New Orleans and all its culinary glory is just a quick flight away, and in Sunday’s travel section, restaurant critic Matthew Odam acted as our tour guide with another of his Feed to Go travel stories about eating his way through the Crescent City.
To help get you thinking about all those beignets, po’boys and oysters you’d eat on your own trip, here is a recipe for savory gougères from New Orleans chef Donald Link’s latest book, “Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything” (Clarkson Potter, $35), which he wrote with Austinite Paula Disbrowe, who is now the editor of Tribeza magazine.
In the past 10 years, Link has been building a nest of restaurants, including Cochon Butcher and Peche, which are featured in Odam’s story, which you can read here.
Parmesan Bacon Gougères
4 strips thick-sliced bacon
1/2 cup whole milk
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 1/4 cups bread flour, sifted
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp but not too dark. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, and reserve 1/4 cup of the rendered fat. When the bacon is cool, chop to make 1/2 cup.
Bring the milk, 1/2 cup water, the butter, and the reserved bacon fat to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt, onion powder, sugar, and cayenne. Add the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir very quickly in one direction. The flour will quickly absorb the liquid and form a dough. Continue stirring to cook the flour (and remove its “raw” taste) and simmer off more of the moisture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, an additional minute or two.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed until each is incorporated into the dough, which will change from shiny to sticky as the eggs are worked in. On low speed, stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan and the bacon until just combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop (about 2 inches in diameter), scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Top the gougères with an equal amount of the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Makes two dozen.
— From “Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything” by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe (Clarkson Potter, $35)