Last fall I felt like I had lost my cooking mojo. I was in a desert with no inspiration. Living in a hotel didn’t help matters. I gave in to the season I was in. Thankfully the new year brought renewed desires to start cooking again.
Last week I received a package from Erika with two bottles of her new food line Not Ketchup. I love seeing friends pursue their dreams. Created in her kitchen with fruits of the summer, she decided to produce and take them to market.That is not an easy task and she wrote about it here.
They are available locally here in Southern California and online. Hopefully soon they will be in your local market.
I use ketchup occasionally in my cooking but don’t really like ketchup by itself. I know, un-American. These are another matter. They are great on meat and chicken but also great with veggies. You will not want to share! They are sweet and slightly spicy.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I decided to play in the kitchen. A few hours later I left full of inspiration to start creating again. It was soothing to be back in the kitchen dreaming of new dishes to try. Sometimes the best things to eat don’t start with a recipe. They are created when you open the door to your refrigerator and pull out the items calling to you. That is exactly what I did for the first dish – Brie & Mango Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions.
I caramelized onions. Caramelizing onions takes this ordinary item into a silky savory bite. Half of them disappeared while I was stirring, I don’t know how! I diced up mango and chopped a jalapeño. I sauteed briefly and was ready to build the sandwich.
I cut two slices from a fresh loaf of Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. I slathered on the Blueberry Pepper sauce and topped with brie. I layered the onions, the mango and jalapeño. Pressing it together I cooked it in a little butter and browned on both sides. The combination was creamy, sweet and spicy.
Ok, so I went a little crazy and created two more recipes to taste with the Not Ketchup. I am sharing two today and will save another for next week. After the sandwich, I took out this extra Gruyere cheese I had left over from a cooking class and made Gruyere and Thyme Goureges.
They are little savory bites that make a great starter for a party. Maybe even your Super Bowl. Serve these with with the Blueberry Pepper or Cherry Chipotle for dipping. These would also be tasty!
The best thing – you can shop from home and have them arrive at your door step like I did. What dish would you serve with Not Ketchup? Share in the comments.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Gruyère
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- 5 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Remove from heat. Add flour, cayenne, and salt; stir vigorously to blend. Return to heat; stir vigorously over medium heat until mixture forms a ball and a thin, dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1 cup Gruyère, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons thyme; beat on low speed to blend. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each egg between additions, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a ½" tip or a plastic bag with ½" cut diagonally from 1 corner. Pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1"–1¼" rounds, spacing 1" apart. Whisk remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush egg wash lightly over rounds, patting down to form rounded tops. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons Gruyère. Garnish each with a few thyme leaves.
- Bake gougères until puffed and golden brown and centers are cooked through but still moist, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
- Make ahead: Let cool completely. Store airtight in freezer. Rewarm in 325°F oven until hot, 10-15 minutes.