From Belgium last week, we are now in the South of France, in Saint-Raphaël, about one hour West of Nice. The high-speed train TGV takes you from Paris to Saint-Raphaël in about 4h30 (vs. about 8 hours by car). I love the TGV! However, this line is extremely frustrating because in 2h30 you are in beautiful Aix-en-Provence... and for Parisians like me, Aix-en-Provence is already synonymous with le Sud and les vacances. Having to wait for another 2 hours to reach our final destination is almost unbearable. But worth the extra tantrums of my-over-excited-unable-to-rest-children!!
Le Sud is also synonymous with apéritifs or l'apéro : a social drink that people have before a meal (lunch or dinner!) while waiting for the other guests to arrive; or just the right time for a meal. No 6pm dinners allowed in
What I love best about the apéritif is the fact that people just sit down and relax! Kind of a Happy Hour in your most casual outfit with your friends and/or relatives. We all love the apéritif in our family! Because it's early June, days are still getting longer and longer : it's light until 10pm and I feel that we can definitively relax and enjoy! Pure luxury!
As I already wrote, gougères are favorites of mine. Evidemment, they are perfect for l'apéro! You don't need an excuse to make them and since they are really easy to make, you don't have an excuse not to make them! If you don't want to make the gluten-free version, you can always use the traditional recipe. And stay tune for more gougères recipes because I am always experimenting for the numerous apéritifs ahead of us! Bon Appétit!
(make about 20 small gougères)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 3 Tb (40 gr) salted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 ts salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 cup (35gr) brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup (35gr) quinoa flour
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (about 80gr) grated cheese (Swiss preferably)
- 1/2 ts xantham gum
- 2 green onions, cut
- 2 slices of bacon, cut
My Personal Comments:
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
- In a pan, saute the bacon with the green onion until cooked. Reserve.
- Put some Parchment paper on a baking sheet and get everything ready!
- In a bowl, mix the flours and xantham gum together
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and salt and pepper over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the liquid start to simmer, dump the flours mix in the saucepan and stir constantly. When the dough is not sticking to the edges of the saucepan anymore, remove from heat. Let cool for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so as to let some steam out. This will prevent the eggs from "cooking".
- Add one egg at a time, stirring constantly. This is a tricky part where you feel that the whole mixture is going to get out of your saucepan. However, as you stir and stir, it will smooth and stick back to the bottom and edges of the pan.
- Add about 2/3 of the grated cheese, the bacon and green onions and stir.
- Scoop out some dough on the baking sheet, leaving some space between the gougères.
- Cover with a few extra shreds of cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the gougères are golden brown.
- Cool on a rack for a few minutes... They are best eaten warm.
- You can use All Purpose Flour to make them with great results as well!