Crispy Cheese Bites
In just over two months, we’ll be heading back to Umbria and will once again begin our busy season taking care of our guests. For each group of visitors we offer a complimentary wine tasting in our home. This allows us to get to know our guests better, as well as gives us an opportunity to share a little bit about Umbria with them. My husband chooses three Umbrian wines for our guests to try, and I create two appetizers to pair with each. I am always looking for easy recipes that I can make for our wine tastings, and these Cheese Bites are perfect to serve along with a glass of robust red wine.
My husband cycles with a couple of different groups, and one of the guys he bikes with was celebrating his Birthday recently. Jean and his wife Michelle invited a number of cyclists and their wives over to his house to celebrate and enjoy some fabulous food and wine. Although everything we were served was fantastic, one of my favorite items were these tasty cheese tidbits prepared by Michelle who was hosting the party. I was told they were simply prepared by mixing eggs and lots of grated cheese and spreading it over puff pastry. I never did get exact recipe details, but decided to try my hand at making them myself at home, so this is my version below. Michelle actually stretched her puff pastry into a round shape, but I used two sheets of puff pastry and joined them together into a large rectangle. Either method would work well depending on what you prefer. When baked, the round shape can easily be cut into wedges as you would slice a pie, but since I baked mine as a rectangle, I cut my Cheese Bites into 2-inch squares.
You can use a variety of cheeses, and in fact, this would be a perfect recipe to use up all those bits and pieces of leftover cheeses we seem to end up in our refrigerator. For my Cheese Bites, I used a shredded combination of Italian cheeses from Whole Foods that includes Fontina, Asiago, and Parmesan along with some leftover Gorgonzola I had in my refrigerator although you can use a combination of different flavorful cheeses that you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2013
Crispy Cheese Bites
Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
1 Package (1.1 Pound) Puff Pastry (I Used Pepperidge Farms)
5 Large Eggs
10 Ounces Grated Mixed Cheese (See Notes Above)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and unfold the pastry laying it side by side onto the prepared sheet, overlapping by i-inch.
Use your fingers or a rolling pin to flatten the joined area, then turn over the edges and corners to form a ridge pinching with your fingers to secure creating a rectangle about 14 x 10 inches.
In a small bowl, beat 4 of the eggs, and add the cheese.
Stir to mix, then pour over the pastry spreading evenly to cover the entire bottom.
Beat the remaining egg and lightly brush over the edges.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until very golden brown. (If the filling puffs up as it cooks, simply pierce with a knife in a few places.
Cool for 10 minutes then cut into pieces and serve.