Monday, April 28, 2014

“everything bagels” gougères + marc forgione book comes out tomorrow!

"everything bagels" gougeres

So, I wrote a book. And it’s coming out tomorrow. And I don’t know what else to say about it.

In January 2012, I sat down with Marc to discuss his vision for a book he agreed to write for then Wiley (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). We had been in a conversation, on and off, for months preceding, and the ice was finally moving. I was picked out of a number of writers, and here we were, signing the contract and talking about book deadlines, which, by the way, were six months away (ha!). At the time, I was in the final stage of writing the Kimchi Cookbook manuscript. Other than my work for Melissa Clark and a yet-unpublished book, I didn’t really have a resume. I was eager. I was hungry. I wanted this book.

Never, in a million years, did I think that Marc would take a chance on an unseasoned writer like myself. And when he did, I immediately did a celebratory leap around the apartment, which was immediately followed by a complete and total meltdown.How – how?!?! – was I going to write this book?

"everything bagels" gougeres

Marc’s vision, his stories, the whole of it – were big, grand ideas; ideas I wanted to do justice to, and ideas I wanted to distill in his voice as clearly as possible. For months, we met weekly in his apartment and I recorded his stories – from the amazing, dramatic opening of his namesake restaurant when he found himself hospitalized the day of the opening; to the most dire days and months that followed the economic downturn; to the Next Iron Chef win (which was the season I watched with baited breath and cheered in the final episode – all before I had left finance and got on board with this whole food writing thing) – and painstakingly edited recipes, line by line. Was that a teaspoon or a tablespoon? Was Marc sure? What were sous vide alternatives for most of us without an immersion circulator? Did he cook this sauce covered or uncovered?

I’m sure that at some point Marc thought me a culinary moron that burnt toast and didn’t know how to boil water. I tried to ask him everything and anything to the most minute detail. If he did something differently, I wanted to know why.

"everything bagels" gougeres

And somehow, in time, the random jumble of words all dumped in a mess on a page, slowly took shape to form stories, recipes, chapters. A real book emerged with its own voice and structure. I’ve gone through this process several times already, and it never ceases to amazes me – how a shapeless lump of clay becomes an actual thing.

I don’t want to belabor this post. I sincerely hope that you go out and buy this book. Not to pump up sales and not because of any best seller lists (although no author ever refused that honor) – but because I sincerely think that if you read this book and you cook from it, you will improve your skills. You’ll come out more confident, more knowledgeable, more fluid in the kitchen. Marc wanted his true skills and dishes to come through and they did. There are crazy-detailed recipes there that require some molecular gastronomy experimentation, and then there are super attainable ones like his now-famous potato rolls. At the heart of it, are thorough and thoughtful technique, bold and rich flavors, and a great sense of humor.

"everything bagels" gougeres

I wanted to share a recipe with you from the book. Initially, it was going to be short ribs braised in wine and port reduction, but I decided that this recipe for “Everything Bagels” Gougères will be a lot more fun to try, should you make this for the next cocktail party you’re throwing, you will most certainly be the toast of the town. We just had our housewarming where I made these, among lots of other snacks, and they were a big, big, hit.

I don’t know how to write a good kicker for this. The whole thing is kind of blowing my mind at the moment. I am enormously grateful for the opportunity, and I am honored to have worked with some amazingly talented people in the process. Every single person who has touched this book worked really hard to make it amazing. Come tomorrow, this almost 400-page beast will be released into the wild – and then, it’ll have a life of its own.

“Everything Bagels” Gougères
Adapted from Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant
 

For the Everything Bagel Mix:
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 tablespoon garlic flakes
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt

For the Vegetable Cream Cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced red onion
3 tablespoons coarsely grated carrots
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

For the Gougères:
9 tablespoons (128 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) kosher salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (267 grams) whole milk
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 scant tablespoons (20 grams) granulated sugar

Make the Everything Bagel Mix:
1. Place the onion and garlic flakes into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until the mixture is finely ground and resembles the topping on everything bagels. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and salt.

Make the Vegetable Cream Cheese:
2. Place the cream cheese and onion in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and the cream cheese is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the carrots and chives. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a metal tip large enough to pipe the filling through (think about the size of your shredded carrot pieces inwhen making this determination). Set aside or refrigerate until needed. If refrigerating, allow the pastry bag to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to warm up a bit before using.

Make the Gougères:
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; position a rack in the middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the butter and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the flour and salt. Cook the batter for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns into a thick paste and lo longer sticks to the side of the pan. The mixture should become slightly glossy and will want to clump together in one ball. There should be a slight, filmy trail at the bottom of the pan.

5. Transfer the batter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. If there’s too much steam rising out of the batter, give it a minute or 2 to cool before adding the eggs. Mix on low speed, incorporating the eggs one at a time; do not add the next egg until the previous one is completely incorporated. In a slow, gradual stream, add the milk to the batter with the mixer running. Fold in the cheese and sugar.

6. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a #5 or 1/2-inch tip. Pip 1-inch rounds of batter onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Wet your finger and smooth out the top of the gougères. Sprinkle them evenly with the Everything Spice Mix. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the gougères are puffed up and golden brown; do not open the oven door during baking. Remove the pan and set it on a rack to cool. Leave the oven on.

Assemble the Dish:
7. Take the cooled gougères and pipe ½ teaspoon of the Vegetable Cream Chese into the center of each puff. Place the gougères into a shallow baking pan and warm them in the oven for 3 minutes. Plate and serve immediately.

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17 Comments

  • 1

    Ordering the book now! where, hopefully, there will be a photo of the finished gourgeres. Very curious how they look at the end.

    April 29, 2014 3:55 am
  • 2
    olga said:

    Elizabeth – I’m so sorry but no pic in the book! But they look just like the regular gougeres, plus the everything topping. The filling is inside and you can’t see it. Hope you like the book! :)

    April 29, 2014 6:34 am
  • 3
    Jeni said:

    Yum! Does the batter need to cool before adding the eggs?

    April 29, 2014 7:39 am
  • 4
    olga said:

    Jeni – good question, i’ll add more info. With slightly different method, I give mine about 1-2 minutes and then proceed. With this one, the time it takes to transfer the batter and get your mixer set up, the batter does cool enough for the eggs to be added. I’ve not had that “cooked” egg problem, but maybe you want to give another minute to be safe?

    April 29, 2014 7:46 am
  • 5
    heidi normand-berge said:

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE that you chose this recipe for the post announcing the release of the book.

    I remember at my wedding dinner, at Marc’s, eating these with my family and friends and waiting to see the happy smiles I knew would erupt on their faces after they tried one. I knew this would happen because I remember the look on my husband’s face (and mine although I couldn’t see it) when we ate these for the first time at my 39th birthday dinner at Marc’s. This was the first time we had eaten there and I knew it would be a place we went to share the special times.

    Oddly enough, Marc and his restaurants have been an important part of my journey through the culinary world. I may not be working in Mangalitsa (of which what you wrote about me brought tears to my eyes…thank you for giving a platform to my passion) but the awe and pleasure and respect I felt for artisinal producers where I was, now is placed upon the wine makers I promote… and isn’t that what we want to take with us from job to job along our journey?

    I remember having lunch with you one day at il buco alimenteri and we both were worried about the journey’s we were on… It’s been a year and we both worked through our challenges and ended up in a better place.

    Here’s to you my dear!

    Go get em!!!!!

    April 29, 2014 1:36 pm
  • 6
    olga said:

    heidi – so thrilled for your new path and looking forward to seeing you tonight at the party. i might be yawning, but it’ll be yawns of celebration.

    April 29, 2014 2:51 pm
  • 7
    Mallory said:

    Hi Olga,

    I’m working on a slideshow feature for SELF.com about our favorite wholesome food blogs and I’d like to link back to your site. Please let me know if this works for you.

    Thanks so much — I’m a big fan.

    All the best,

    Mallory Stuchin

    April 30, 2014 10:27 am
  • 8
    olga said:

    Mallory – yes, thank you so much! I’m really delighted!! Looking forward to your round up! xo

    April 30, 2014 11:54 am
  • 9
    Kate said:

    Oh, these were made for me!! My “Good on you for getting out of bed and going to work on Monday” treat is an everything bagel with veggie schmear. If your writing alone didn’t merit buying this book, then this recipe is the thing that sends it over the edge. Congratulations!

    April 30, 2014 3:00 pm
  • 10
    olga said:

    Kate – thank you so much! I hope you like the book and please feel free to email me with any questions you might have if you do cook from it! xx

    April 30, 2014 3:16 pm
  • 11
    Freddy Fly Fly said:

    What a coincidence that Marc Forgione just wrote a new cookbook too !

    https://twitter.com/foodbookfair

    April 30, 2014 5:24 pm
  • 12
    olga said:

    Freddy Fly Fly – yes, I was the co-author on the book.

    April 30, 2014 8:56 pm
  • 13
    Fantasticat said:

    I was extremely disappointed with the gougere recipe.
    Why did you add the 1 1/4 cups of milk to the recipe?

    In the recipe you start with adding butter to 1 cup of water , add flour ….
    everything is going great, adding the eggs, everythign is fine
    but then adding 1 1/4 cups of whole milk to hte batter , it became a total runny mess and not pate choux recipe. I thought since you said it a slow steady stream it sounded like you had actually done this yourself.
    Once that happened I ran to the computer to check other recipes and the liquid ratio is completely off. So in total you are saying 2 1/4 cups liquid for 1 1/4 cups flour plus the 5 eggs…. CRAZY… now dinner is off

    April 30, 2014 9:48 pm
  • 14
    olga said:

    Fantasticat – I made the recipe as it was and it worked fine for me. While I didn’t test any of the recipes for the book, I know they were tested over and over and over. I’ll review and get back to you shortly but the recipe worked just fine for me. As for making these for your dinner – you were making gougeres as a dinner? On a weeknight?

    May 1, 2014 7:39 am
  • 15
    marcella from italy said:

    yay! the book is on my amazon wish list :)
    Congrats Olga, what an achievement!

    May 8, 2014 3:26 am
  • 16
    olga said:

    marcella – thank you so much! I hope you like the book as much as I loved writing it! xo

    May 8, 2014 9:33 am
  • 17
    Sylvia said:

    I agree with fantasticat. I make a lot of gougeres and I don’t think you should add the milk at the end. Aside from that (adding milk at the end) it is a pretty straightforward gougere recipe. They can be made by melting the butter in milk or water at the beginning but you don’t want both. Won’t work

    May 19, 2014 4:35 pm

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