Yesterday I posted pictures of a tasty little hors d'oeuvres that I had made in school this week and then I never included the recipe. What a jerk, huh? So here it is, the recipe for Petit Choux Hors D'Oeuvres, straight from my culinary school notebook. Although these are a little tricky to make, they are totally worth the effort and will blow your guests' minds (or they will just blow your own mind. Who says you need a party to make these tasty little guys?)
A couple tips when making these, don't skimp and use dry herbs here. Fresh herbs are so vibrant and really pop making this a very flavorful appetizer. Although in school I have to follow the recipes pretty closely, I would also recommend cutting the olives in half. Or maybe chopping them up a little bit and laying them on top of the cream cheese filling. Leaving the olives whole makes them not only look like eyeballs (which is fine if that's what you're going for) but I think the whole olive can almost overpower and mask all of the other lovely flavors that are going on in that gorgeously puffy, buttery and herby Pate a Choux!
Special Note: I don't plan to make a habit out of posting recipes from my Culinary School Notebook (after all, I paid a lot of money for them!) but I will, from time to time, post some of them or provide information from school that I find to be particularly interesting but out of respect for those (like myself) that pay a lot of money to attend a school such as this, I unfortunately won't be posting many specific recipes from my notebook.
Petit Choux Hors D'Oeuvres
From Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Notebook, copyright Roberta L. Dowling
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup + 2 TBS milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 4-5 large eggs
- 4 oz grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1 TBS minced parsley
- 1 tsp dill
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top of piped choux
- 1 egg, well beaten (for egg wash)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 TBS heavy cream
- 1 TBS finely chopped chives
- Pimento stuffed olives
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Bring the water, butter and milk to a boil (be sure the butter melts before the liquid boils). Meanwhile, combine salt, nutmeg, pepper and flour. Once the liquid boils, remove pan from heat and add the dry ingredients all at once. Stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon (it will resemble mashed potatoes) and return the pan to medium heat. Stir vigorously to dry out pastry (approximately 3-5 minutes). The paste will be shiny with small beads of butter on the surface of the dough and the pan. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, and blend thoroughly with each addition. Dough should be soft and cling to the sides of the pan (if it doesn't, add the 5th egg). Add remaining ingredients (except grated Parmesan cheese), blending well. Pipe the paste through a 1/2 inch #6 plain tip using techniques of squeezing, releasing and lifting into round puffs, 1 inch in diameter. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Lower the heat of the oven to 375 degrees and bake until puffed, golden brown and firm to a gentle touch. (About 30-35 minutes). (Important note: DO NOT keep opening the oven door. This will prevent them from getting puffy and airy. Instead, keep the door closed until you think they are ready.)
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and cream until well blended. Fold in chives.
To assemble, once the Choux has completely cooled, slice in half lengthwise and pipe cream cheese into the center and top with olive. Serve at room temperature.