SOUTHWESTERN FILLED GOUGERES

 

These French little bites are wonderful tasting and easier than you would think to make. They are a savory application of Cream Puffs. They can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 90 days and then warmed and sprinkled with cheese to serve.

Yield: 16 appetizers

Baking Temperature: 375 F

Baking Time: 30 minutes

8 Tablespoons butter ( 1 stick or ½ cup)

1 cup water

1 cup flour

4 eggs

4 ounces grated Cheddar Cheese (or Cheddar-Jack Mix), divided

4 ounces lean hamburger (85 to 90% lean), sautéed and drained

¼ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground hot red chile

  1. Cut 8 Tablespoons butter into pieces and put in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
  2. Turn into the small bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. After the last egg is worked into the paste, beat an additional 5 minutes or until quite well mixed.
  3. Stir 2 ounces of the cheese into the paste, reserving the balance. Saute the hamburger in a heavy skillet, then remove from heat and drain and add the salt, cumin and red chile and stir well to combine, tasting to determine the need for more salt or red chile. Spoon two-thirds of the paste into into a pastry bag and force out into 16 mounds.( If you do not have a pastry bag, either snip a corner off a plastic bag and place dough in bag or spoon out using 2 teaspoons.) With a moistened finger, imprint each in the center.
  4. Spoon hamburger-chile mixture into each imprint and put a small spoonful of the remaining paste over the filling and smooth out. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over each. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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