Blue Cheese Pão de Queijo with Bacon

posted on: Friday, May 31, 2013

We've been getting on the kids' case about speaking too much English. We have a rule; at home we only speak Portuguese. Christian and I are not great at inforcing rules apparently because both Enzo and Maria are speaking way more English than Portuguese these days. Christian, the only one in the house who's first language is English, is the one who is the most disciplined about speaking Portuguese.  

We're your average mixed ethnicity family. We switch back and forth between two languages, we celebrate American holidays and wish we could celebrate all Brazilian holidays - for the 4 day weekends that are always coming up in Brazil. I'm not a purist, not with language, not with culture, and definitely not with food. I like mixing and experimenting and trying new variations.

Kerrygold, sent me a 3-pound wheel of their Cashel Blue cheese for me to use in a recipe.

Since cheese and crackers are my staple snack I have been eating away at this wheel like no one's business. This semi-soft cheese is creamy to perfection. I wanted to use this cheese in something besides a salad or the traditional pairing with steak or figs. Since, like I said, I'm not a purist I decided to try mixing the Kerrygold Cashel Blue with a pão de queijo recipe. 

If you've been to a Brazilian steakhouse you've probably had a pão de queijo or two. Pão de queijo literally means cheese bread and they're becoming more and more popular in the U.S because they are gluten-free, made with tapioca flour. I have a recipe that I like to make using my muffin tin. There are some great recipe out there as well like the one from The Kitchn and the one from Simply Recipes

For the blue cheese variation I experimented with an older recipe I had and modified it a bit. The chashel blue really brings the dough together. Not only does it add a mild blue cheese taste to the batter, it also makes the batter way creamy. As for the bacon, well you know... it's bacon one of the few foods you can never go wrong with.

Blue Cheese Pão de Queijo with Bacon
Yields: 5 dozen

8 slices of thick cut bacon
1 kilo (2.2-pounds) sour cassava flour or tapioca flour
1 + 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt to taste

*Preheat oven to 350

Cook the bacon until very crispy.Crumble the bacon and set aside. Reserve the bacon grease for later.

Mix the flour and 1 cup warm water. Break any large lumps with your fingers. If you've never worked wit tapioca flour before it may feel a little strange. It resembles corn starch and you will want to get the flour to feel smooth and chalky.

Measure out 1/2 cup of bacon grease. On a small saucepan heat up the bacon grease and the milk and bring to a boil. Then pour on top of the flour and water mixture.

Knead the dough until all the milk and bacon grease is well incorporated into the flour. 

Add the eggs, olive oil, Kerrygold Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese, parmesan cheese and salt and knead the dough until smooth. 

Add the crumbled bacon and fold it into the dough.

Roll little balls of dough on your hands and place on a cookie sheet 1 dozen at a time.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm 


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