January 12, 2011 at 8:32 am , by Tom Claire
Here 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).
Prep: 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.
Baking: 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
Categories: Food, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: Appetizers, Knock-Out Appetizers; Claire Robinson; Columbia Crest Gewurztraminer | 4 Comments
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