Manchego and Serrano Puffs
We make these delicious cheese “puffs” on our foodie trips to the Catalonia region of Spain, where Manchego cheese and Serrano ham is abundant. Any firm cheese can work in these puffs from Gruyère or Swiss, to Comté or Cheddar. Serrano ham can also be difficult to find in some regions, but luckily Prosciutto ham is widely available. Actually, any ham would work, or leave the ham out all together. The dough is a bit sticky and can be a little difficult to work with, so just be patient…I guarantee it will be worth the effort.
French Gougères are probably the most familiar cheese “puffs” to everyone. They are made with a choux dough base with grated cheese folded into it at the end, usually made with Gruyère or other firm French Alpine cheeses. My recipe which is fried, while Gougères are baked, is more focused on the cheese with just a little bit of flour to hold it together, while the Gougères are more like really soft bread.
Manchego and Serrano PuffsCourse: Hors d’OeuvresCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy
4 egg whites
2 cups finely grated aged Manchego cheese
dash of cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 pound cured Serrano ham, (sub: Prosciutto or ham) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
oil for frying
- Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
- Stir in the cheese, cayenne, and flour. With floured hands, shape into walnut-sized balls. Press a ham cube into each ball and shape back into a ball.
- Deep fry at about 400 degrees until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towel and allow to cool a little bit before devouring.