Kronk’s spinach puffs from The Emperor’s New Groove are a source of great delight for him, and I must admit, I’ve always wanted to sample them myself! This isn’t my first foray into cartoon cookery as I’ve also rustled up Princess Tiana’s beignets, Homer Simpson’s doughnuts, and now it’s time to taste The Emperor’s New Groove’s spinach puffs – which according to the anxious Kronk in the film, nearly burned in the oven, yet he saved them just in time! (In my defense, it’s easy to become invested in Disney characters’ trials and tribulations!).
I watched The Emperor’s New Groove recently and adored the humor, the bright colors of Inca Peru, plus the somewhat anachronistic spinach puffs which were served to Emperor Kuzco for dinner by the loveable and dimwitted Kronk – however, Kuzco is turned into a llama before he can enjoy them!
If you would love to taste The Emperor’s New Groove’s spinach puffs then keep reading to discover my recipe!
WHEN AND WHERE IS THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE SET?
The Emperor’s New Groove is the story of a young egotistical emperor of the Incas in ancient Peru. He lives in an extravagant palace with hundreds of servants to do his bidding, dancers, and singers to celebrate his presence, and even craftsmen on hand to build him a new door if he comes to a dead-end in the corridor – you get the picture. However, on his birthday his advisor decides she’s had enough of his selfish behavior… and I won’t reveal more!
The region of Peru is vast with many different climates including jungles and coastlines. Therefore, the Incas ate a lot of varied produce.
The food of the Incas would have included maize and corn which continues to be a highly valued ingredient of the modern Americas. Other significant foods would have been grains and beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and nuts, plus root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and cassava were in abundance.
However, it’s highly unlikely that these spinach puffs made it onto the menu!
The Emperor’s New Groove spinach puffs are an out-of-era delicacy wrapped in pastry, small, buttery, and crisp, with more resemblance to French patisserie. Although, there are alleged appearances of puff pastry in Ancient Greece, so who knows!
I think it’s more likely that Disney chose a dish modern viewers would recognize rather than a snack from the period. Plus there is the added bonus that they sound delicious. I used Kronk’s spinach puffs as a springboard for my imagination and tried and tested this moreish spinach puffs recipe so I could have a tasty snack while I watched The Emperor’s New Groove!
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN MY SPINACH PUFFS RECIPE?
Apparently, a food of the Inca period was llama, but fear not, there’s no llama in these pastry bites! Instead, I have included:
- Cream cheese
- Puff pastry
All the flavors are perfectly balanced – a mixture of softly creamed spinach with garlic, onion, and dill is brightened with salty bacon and tangy feta. This filling is then bundled into the pastry, folded, and baked. Once golden and crisp, serve them as a tasty appetizer for a party or just as a substitute for popcorn.
VARIATIONS OF KRONK’S SPINACH PUFFS
These spinach puffs are so versatile and their fillings can be adapted according to your mood. Feel free to play around with ideas! Add a little this, a little that – I think Kronk would approve of creativity in the kitchen!
Here are some ideas for spinach puff fillings:
- Substitute the feta for ricotta or soft goat’s cheese for a really creamy indulgent filling
- If you’re not a fan of dill, why not try parsley or cilantro instead?
- Maybe add some pieces of chorizo instead of bacon for a hit of meaty spice
- Try some flavors from the Inca period by adding corn, sweet potato and finely chopped chili peppers
Next time I settle down to watch The Emperor’s New Groove with my family, I will take a plate of Kronk’s spinach puffs for us to devour as we enjoy the film! Try my recipe for The Emperor’s New Groove’s spinach puffs, and before you know it, you’ll no longer need popcorn!
THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE SPINACH PUFFS
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2-3 cups Spinach roughly chopped
- 4 slices Bacon
- 1 Egg
- 4 ounces Cream cheese
- 3 tbsp Dill chopped
- ½ cup Feta cheese
- 3 ounces Parmesan freshly grated
- 1 Packet puff pastry
- 1 Egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 450°F / 230°C.
- Heat a pan with some olive oil over medium-high heat and, once hot, add the chopped onion. Cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the crushed garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the roughly chopped spinach with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Fry the bacon until nicely browned. Let it cool, then chop into small bite-sized pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, add the cream cheese, and continue mixing it until well combined. Stir to combine. Season it with salt and pepper and add the chopped dill, the cooked spinach mixture, feta cheese, finely chopped bacon, and parmesan cheese.
- Flour your work surface, and using a rolling pin, lightly roll out your puff pastry to take out the creases. Cut the sheet into 3–4-inch squares and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp of the mixture to each square of puff pastry. Beat the egg yolk in a separate bowl and use that to brush two edges of the puff pastry. Crimp the egg-washed sides together. Repeat this for all of your pastries.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes. Once chilled and set, remove from the refrigerator and brush each pastry with egg wash. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven. Leave to cool and serve and enjoy!