We both agreed to tuck the idea in the back of the head for our next wine tasting. When the planning for that occasion rolled around we decided that having all the snacks be cheese themed would add a nice spin to our typical tasting food free-for-all. And, that we would make cheese straws for our contribution.
“To the cloud” as the commercials go, in search of a recipe. In the first few search results popped up Cheese Straws from Smitten Kitchen. I knew of this blog through other food bloggers I read so I was sure I would use this recipe. Knowing your source to be a reliable origin for well executed recipes with great pictures always helps.
I doubled the recipe, swapped rosemary for chili flakes and used wheat flour for 1/3 of the flour. I did increase the liquid a bit based on how it came out during the work with the food processor. I used Cabot Private Stock Sharp Cheddar for the cheese. This cheese is one step down from the fresh wheel-cut sharp cheddar you can get in the farmstands all over VT where play on the weekends. I wanted a very rich, super sharp cheese to make the straws pop, and with lots of experience with the Cabot cheeses I was pretty sure it was going to work as expected!
12 ounces grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary (frozen fresh from my garden)
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
Set the oven to 350°F.
Place everything but the cream in food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs appear. Add the cream by the tablespoon and process until the dough forms a ball.
Flour a rolling surface and a rolling pin. Separate the dough into two pieces and form each into a ball. Roll the first dough ball into a rectangle that is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut 1/3 in strips along the short edge of the rectangle, making as many as can be. Carefully transfer the strips to an parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. Repeat with the second dough ball.
Bake the straws on the middle oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
These didn’t last long at the tasting. I paired them with several of the wines and found they were best with the Petit Verdot and Chateau-du-Roi (Rhone blend) from my collection. They also went well with the Rodney Strong Chardonnay brought by our friend Wayne.