Liza Hamm
May 21, 2012 12:00 PM

Sure he loves to travel the globe, tasting strange fare like fermented shark and fried bats, but the minute Andrew Zimmern returns home to Edina, Minn., the Bizarre Foods host craves more traditional meals. “I look forward to my wife’s roast chicken and her tater-tot dish,” he says. “They’re amazing.” Of course, his house is still filled with plenty of exotic foods. Zimmern, 50, brings delicacies like Chinese chili-bean paste and hot Szechuan peppercorns home from his trips to share with his wife, Rishia, 38, and son Noah, 7. “Noah eats everything that we eat,” says Zimmern. “It’s fun to show him different foods.” In fact one of the chef’s primary goals in his home kitchen is to educate and entertain Noah. “Kitchens are a wonderful place to talk math, science and nutrition with children,” he says. Lately dad and son have developed an after-school routine featuring a Popsicle maker. “My wife said we couldn’t buy any more fruit because we were wasting too much of it,” says Zimmern. “Now we whip up pineapple, cilantro, mint and red chili Popsicles.” The solution makes Zimmern smile. “Nothing is more important than the health and wellness of my family,” he says.

Andrew’s Cheese Puffs


Makes 30 to 32

1½ cups water

1½ sticks unsalted butter

1½ cups flour

6 eggs

6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned

6 oz. fontina cheese, grated

2 tbsp. finely minced chives

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. milk for egg wash

1. Preheat oven to 425. Bring water and butter to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and add flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball. Continue beating for 2 minutes. Put dough in a large bowl.

2. With an electric mixer at high speed, beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in 1 cup prosciutto, ¾ cup cheese and chives.

3. Drop 8 large spoonfuls of dough into each of 4 buttered 9-in. round cake pans. Brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining prosciutto and cheese. Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.

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