Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cheese Straws

I love the suspense of waiting for the Wednesday paper, knowing I’ll have to cook one of the recipes. Will it be something I cant manage, like a pig roast? Will it be something with crazy ingredients, like live eels? Last week was Quinoa (keen-wah) – I didn’t even know what that was until last Wednesday morning!

And the keen-wah was lovely (albeit oniony) but I just cant tell you how happy I was to open the paper this morning and see CHEESE STRAWS!

Here’s the recipe from today’s NY Times

1/2 lb grated Cheddar
1/3 lb grated Parmesan
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of cayenne (I used far more, probably ¼ to ½ tsp)
1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Ice water
Coarse salt.

As instructed, I added the flour and cayenne into the food processor and pulsed to blend. Every time I pulsed, little puffs of flour shot out the sides onto me, the countertop, and the floor. I added the butter chunks and pulsed again. So far, so good. Then, I added the cheese. How big is Mark Bittman’s food processor anyway??



I pulsed to mix, and ended up with cheesy powder!



The recipe says to “turn out on counter and knead by hand, adding a few drops of ice water if necessary.” I double checked the recipe. Perhaps I had missed the part where you were supposed to add some liquidy something. Nope. I turned out (into a bowl) and tried a little kneading. Powdery bits flew around. I added a few drops of ice water. Nothing. Two tablespoons of ice water. Nothing. Two more. Nothing. Four more. A little stickage. The rest of the bowl of ice water. Eureka! I squished the dough together and plopped it out onto the board.



I stuck it all back together to form a cheesy blob.



At this point, I got frustrated. I wrapped the dough in saran wrap and had a glass of wine. After my soothing beverage, I rolled (smooshed) out the dough, cut it into strips, laid them on a cookie sheet, and salted them generously. I baked at 450 for 7 minues and, despite how bleak things looked two or three photos ago, they turned out to be extremely tasty.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Wow, those sound and look amazingly good! Smart move to stop for a wine break. Brings back the sanity!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

Wow, those look great! Good job girlfriend!
Happy Thanksgiving, hope you're celebrating with friends and family. I celebrated yesterday (tear tear) because I had to work today.

2:10 PM  

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