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On the Menu: White Cheddar and Thyme Gougeres

White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères  | Sacramento Street

A gougere is just a fancy name for a cheese puff. It is made out of pâte à choux dough, one of the most universal pastry doughs out there. The basic dough is made with just a couple ingredients, water, eggs, flour and butter. Once you learn the technique, the recipes you can make with it are endless. When I was in cooking school, some of my fellow classmates and I had the genius idea to start a food truck that only sold food made from pâte à choux dough. We wanted to sell gougeres, eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles and churros all around San Francisco. Thankfully that food idea faded away once we graduated and got jobs in the culinary world, but if we had gone through with that food truck idea, this is the gougere recipe that I would have made and sold from that truck.

 

A cheesy gougere might just be the perfect holiday party appetizer recipe because they can be made up to two weeks in advance, baked, then frozen. Throw them in the oven just before your guests arrive and voila, you will have a delicious appetizer and no one will know it came from your freezer.

 

Another great part about a gougere is that you can play around with any flavor combination. Feel free to swap the cheddar for Gruyere and use rosemary instead of thyme. Or add cracked black pepper to give it a kick. Another option would be to make giant gougeres and stuff them with bacon and pickled shallots, kind of like a gougere sandwich (yum, now that is a food truck idea!). The possibilities are endless.

 

So when you are entertaining this holiday season, try these gougeres, I promise they will become your secret weapon for all future entertaining. ~ Amanda


White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères | Sacramento Street

White Cheddar and Thyme Gougeres


Ingredients| Sacramento Street

 

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 4 large eggs

    Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.


2.) Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized saucepan bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat. Add flour, cayenne, and salt and stir well to blend. Return the saucepan to medium high heat and stir vigorously until the 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. (You can also do this by hand with a wooden spoon) Add 1 cup cheddar, ½ cup Parmesan and thyme; beat on low speed to blend. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each egg between additions, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.


3.) Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ tip and pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1 ½ ” rounds, spacing 1″ apart. If you do not want to use piping bag, use 2 spoons to place small dollops of gougère dough on the baking sheet.


4.) Dip your index finger in water and gently pat each gougère to form a rounded top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar, Parmesan and thyme.


5.) Bake gougères until puffed and golden brown and centers are cooked through but still moist, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.


(If you want to make and freeze ahead, fully bake the gougères, let cool and store in an airtight freezer bag for up to two weeks. When ready to serve, rewarm in a 325F oven for about 5 – 10 minutes)


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson | Photos by Emma Fineman for Sacramento Street 

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On the Menu: Holiday Party Appetizers

Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Can you believe that it is already December? Even though this year is flying by, December is one of my most favorite months; a month filled with holiday lights, cooler weather and of course holiday parties. A lot of holiday parties. What better way to spend an evening than celebrating the season with friends and family?

 

I love throwing holiday parties and have discovered the trick to a stress-free holiday party is finding the right food to serve. I like to do heavy appetizers and cocktails at my holiday parties. That way it is less formal than a dinner, but guests still get enough to eat and drink. Plus,during the holiday season who has time for a sit down dinner? Appetizers make it easy to have guests come and go casually so they can make all of their holiday parties.

 

Here are two of my go-to recipes for appetizers –a butternut squash and ricotta crostini and a pear and goat cheese crostini. Both crostini’sare delicious and easy to prepare and the best part is that a lot of prep can be done in advance and they assembled on the day of your party. Also, you don’t have to worry about keeping the crostini warm, they are delicious either way, warm or at room temperature. Just set them out when guests arrive and watch them disappear. ~ Amanda


Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


1 cup butternut squash, ½” dice

2 Tbs. olive oil

¾ cup ricotta

1 onion thinly sliced

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. maple syrup

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

chiffonade of mint

sea salt


Directions | Sacramento Street

 

1.) In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the butternut squash and a pinch of salt. Cook the butternut squash, stirring occasionally until brown and soft, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

2.) While the butternut squash is cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion slices, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup and continue to cook until mixture is a jam like consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

3.) When butternut squash is cooked, assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta on the toasted baguette. Top with onion jam then butternut squash. Finish with mint and sea salt.

 

NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag. The onion jam as well as the butternut squash can be made the day before. Store in the refrigerator and bring all components to room temperature before serving.


Makes about 1 dozen crostini


Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento StreetHoliday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


4 – 5 oz. goat cheese, softened

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

1 firm but ripe pear, thinly sliced

¼ cup candied walnuts, chopped

½ tsp. thyme, chopped

sea salt

drizzle of honey

Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons goat cheese on each piece of toasted baguette.


2.) Top with sliced pear and candied walnuts.


3.) Sprinkle with thyme, salt and a drizzle of honey.


NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag.


Makes about 1 dozen crostini


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson | Photos by Emma Fineman for Sacramento Street 

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On the Menu: Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad | Sacramento Street


Although I love Thanksgiving, I find that sometimes between all the stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey, (and not to mention those pumpkin cheesecake bars) the meal is really heavy. Almost too heavy. I know that is kind of the point for Thanksgiving but it is nice to have the option of something healthy and crispy. This shaved brussel sprout salad is the perfect solution; crispy, tart and full of healthy flavors to complement all that butter and gravy goodness.


Brussel sprouts are an underdog of a vegetable. Only in the last 10 years has there has been a renewed love and realization that they are delicious. These leafy greens are easy to prepare and delicious when cooked properly. This salad is the easiest way to eat them, sliced very thin and tossed with toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese – so good you will forget that they are actually good for you.


Since the hardest part about Thanksgiving is planning, these brussel sprouts can be shaved 2 -3 hours before serving and kept in the fridge. The dressing can also be made and tossed in just before serving. If you don’t have walnut oil, which I love using because it adds a delicious nutty flavor, olive oil works just as well.


Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!


Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad | Sacramento Street


Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


2 lbs brussel sprouts
½ cup walnut oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
¼ cup Pecorino cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste


Directions | Sacramento Street

1.) Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the brussel sprouts starting at the non-stem end stopping once you get to the stem. Place brussel sprouts in a large bowl.


2.) In another small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, lemon juice and honey. Taste for salt and pepper.


3.) Toss brussel sprouts with dressing and serve topped with toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese.


Serves 6 -8


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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On the Menu: Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Pumpkin_Cheesecake_3
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. What could be better than getting together with friends and family and eating all day? Since I am hosting Thanksgiving this year I have started planning my menu and these pumpkin cheesecake bars with toasted marshmallow frosting are front and center. I have been making pumpkin cheesecake for the past five Thanksgivings and without fail, it is always a crowd favorite. This year I decided to adapt the cheesecake into bars giving this tried and true recipe a modern twist.

 

I love the idea of pumpkin especially when paired with warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, but pumpkin pie is sometimes too much pumpkin for me. I think it is the texture that throws me off, as well as the piecrust. This cheesecake solves all of that. It has the best part of pumpkin pie with the warm fall spices but has a silky texture and tanginess from the cream cheese that I enjoy. Not to mention it comes with a gingersnap crust that is out of this world. So as your brainstorming for Thanksgiving make sure this recipe is on your list, I promise your friends and family will love it. ~ Amanda


Pumpkin_Cheesecake_6


Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting 


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


For crust:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3 cups gingersnap cookies

1 cup pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

½ stick unsalted butter, melted


For filling:

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


For the topping:

4 eggs whites, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

pinch of cream of tartar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Preheat an oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 9” baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper leaving some paper to hang over the sides.


2.) Make the crust by grinding gingersnaps, pecans and brown sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add melted butter and combine until the mixture is the texture of wet sand. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press evenly onto the bottom. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.


3.) Make the filling by beating the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture (or with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will still be slightly jiggly), about 1 hour. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator until chilled, preferably overnight.


4.) When ready to serve, make the frosting by combining egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using an oven mitt, place bowl over a stove burner. Turn onto medium heat and carefully whisk egg mixture over medium heat until egg whites are hot, about 4 minutes. (Whisk continuously or the eggs whites will cook) Remove from stove top, place on stand mixture and add vanilla. With a whisk attachment whip egg mixture until it becomes white and fluffy and stiff peaks are formed, about 5 -6 minutes. Spread mixture on top of cheesecake bars and toast slightly with a kitchen torch.


Serves: 9 with huge squares or 16 with normal portions.


Recipe tips: This recipe is great to make the day before. Simply make the crust and filling, cook and chill overnight until ready to serve. When ready to serve, pull the cheesecake out of the refrigerator and add topping. Also, if you don’t have a kitchen torch you can use the broiler on your oven, just watch it closely. Place the bars on a rack in your oven. Move the rack as close as possible to the broiler and broil the top for about 30 seconds or until the topping is browned but not melted.


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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On the Menu: Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros | Sacramento Street

Huevos rancheros is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. It is on a short list of dishes that I will always order off a menu if I see it. Warm corn tortillas soaked with salsa and black beans all topped with an egg and some cilantro, it might just be my idea of perfection on a plate.


Here is my take on the traditional dish. I added avocado because I can’t seem to ever get enough avocado, as well as some Cojita cheese for a little tanginess. The recipe calls for making your own salsa but you can certainly buy pre-made salsa and skip a step.


Also, I fry my eggs on the stovetop in a non-stick pan then combine the dish before eating and serving. If fried eggs are not your thing, feel free to prepare the eggs your favorite way – regardless of fried, scrambled, poached or sunny side up, these huevos rancheros will be delicious. Enjoy!


~ Amanda


Huevos Rancheros | Sacramento Street

 

Ingredients| Sacramento Street


Serves 4


– 4 Roma or plum tomatoes, about 1 lb., diced (setting a couple tablespoons aside for garnish)

– 1 onion, divided and chopped

– chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnishing

– 1 Tbsp. chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (or more if you like your salsa spicy)

– 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

– 4 Tbsp. olive oil

– ½ tsp. salt (or more to taste)

– 1 -15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

– 4 large eggs

– 8 corn tortillas, about 5” diameter

– Garnish: Cojita cheese, avocado, jalapeños, lime wedges


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) In a blender puree tomatoes, half of the diced onion, cilantro, chipotle, garlic, and salt until smooth. Pour salsa mixture into a medium sized non-stick sauté pan and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until salsa is slightly thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove salsa from pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out the pan.


2.) In the same sauté pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 -3 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes or until beans are warmed through. Remove beans from pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out the pan.


3.) In the same sauté pan over medium high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully crack the eggs, one at a time into the pan. (I often crack into a small bowl then slide the egg onto the pan to make sure I don’t break the yolk or miss any eggshells). Cook eggs according to your preference. I like my whites set but my yolks still runny so it only takes about 2 -3 minutes.


4.) Assemble the huevos rancheros by quickly warming the tortillas in the oven or in the microwave. Place 2 tortillas on a plate, top with black beans, salsa and one egg. Garnish with avocado, Cojita cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, lime wedges and cilantro.


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

 

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