Here’s a simple twist on the recipe for crab puffs I posted a while back to accomodate those heathens who dislike crab. There were more of them out there then I originally realized – my mother and father being two of them – so out with the crustacea and in with a hot and zesty one-two punch of prosciutto and serrano pepper that’ll keep these babies flying into your mouth faster than you can keep count. And being as light and mouth-watering as they are, you won’t want to keep count.
Serrano is Spanish for “from the mountains.” The peppers were reportedly first cultivated in the mountain regions of Puebla and Hidalgo, Mexico. They are generally the hottest peppers commonly found in U.S. grocery stores, and are 5 to 10 times hotter than jalapenos. Their thin skin and meatiness makes pre-prep nearly non-existent. I simply mince a few up and toss them into everything – tacos, tuna salads, ground beef, chicken, sandwiches, eggs and pizza toppings. They’re bountiful and inexpensive, but if you’re not a fan of chile pepper heat, just omit them from the recipe. The prosciutto itself brings more than enough flavor to satisfy just about anyone.
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 3/4 finely chopped prosciutto or fully cooked ham
- 2 serrano peppers, minced
- 1/4 cup minced chives
In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and pepper to a boil. Add in the flour ALL AT ONCE and CONTINUE TO STIR until it begins to come together into a sticky substance with a “Play-Doh” consistency. Remove from the heat and let stand for about five minutes
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Stir in the prosciutto, serrano peppers and chives. Mix thoroughly.
Lay out on greased baking sheets in heaping teaspoons. Cook for approximately 19-22 minutes, but check frequently, and once they turn golden brown, remove them. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers and re-heat at 350 for about 10 minutes (though they go down almost as well cold, trust me).