Makes 3 dozen small puffs
The filling for these succulent puffs comes from the files of Pat Reppert, president of the International Herb Growers and Marketers Association. Pat often spreads it on thin squares of home-style bread and bakes them into crisp little toasts with puffy toppings.
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 large eggs at room temperature
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 tablespoon chopped chives
1. Bring the water, butter, and salt to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan. Dump the flour in all at once and stir constantly until the mixture forms a smooth paste that doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Beat in the eggs by hand, one at a time, making sure that each is completely incorporated and the batter is smooth before beating in the next. Beat in the cayenne and chives.
2. Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed, golden, and firm to the touch. Remove the pans from the oven, turn off the heat, slit the puffs half open, then return the puffs to the oven with the door left ajar to dry out a little.
3. Meanwhile, make Crab Filling (below). Place a tablespoon of filling in each puff, leaving the top slightly askew. At this point, you may bake the puffs at 350°F for 15 minutes longer or wrap and freeze them for future use.
4. To bake frozen puffs, let them stand on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
• 4 ounces cooked lump crabmeat, fresh, frozen, or canned
• 1/2 cup finely shredded mild onion
• 3/4 cup freshly grated mild parmesan cheese
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
• Generous dash cayenne pepper
1. Drain the crabmeat thoroughly, and pick out any cartilage.
2. Stir all ingredients together.
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National Herb Week Recipes