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.


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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