Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rosemary Cheese Straws

A few months ago Margot and I were watching an episode of Drink Up on Cooking Channel and saw a segment where one of the guest chefs made cheese straws to pair with a featured beverage. We remember the cheese straws, but can’t recall what type of beverage the show profiled in that episode. Oh well, we remember the important part!

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.

( How can you go wrong with a big pile of shredded cheese? )

“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!

Rosemary Cheese Straws

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.

( Golden brown and with a super cheesy aroma! )

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.

( And now for your close-up. )

I would definitely make these again and would vary the herb/seasoning to use them in different ways. You could definitely add more rosemary to this recipe. Flavors are subject to individual preference and the I amount I used definitely suited a range of tastes. I can't wait to try the chili flake version and can also envision using Indian spices, sage, and chipotle for other interesting variations.




Lavender Blue Wines said...

These look great, can't wait to try out the recipe!

Brian Samuels Photography said...

I ate these and I can honestly say that they were fantastic. So glad you posted the recipe, Jason!

Bren said...

oh my gosh, i keep hearing about homemade ones and it's driving me crazy. i've never made any. i love the 2nd shot. so appealing!

Nice to meet your blog!


Anonymous said...

Saving this one. Love the pile of cheese!

Nancy said...

They do look so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it's going to be one to try very soon.

Jacquelyn said...

Delicious! I can't wait to try some variations like you suggested. I think these would go over very, very well in my house. Thanks for the Cabot mention!