Beef Consomme with Choux Puffs
20 to 30 black peppercorns
4 large egg whites, reserve the shells
1 lb plum tomatoes, quartered
1 5-6 ribs of celery, cut to fit in stock pot
½ 1b lean ground beef
1 Tbs salt
6 Cups beef stock
Celery leaves, for garnish
Diced tomatoes, for garnish
Whisk egg whites until foamy, then add in egg shells, peppercorns, chopped tomatoes and celery. Stir in beef and salt.
Place beef stock in a stock pot or heavy saucepan. Whisk in the egg white/beef mixture. Heat to a simmer over medium high heat about 20 minutes. Stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent egg whites from sticking. Reduce heat and gently simmer without stirring for about 30 minutes. This will allow all the impurities to rise to the top. Underneath a clear broth will form.
Line a large sieve with two layers of paper towels and ladle the broth through into a large bowl. The broth should be completely clear, if it is not repeat this process a second time. Discard all the solids.
Bring the consommé to a boil, when heated, ladle into bowls and top with choux puffs. Garnish with celery leaves and diced tomatoes.
½ Cup water
½ stick butter
1/8 tsp salt
½ Cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 425°, place oven rack in middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add all the flour at once. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring briskly with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until the mixture is smooth.
Place the dough in a piping bag with a number 12 tip. (A disposable piping bag with the end slightly snipped off works well if you do not have a piping bag and number 12 tip. ) Pipe 1/3 inch diameter mounds about ½ inch apart onto baking sheets. Gently flatten each mound with a water dampened fingertip. Bake one sheet at a time. About 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.
If you have extra puffs they can be frozen for about a month. The puffs can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. To re-crisp the puffs thaw and place in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.
Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com