cheddar cheese & chive puffs

What’s better than cheese? Seriously. The creamy goodness of brie and brown sugar in puff pastry, the salty taste of parmigiano-reggiano on pasta, fresh buffalo mozzerella in a caprese sandwich, or the bite of melted gorgonzola on a nice piece of steak  – I’ll ask you again: what’s better than cheese!?

I came across the basis for this cheese puff recipe while working out. Yes, working out.  What do I do to entertain myself as I elliptical? Watch Food Network. As I attempt to get in shape, I am also discovering new recipes that will do just the opposite.  It’s a vicious cycle. Last week I caught an episode of Barefoot Contessa and Ina was making cheese puffs for her new neighbor.  Even though I love Ina’s recipes, I just really can’t stand her scripted scenarios on Barefoot Contessa.  These shows don’t need a story line! Just show me how to make the food!

Ina used gruyere and parmesan in her puffs, but I decided to use sharp and flavorful New York style cheddar cheese.  Cheddar cheese is also less expensive than gruyere, which is always a plus! I also had some chives on hand that I threw in to add a little extra something. I’m planning on serving them along side this potato leek soup and a fresh chopped salad.

Cheddar Cheese & Chive Puffs

 Ingredients (yields ~20 puffs)

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water for egg wash

Method

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for two minutes over low heat. Transfer the hot mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Immediately add eggs, cheese, and chives and pulse until the dough is smooth and thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag (or freezer bag with one corner cut) and pipe in small mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets. With a wet finger, press down tips on the top of each puff so that they don’t burn.  Brush the top of each puff with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown on the outside, but soft on the inside.

  

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Cheese Puffs

How I eat it: one after another after another..

Before I leave you for today, I must announce some exciting news: Just this weekend my last post featuring french yogurt cake was recognized on Bon Appetit’s “Bloggers Cook BA” page! I was so thrilled to see a picture of my cake and an excerpt from my blog as the caption. Make sure to click the link and check it out – I am picture 10 of 12 under the “Bloggers Cook BA… En Francais” section. You can also see how the cake, and other yummy Bon Appetit recipes, turned out for some other food bloggers!

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