Spinach Cheese Puffs

Spinach Cheese Puffs Last Friday I had guests coming over and we had a raclette evening and used the cheese friends of mine produce in a nearby valley (the breathtaking Verzasca Valley). Continue reading

A raclette doesn’t require much cooking at all except for the boiling the potatoes, but I wanted to use my kitchen for something more so I made these gougères (cheese puffs) for the aperitif and I was happy to see they disappeared quicker than the dried meat I served. Cheese puffs are for me a really fun food to eat, they’re easy to make and always make a nice impression. So as a base for these cheese puffs I went on the marmiton.org site and then I just added the spinach and pine nuts. In the end this turned out to be an evening in honour of Swiss dairy … and oh, how I love this!

 

 

Spinach Cheese Puffs

Recipe for about 30 pieces

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

150 g fresh spinach

80 g butter

2.5 dl water

150 g sifted flour

4 eggs

150 g grated Swiss cheese (I used aged Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Optional: 2-3 tbsp. pine nuts

 

Recipe:

Turn on oven at 200°C.

In a pan cook the spinach until the leaves are soft. When they’re done let them slightly cool, place them in a tea towel and wring out as much excess moisture as possible. Place the spinach on a cutting board and finely chop them with a large knife.

In a high-sided pan bring the water and the butter to a boil, once it’s simmering add the flour all at once and stir vividly for a minute on a low fire with a wooden spatula, this will make the mass dry up. Remove from the fire a let the dough slightly cool. Add the eggs one by one stirring between each addition until the egg has been combined into the dough. Add the cheese, spinach, a little nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix everything together.

Line a baking tray with oven paper. Using a teaspoon make little balls and place them on the baking tray leaving a little space between each unit as they will grown in size. On top, if using them, place 3-4 pine nuts. Bake in the oven for about 25 min. With these quantities I made three batches and cooked them one at the time. Serve warm or cold.

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and ChivesLately what I crave most is some sun. Between snow, cloudy weather and rain (like now) I can say I’ve had enough. When it’s like this I tend to not only crave for the sun but also for some cheese. Continue reading

I was doing my groceries yesterday and I saw some alpine cheese which resembles Gruyere cheese but it has a stronger herbal taste. It was a good chunk and when I got home I looked among my books to find something I could do with it. In my old cookbook for students I found a Gougère recipe and decided to give it a try. This recipe follows the method used to make the “pâte à choux” but contains cheese. In my first attempt I followed the recipe but I shaped the dough into a crown. In the oven it looked great but once I removed it, it began looking like a deflated plastic swimming pool. Before else I went online to look for tips to get it right. I learned that by leaving the “Gougères” in the switched off oven for a few minutes prevents them from deflating (the recipe is in French: www.marmiton.org ). I went on and gave it a second try but instead of the crown I decided to make puffs and to follow the tip I had found: the result was much more satisfying this time.
Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

 

Rustic Gougères (Cheese Puffs) with Alpine Cheese and Chives

 

Makes about 38 puffs

Prep time : 22 min

Cook Time: 35 min

 

Ingredients:

2.5 dl water

75 g butter

4 eggs

150 g flour

150 g grated Gruyère cheese or similar kind

2 tbsp chopped chives

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Place the water, the butter and a pinch of salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from fire and add the flour all at once. Mix energetically and replace on a low heat for about 1 minute stirring to further remove moisture. Turn heat off and leave the dough aside to cool a little.

Once the dough has cooled integrate the eggs one at the time. You can do this process either using your hands or even better with an electric mixer. If the dough is falls off the spatula but is not liquid, the consistency is right.  Add the cheese, the chives and pepper and mix again.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and with the help of a couple of teaspoons make little balls the size of a large walnut. Just be careful not to place the balls too near between them.  Leave them in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cheese puffs in for 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open.

Take them out and eat them warm or cold, filled with whatever you like (vegetables, ham, chicken…) for lunch  or first course or like this, as an appetizer.