Saturday, January 3, 2009

Two Appetizers: Gruyère Cheese Gougères and Blue Cheese, Pear and Walnut Crostini


This is my first Recipes to Rival challenge, as I just joined this group of adventerous cooks who challenge themselves with a savory recipe monthly. This month, we had the choice of two of three appetizers, and I choose Thomas Keller's Gruyère Cheese Gougères as well as Blue Cheese, Pear and Walnut Crostini. For the recipes, you can go here. I realize I'm a few days late, but I wanted to make these for my family and we were in the Colorado mountains skiing for the holidays so this is the soonest I could get to it (that sounds an awful lot like an excuse, but there you have it).


Gougères are magical little things, although for me, almost anything baked is. But the transformation that takes place from liquid to solid occurs right in the pan on the stovetop, quickly and right before your eyes. Like a child performing a science experiment, I think I audibly gasped "cool" as the dough came together. And it is cool, too.


The crostini are more about combining than creating, but the fruit, the cheese, the nuts, they activate every part of the tongue and an equally stunning transformation takes place. For my version, I used pecans instead of walnuts because they are irresistable. So if transformation is the theme, these are perfectly fitting little nibbles for the New Year when everything seems to be on the cusp of change.

16 comments:

Sam said...

They both look great, I love the blue cheese walnut combo!

Lisa said...

Great appetizers. Happy New year!

Hayley said...

Those crostini are calling to me. I love the combination of fruit, nuts, and cheese. I just saw a recipe for aged cheddar and cranberry cracker/cookies you might be into at Vanilla Sugar.

kat said...

Yours certainly look tasty

bensbaby116 said...

Those gougeres look fantastic! I'm totally bookmarking that recipe to try.

Snooky doodle said...

Nice!! i knew that cheese and pears go well together with the adition of walnuts they re great :)

Kavs said...

You gougeres turned out fantastic! I'm sooo jealous ;-)

anudivya said...

They are lovely! I love both of them... nice work.

Maya said...

Those crstinis look wonderful!

JMom said...

oh, that melting cheese on the crostini looks doolicious! :)

veggie belly said...

the gougeres looks wonderful, great pictures! ive never been into the fruit+cheese combo, but your pictures make me want to try it! yumm! hope you had fun on your ski vacation, happy new year!

Annie said...

Mmm... cheesy goodness. Happy new year!

Miss Marie said...

Oh my word those little puffs look great! Mr. Beagle and I LOVE Gruyère!

Chrissy said...

I just made these for a dinner party and they were gobbled up--two guests arrived late and missed out!

Andrea said...

Sam, anything with blue cheese is fine by me!

Lisa, Happy New Year (weeks late!) to you, too!

Hayley, I totally agree, and their a snap to put together. I love Vanilla Sugar and you're right, those cracker/cookies look amazing!

Kat, thanks!

Bensbaby, it's a fun recipe, definitely!

Snooky Doodle, couldn't agree more!

Kavs, not all of them were fantastic, I only photographed the best ones! ;-) I found the piping to be not worth it.

Anudivya, thanks!

Maya, thank you!

JMom, I'm all for melting cheese as a general rule!

Veggie Belly, really? I LOVE fruit and cheese together. You should give it another chance ;-)

Annie, Happy New Year to you, too!

Miss Marie, my parents were dismayed when as a child I decided that gruyere was my favorite cheese and then demanded that instead of the inexpensive cheese product most kids go for!

Chrissy, glad they worked out for you!

Mara said...

this appetizer is great!really cheezy!