Monday, May 18, 2009

Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Profiteroles with Lemony Herb Oil

Many nights ago, in yet another attempt to get me to watch a famed french Movie called Amélie, Tikina my dear sister and friend, and Lisa, a dear friend and sister, decided to plan an evening soiree of Parisian food and film. Unwilling to show up empty handed, I figured that I could whip up a quick apéritif to satisfy the french mood we had all slipped into.  

Any recipe with more than one type of cheese is reason enough for me to try it out!

While the roots of this petite aperitif are very much French in nature, the deviations and adjustments I make do not strictly adhere to the Parisian style of snacking.  In truth, I combined two, and maybe even three completely different geographical ideals of cuisine to yield the perfect movie snack.  Robust sun-dried tomatoes, tangy goat cheese, puffed and golden pastry... what more could a girl ask for? 

 So... must haves:

For the pastry
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 - 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

For the filling:
7 - 8 oz. plain, room temperature goat cheese
1/4 cream
1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

For the Herb Oil:
fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 clove of garlic
enough olive oil to make a thin dressing
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine the water, butter and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat, swirling the pan until the butter is melted.  Add the flour to the pan and stir over heat for roughly one minute.  Pull the pan off the heat and cool the flour/butter mixture for five to six minutes.  Break the eggs into a separate bowl.  Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently combine the eggs one at a time with the flour mixture.  Fold in the grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.  Using a medium ice-cream scoop or two teaspoons, form 18 mounds of batter onto the baking sheet, piling the batter as high as possible rather than wide.  Bake the profiteroles until they are puffed and lightly golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Allow the pastry to cool completely before slicing and filling.

Put the goat cheese into a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to soften and smooth it out.  Using some heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, combine it with the goat cheese until it is spreadable and smooth.  Rough chop the tomatoes and throw them into the bowl.  Use the salt and pepper to season the filling.  Set aside and start the herb oil!

In a blender, combine the lemon juice, zest, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.  While the blender or food processor is pulsing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you have a thin dressing.  Set aside until you have stuffed the profiteroles.  Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of each profiterole and set the 'lids' aside.  Spoon a generous heap of goat cheese into each profiterole and replace the lid.  Arrange the profiteroles on a serving platter and drizzle the herb oil on top of the puffs right before you are ready to serve!  Don't worry about saving the herb oil for leftovers, there won't be any!

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