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Fontina Cheese and Chive Puff

Fontina Cheese and Chive Puff
This puff is enriched with fontina, a semihard Italian cow's milk cheese that has a mild, fruity flavor. When making the puff, be sure to use an ovenproof pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. diced fontina or Brie cheese, rind removed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
      cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 6 egg whites

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F. Lightly oil a 10 or 12-inch braiser or everyday pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer, then whisk in the cornmeal, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and the cornmeal is no longer grainy, 16 to 20 minutes. Stir in the fontina cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool, stirring occasionally until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chives and stir until smooth and blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

In another large bowl, using a whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the cornmeal mixture until smooth, then fold in the remaining whites until smooth.

Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the top is golden brown and the puff is almost double in height, 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.