So, this is a food that might be familiar to anyone who’s ever eaten at a Brazillian steakhouse: they’re those little rolls that are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and so addictive you sometimes almost forget about the neverending waves of meat that are the reason you go to the steakhouse in the first place. It’s called Pao de Queijo, and it’s actually really easy to make, with only one challenging ingredient, and awesome.
Why make this for holidays, you might ask? Or maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway. Every year, everyone makes a big deal out of popovers. I had never encountered such an animal before (which I attribute to my not-terribly-white-American upbringing) and upon looking up a few recipes, they seemed kinda plain, and boring. They’re basically Yorkshire pudding. Pao de queijo, by contrast, is amazing, and has impossibly chewy innards, owing to the cheese, and is otherwise very similar in composition. It’s also gluten-free, if that matters for anyone out there. Without further ado, you’ll want:
- 1 1/2 cups Tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup cheese, grated various (I’ve enjoyed using a mix of cheddar and cotijo. In the absence of cotijo, I’ve substituted parmegian. But any hard cheese will work, if in a slightly different way. Also, I usually cheat and add a bit more cheese)
- 2/3-3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- other spices (garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the like) to taste
- Preheat oven at 400
- Put ingredients in blender, pulse until smothe
- Pour batter into mini-muffin tin
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops brown
- Let cool
If done properly, it will look something like this:
BOOM. Deliciousness incarnate. They are incredibly dangerous, as you can easily go from taste-testing them before serving to eating the whole goddamn pan. Fortunately, there’s enough batter for at least 1 1/2 pans’ worth of these little devils.