I’m a girl who loves cooking and (almost) never shies away from a challenge, so when Huon Aquaculture invited me to take part in their #huonsalmon blogging challenge to create a recipe using their Reserve Selection range, I jumped at the chance.
Immediately my brain kicked into overdrive thinking of what I could make: so many ideas, so many directions I could take, so hard to narrow it down. Then I thought, why stop at one dish when you could make three? So I did. Make three that is. I even called in a few friends to taste everything and let me know their thoughts. Each dish is quite unique and uses a different product from the Huon Reserve Selection. Here is the first.
Gougères with Reserve Selection Smoked Salmon Paté
Anything you can graze on or nibble with drinks is a winner with me, so I was excited to try the paté and pair it with something a bit more exciting than a water cracker. Gougères are French cheese puffs. Made with choux pastry, the same base recipe as profiteroles, instead of turning it into sweet treats, you add gruyere cheese and a touch of spice, et voilá! You have a lovely light canapé. They are particularly fabulous still warm from the oven. There is a bit of technique involved in getting the ingredients correctly combined, but overall it’s fairly easy.
1/2 cup water
40g butter cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
big pinch of chilli powder
small pinch nutmeg
a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 container Huon Reserve Selection Smoked Salmon Paté
The first, and I mean very first, thing you should do is get out all the ingredients and weigh/measure/chop them. It is infinitely easier to make these if you do all your prep and don’t have to stop half way through because you haven’t grated your cheese.
Next, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a couple of oven trays with baking paper.
Put the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add the flour and spices all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture comes together. It will look a little like mashed potato to start with, but that’s okay, just keep stirring. Return to a medium heat for about 3-5 minutes (yes, still stirring). The mixture needs to pull away from the sides of the saucepan and should start to glisten a little bit.
The next bit can be done by hand but if you have a stand mixer I strongly recommend using it. Transfer the dough to the bowl of the mixer, add an egg and beat with the paddle attachment on medium low until the egg is completely combined. It will look like scrambled eggs at first, but stick with it and soon it will all be incorporated. Once it is, add the second egg. You should end up with a very smooth creamy batter. Add the cheese, keeping a little in reserve to sprinkle over the top and mix again on medium low until well blended.
Spoon rounded tablespoons of the mixture 5 cm apart on the prepared oven trays and sprinkle each with a little of the remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and a light golden brown in colour.
Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm with the Huon Reserve Selection Smoked Salmon Paté.
I loved the combination of the light, airy, cheesy pastry and the creamy salmon. My taste testers agreed that this is a great dinner party starter: they look (and taste) impressive and are easy to do. You can enough make the puffs beforehand and warm them gently in the oven when needed.