Pecorino & Black Pepper Cheese Puffs

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When we entertain, my husband likes to start out the evening with a nice glass of crisp Prosecco wine. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that is usually quite dry and is normally made from Glera, or “Prosecco” grapes. Trying to find something to serve our guests to nibble on along with the Prosecco isn’t always easy until I started making these cheese puffs. These puffs are very easy to make using a choux pastry, a light airy pastry that is also used to make profiteroles and is made with butter and eggs. I have varied the cheese I’ve used different times I’ve made them, and have played around with the herbs or seasonings I’ve used as well. In this version, I used chopped chives, black pepper, and aged Pecorino Romano cheese. You could also use thyme, rosemary, or a pinch of cayenne pepper in place of the chives and black peppers, or any semi-dry cheese you prefer in place of the pecorino Romano.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Pecorino & Black Pepper Cheese Puffs

Yield: Serves 8 - 10

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

1 Cup Milk
8 Tablespoons (1 Stick or 4 Ounces) Butter
1 Cup All-purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Chives
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Glaze:
1 Large Egg Beaten With 1 Tablespoon Water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a pot over medium high heat, combine the butter and milk and bring to a boil.
Remove the pot from the burner, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously until completely blended.
Return the pan to the heat and stir continuously for 2 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.
Let the dough rest and cool down for about 5 minutes, then use an electric hand mixer to beat in each of the eggs until smooth.
Fold in the cheese, chives, and black pepper until mixed.
Use a medium sized cookie scoop, and scoop the dough onto your prepared pans about 2 inches apart.
Alternately, place the dough in a pastry bag, cut off the end and pipe 1 1/2 inch balls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Lightly brush each of the puffs with the egg glaze.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese puffs are golden brown.
Serve immediately, or prepare ahead of time, and then simply rewarm in a 325 degree F. oven for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.



 

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