The name may sound fancy (c’mon, cheese puffs sounds highfalutin to me) however they are simple to make and can be created in many variations. I first had a similar creation, made with fake crab meat, 20 years ago.
One of the best parts is that you can make them well in advance and store them in the freezer for up to a month before using. Great when you there are unexpected guests or you are prepping for a big party.
Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Puffs
Servings: 12-18 (72 pieces total)
Prep time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour in the freezer
Total time: 25 minutes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers, skins and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped black olives
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (optional)
- 1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 6 English muffins, split in half
- Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl until fully combined.
- Place about 2 Tbsp. of mixture on each English muffin half. Spead into an even layer over the muffin.
- Cut each muffin into 6 wedges. Place wedges on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to arrange the oven rack 4-5″ from the broiler. Preheat broiler (use 450°F if you need to enter a temp like I do) for 5 minutes. Transfer half the cheese puff wedges to a separate baking sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes, rotating sheet once for even browning. Serve immediately.
I used jarred roasted red peppers for this as I had them on hand. I removed 2 from the jar and placed them on paper towels to dry them a bit. You certainly can use home-prepared roasted red peppers if you have the time and inclination.
If you want to store these rather than bake them off right away then transfer the frozen wedges to a zip top bag after the hour freeze in step 3. They’ll keep for a month (or longer).
While these work test with an hour in the freezer you can bake them right after making. They’ll cook up in 1-2 minutes so keep an eye on them lest they burn.