MOST PEOPLE KNOW pâte à choux or cream-puff pastry in its dessert form—such as cream puffs or éclairs—but the dough is also used for savory dishes.
Savory cream-puff pastries can be filled with numerous mixtures. For a hot presentation, the fillings can be similar to those used in the puff -pastry cases (see Puff-Pastry Shells Filled with Seafood in White Wine Sauce). Served cold, the pastry can be filled with shrimp or chicken salad.
The recipes that follow are for two uses of cream-puff pastry that are a little more unusual. For Parisian-Style Gnocchi, small pieces of the pastry are poached like dumplings and served with a sauce. For the Gruyère Pastry Ring Filled with Cheese Soufflé, a cheese-flavored cream-puff pastry is baked in the form of a ring, filled with a cheese soufflé mixture, and baked again.