This is the ultimate party food! This recipe is one my father has served at every cocktail party he has ever had in his house. He serves them to couples before dinner or for crowds at some of his bigger swankier affairs. They always disappear fast, are delicious, and are addictively easy to make and serve. They look complicated, but done once, you'll realize that the process is really easy—and the freeze and serve option is fantastic.
I also make these with pancetta and Taleggio, or with a blend of cheeses for my vegetarian pals.
My Dad’s Prosciutto and Fontina Gougeres
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
6 oz. thinly sliced imported Italian prosciutto di Parma, cut in fine julienne matchsticks
6 oz. imported Italian Fontina, grated coarse
2 T. finely minced chives
1 large egg with 1 T. milk, beaten to create a wash for the gougere
In saucepan, bring to boil 1-1/2 c. water with the butter over high heat, and reduce heat to low. Add flour all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Then beat for 2 minutes.
Remove from stove and place dough in a bowl. With an electric mixer at high speed, beat in eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Stir in 1 c. of prosciutto and 3/4 c. of the Fontina. Into 3 or 4 buttered 9-inch round cake pans, drop the dough in 8 large serving spoonfuls in a ring around the pan, leaving 1/4 inch between spoonfuls. Brush dough with egg wash, sprinkle with remaining prosciutto and Fontina, and bake in middle of a 425-degree oven for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately. (Or, cover with foil and freeze. When needed, uncover and put in 400-degree oven for 8-9 minutes. It works like a charm.)