"I'm bringing champagne," might well be the most uplifting sentence in the history of mankind.
I have a few friends who work in wine, and Chris - who brings me champagne and the occasional rose of interest - is one such person. He's a former opera singer turned semi-professional sommelier who both adores and despises his line of work. When it comes to enological knowledge he's a man that - by the young age of late-twenty-something - has earned his stripes.
Even better is the fact that he's rather blasé about his line of work - which is a good thing, I think. There's been actual conversations of what wine pairs well with what Star Trek series. I firmly believe that is information that should be put on a poster somewhere because when is that not going to come up at some point? Furthermore, while I trust his expert opinions on what wines to buy at my very nonprofit-slash-freelancer budget, I've seen him hold up a bottle and, upon my inquiry, his response was, "I don't know. It was $8."
One must appreciate a wine aficionado who chucks pretense for Two Buck Chuck.
Yet, the last thing he'll want to do is cook something up to pair with wine. Or, talk about it when he's not at work. God forbid you recommend taking a trip to a winery on your vacation as it will induce a cringe so fierce it will reverberate out from his body and shake the very walls of the room you're in.
So as he texted that, indeed, there would be champs I proposed to make cheesy poofs - or as I suppose some like to call them gougeres. (Grammarians and linguists, please use the grave accent in your head as I cannot for the love of god recall how to type it.) Bits of egg and flour mixed with a practically inappropriate amount of cheddar and Parmesan baked into airy, crispy puffs.
Terribly addicting and the perfect pairing for champagne. If you desire you can cut them open and stack them with aioli, arugula, and pancetta for simple sliders. What I love most is how stupidly easy they are: Boil. Mix. Spoon. Bake. Yet the payoff is huge and upon eating them hot out of the oven you're considered a pastry wizard and that's a pretty darn awesome title to have.
Indeed, if there is a most complimentary sentence in the English language, then it must be, "I'm baking gougeres!"
I've been using this recipe as of late. It's a few more dishes, but there's no pastry bag involved (which I love) and I find the consistency is far more reliable than others I have tried. Give it a whirl and let me know how it pairs with your bubbles.
P.S. If you haven't yet, I would highly encourage you to please follow my Instagram account. Instagram is what I've been using for images for this blog for sometime now, but I realized I never really promoted it. Ever. So, please be sure to subscribe. You'll find a lot of food porn that never makes it to the blog! User name is protogarrett, because some dumb hooker has been sitting on vanillagarlic for three years and not using it.