Adding smoky meat to cheese-laced cream puff batter (gougeres) and topping the baked puffs with sauerkraut-spiked Russian dressing evokes a classic Reuben sandwich. Choose kimchi over sauerkraut to give the dressing an extra kick.
You'll need a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip; alternatively, use a plastic food storage bag with one corner snipped off.
Make Ahead: The sauce can be made the day before. You can make the dough several hours ahead of time and bake the gougeres just before serving (best); or bake the gougeres a day in advance, store in an airtight container and reheat in a 300-degree oven for a few minutes.
Servings: 20 Hors d'oeuvres
- For the gougeres
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 ounces thickly sliced pastrami, trimmed of most fat, then cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 ounces grated Swiss cheese (about 1 cup)
- Chopped chives, for garnish
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup sauerkraut (squeezed free of brine) or kimchi, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon mild smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
For the gougeres: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
Combine the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. The dough will pull away from the sides of the pan and come together in a ball. Stir vigorously for about a minute to cook the flour a bit. Add the caraway seed, coriander, black pepper and salt. Remove from the heat and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Beat 1 egg into the dough until it is completely incorporated, then the remaining egg. Stir in the pastrami and cheese.
Transfer the dough to the pastry bag or food storage bag. Use a spiral motion to pipe 20 golf ball-size mounds, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, until they are well browned and seem hollow when you pick one up. (They should be just a little gooey inside.)
While the gougeres are in the oven, make the sauce: Whisk together the sauerkraut or kimchi, mayonnaise, ketchup and smoked paprika in a medium bowl.
To serve, top each warm gougere with a small dollop of sauce and a few chopped chives. Or serve them at room temperature.
From food writer and former chef David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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