Because Mum gives her annual recipe calendar to Cindy for her birthday, I'm not usually responsible for whipping up any of the dishes. But with Cindy pouring her energy into writing up Shu, I took responsibility for November. The dish of the month was these spinach-cheese puffs. They're possibly the least vegan thing we've made (although this 5 cheese lasagne must go close) - they've got milk, butter, eggs and two kinds of cheese in them.
They're very easy to make - melt the butter, stir the rest of the ingredients in and then divvie the mix up into little blobs and bake. The most time consuming part of the process was waiting for the frozen spinach to melt. The end results are little biscuits, with a crunchy exterior and a soft, quiche-like middle. The flavour is really dominated by the gruyere. They're pretty enjoyable - serve with some salad to cut through all the richness.
Spinach cheese puffs
300g packet of frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Squeeze the spinach dry in a sieve to get all the water out.
Heat the milk in a big saucepan and add the butter and salt. Once the butter has melted and the mixture starts to boil, kill the heat.
Stir in the flour and baking powder until the mixture all sticks together and comes off the side of the saucepan.
Add the eggs one at a time, stirring them thoroughly into the mixture. After the fourth egg the mixture should be smooth and satiny.
Stir in the cheeses and spinach.
Lightly spray oil onto two large baking trays and then form the dough into little blobs - roughly a tablespoon in each. You need to leave them a border of a couple of centimetres for baking as they'll expand a bit.
Bake for about 20 minutes - they'll start to go golden before the insides are totally cooked, so don't jump the gun.