Claire Robinson’s Spicy Pecan & Parmesan Cheese Straws

January 12, 2011 at 8:32 am , by

IMG_3435Here is a super-simple tasty appetizer sure to please just about everyone—these cheese straws are tasty and so odiferous that guests will follow their noses to the platter you serve them on. My wife, Lindsay, and I would rate the difficulty level of prepping this recipe as “beginner.” (The recipe is from “Super-Simple Appetizers” in LHJ‘s December 2010/January 2011 issue.) After all, how could you go wrong with one of Claire Robinson’s recipes? They are classic. All you really need apart from the ingredients and a 400°F oven are a clean work surface, a baking sheet with parchment and a rolling pin (see photos below). And if you can lay your hands on a tapered French rolling pin, so much the better, as it will give you greater control of the dough as you roll it out. This holds for any dough you roll, from bread dough for baguettes to piecrust for Mom’s Very Best and Tastiest Apple Pie (the one that has shredded Cheddar cheese incorporated into the dough and a tablespoon of Calvados added to the filling 10 minutes before retrieving the pie from the oven).

IMG_3391Prep: Lindsay whipped up all of the ingredients except the dough in her mini food processor ahead of time. We borrowed the smoked paprika from the LHJ test kitchen since we had never had need of it. (BTW: Khalil Hymore, LHJ’s assistant food editor, points out that this spice can really punch up other foods if you use it with discretion; a little sprinkled on roast beef can subtly enhance its fresh-roasted flavors. Lindsay and I thought that the smoked paprika was redolent of Adobo.) Rolling out the dough per the recipe proved a proverbial cinch, as did transfer to the oven.

IMG_3458Baking: Lindsay felt that the cheese straws merited a couple of minutes beyond the 20 called for in the recipe since they had not turned specifically golden brown enough to suit her taste. In terms of keeping, even letting them stay in the oven a few minutes longer might not have been a bad idea, but you will probably not have to worry about that, since these tasty appetizers will move—fast.

Wine pairing: Spice meets spice here (if you can afford to serve a wine especially picked for an appetizer): Try an inexpensive gewurztraminer like one from Columbia Crest—the 2007 costs just $8 and will seem like a $20 bottle of wine. — Tom & Lindsay Claire

4 Responses to “Claire Robinson’s Spicy Pecan & Parmesan Cheese Straws”

  1. They look yummy. Wish youi could send some over for my cocktail party on Friday!

  2. Looks great. Can’t wait to try some!

  3. Thank you. Linda. Please share what you discover when making these cheese straws. BTW: They keep pretty well in a plastic container and also taste good cold—though they are better I think served warm from the oven. Also: Please share which beverage you serve them with—just for curiosity’s sake. I really think they pair superbly with the Columbia Crest Gewurztraminer (but that’s because that wine is such a superb buy); they would probably go well with any other gewurz too. Thanks, ciao, Tom

  4. I — the same opinion.

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