It was a beautiful fall day last year, when Joe and I decided to drive to San Francisco to get treats from Tartine. At the counter we ordered a plethora of items; quiche, croissant, lemon meringue cake, chocolate cookies and gougères. With our bounty in hand, we walked over to the park for a nice picnic. While sitting there, enjoying the sun; Joe said (holding a half eaten gougères in his hand) "Can you make this?" I replied "Yeah, it's just pate a choux with cheese and herbs." The look on Joe's face was of astonishment (at how easy I made it sound), and then hurt "why haven't you made these yet?"
9 months later (after moving from Napa to Boston), I picked up the Tartine Cookbook at my library. As soon as I saw the Gougère recipe, I knew I had to make it for Joe. Joe was like a kid in a candy store once I told him I was making them to go with our dinner that evening. The first thing he did was he ran to our local wine store and picked up a bottle of Domaine Roger Perrin Cuvée Prestige Veielles Vignes Côtes Du Rhône 2005 (long name, perfect pairing). For dinner that night we had grilled pork chops (thick cut) with a mustard-thyme sauce, a salad and the gougères. The wine, chops and gougères paired perfectly together.
The dough after adding the eggs, cheese and fresh thyme:
The gougère before baking. I also made little greyere crisps to put on the salad (in case you're wondering what the little piles of cheese are all about):
Close up of some small ones that I froze:
The final, glorious product: