This is a tongue-in-cheek version of a BLT sandwich. Gougère, the classic French cheese puff, can be made ahead and frozen for an improptu gathering, but mini-brioche toasts can also be substituted.
FOR THE TARRAGON AIOLI
Combine the egg yolks, garlic, tarragon, lemon juice, and vinegar in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Slowly add the blended oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The aioli will keep for 7 days in the refrigerator.
FOR THE GOUGÈRES
Place 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan, add the butter and salt, and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and ad the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms.
Place the saucepan back on the stove over low heat and keep working the dough lightly until it is soft but not sticky, about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a mixer and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn the mixer on low and add one egg at a time, waiting until the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. (The fourth egg might not be needed depending on the consistency of the dough, which should be firm and smooth.) Add the cheese and mix to incorporate.
Heat the oven to 350˚F. Mix the egg yolk with a few tablespoons of water.
Pipe the dough into 1-inch balls onto a sheet pan using a pastry bag with a wide plain tip or a cut Ziplock bag. Brush the gougères with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just brown on top.
Cut each gougère three quarters of the way through to create a open mouth. Stuff each one with a tiny spoonful of aioli, 1 cherry tomato half, 1 piece bacon, and 1 piece arugula. Place the gougères on a large serving platter.
*These are best eaten the day they are baked. You can pipe out the gougères on parchment paper, carefully roll them, and freeze them for at least 2 months until you are ready to bake them.
Recipe by Sondra Bernstein
from the cookbook Plats du Jour