Duchesses are first cousins to Carolines, the tiny choux puff pastries that appear several times in this Collection (see Index). The difference is that the Duchesses are served cold and glazed with aspic rather than served with a cream sauce, and are usually sprinkled with chopped nuts. The Shrimp Duchesses below are typical.
To make the puffs: Melt 1/4 cup butter in 1/2 cup boiling water; add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, all at once, and stir vigorously; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a shiny ball; remove from heat. Beat in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 eggs; beat thoroughly until smooth; beat in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Heat oven to 400 F. Grease baking sheet; drop dough onto sheet in heaping teaspoonfuls and shape into ovals; bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Carefully cut off top. Fill with puréed shrimp and glaze with Tarragon Aspic (below). Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts and serve, cold, on decorative doilies, if desired.
Yield: About 24.
Puréed Shrimp: Purée 1 cup cooked shrimp in blender or food processor or pass through food mill; moisten with mayonnaise.
Tarragon Aspic: Pour 1 cup clam juice, 1/2 cup white wine, and 2 tablespoons tarragon in saucepan; bring to boil and cook 10 minutes over low heat. Sprinkle 1 envelope unflavored gelatin over 1/4 cup wine to soften; stir mixture into clam juice. Strain to eliminate tarragon leaves. Cool and chill. Spoon partially jelled aspic onto Duchesses; chill until aspic is thoroughly set. Garnish with chopped walnuts and fresh tarragon sprigs, if available.
Note: Using the basic recipe above, but eliminating the puréed shrimp, you can concoct a variety of imaginative Duchesses. For example: Fill chilled pastry puffs with canned chunky chicken sandwich spread or deviled ham, or with a red caviar and sour cream spread.
Copyright © 1977 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.
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