MARY’s Secret IngredientsTM is easily my favorite subscription box service. You may have noticed me raving about it in the past on DRIVEN’s blog page. Created by Mary Pisarkiewicz, author of the internationally recognized food blog LOVE – The Secret Ingredient, this seasonal, limited-edition subscription box service is one of a kind, featuring a curated selection of Mary’s favorite food and kitchen products, (always full-sized, never samples), delivered straight to your door. With each seasonal box, MARY’s Secret IngredientsTM seeks to help new and unique food companies sample their products to foodies like us directly, as well as inspire and encourage home cooks of every experience level to prepare simple and healthy meals. In the process, Mary and her team donate a portion of the annual proceeds to Feed The Children and their fight to eradicate hunger.
MARY’s Fall 2015 box, for instance (currently sold out), was packed with useful and artisanal goodies, all of which have been put to good use in my home kitchen. The “sleeper” product in the box was a container of Ultragrain brand all-purpose flour made from a natural whole-grain blend, which sports 30% better nutrition than white flour (fiber, my friends!). It can directly replace white flour in your recipes without sacrificing flavor or functionality. I took it for a test drive by using it to bake one of my favorite things on the planet: delicious Gougeres! The result was profound, and when served to 10 guests, these little suckers disappeared in minutes, and with no shortage of compliments. Try it yourself by acquiring a container of Ultragrain and following the recipe below. When your mind is blown, consider signing up to receive the upcoming MARY’s 2015 Winter Box, or subscribe to an entire year of boxes with surprise contents….Remember, it’s an easy and unique gift idea! Bon Appétit!
Goldie’s Gougeres (Yields Two Dozen)
½ cup water
½ cup milk
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ tsp coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 to 5 large eggs
3 ½ oz (1 cup) coarsely grated Gruyere (or other hard cheese), plus more for sprinkling
pinch of pepper & nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper. In a heavy saucepan, bring water to a boil with butter and salt over high heat and reduce heat to moderate. Add flour all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from side of pan. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and let cool one minute. Beat in 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Batter should be stiff enough to just hold soft peaks and fall softly from a spoon. If batter is too stiff, in a small bowl beat remaining egg lightly and add to batter a little at a time, beating on high speed until batter is desired consistency. Stir Gruyere into pate a choux and arrange level tablespoons about 1-inch apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, 22 minutes, or until puffed, golden and crisp. Serve warm, and pair with a lovely sparkling wine.