So, by now, your shopping should be nearly done, and attention is turning to what to cook for the Big Day. Homemade nibbles are perfect for whiling away the hours before Christmas lunch so here’s a dish for you to try, easy cheesy nutmeg puffs. This recipe uses Grana Padano, a delicious semi-aged hard Italian cheese. It’s subtler in flavour than Parmigiano (and we think nicer), and less nutty and salty. And, fact fans, it’s one of the world's first hard cheeses, created nearly 900 years ago by cistercian monks. Who knew?! Find it at most major supermarkets including Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
Grana Padano Cheese and Nutmeg Cheese Puffs
Makes 100 puffs
200g Unsalted butter
120g Grated Grana Padano, aged for 20 Months
Sunflower Oil (If you are using a deep fryer refer to instruction manual to determine amount needed)
1) Add the milk, butter, and salt into a pan.
2) Bring to boil until the butter is dissolved.
3) Add flour and stir using a wooden spoon on a low heat until mixture doesn’t stick on the bottom of the pan.
4) Add the Grana Padano and stir for one more minute. Remove from heat.
5) Put the mixture into a mixing bowl and add the eggs (one by one) until the mixture is nice and smooth. Add black pepper and nutmeg to taste.
6) Let the mixture cool and form the dough into small round parcels.
7) Fry the parcels in hot sunflower oil (160/165°C) until they become golden in colour.
8) Dust with Grana Padano Cheese and serve.