street Market being the foodies we are, Then Home again Home again Jiggity Jig. Below find a link for a new salad we tried the other day. YUMMY! I used a wild/brown rice blend for the wild rice and dried cranberries for the pomegranate since it is out of season.