We love cheese – we eat lots of it and lots of different types. But there often seems to be a little dried out husk in the fridge or even several. Parmesan and Pecorino are fine, I save the rinds and add them to soups and stews to give extra flavour. But there are so many other delicious cheeses in my life and in my fridge.
I originally made these cheese straws for No Plastic July but even as I was making them I realised they were a great way to use up those little hard ends of cheese.
Recipe is here but I have tweaked it as usual.
(Recipe says it makes 36 straws. I got a lot more out of the recipe!)
375g/13oz plain flour
225g/8oz butter, diced
150g/5½oz assorted grated hard cheese (cheddar, double gloucester, wensleydale, cheshire etc.)
50g/1¾oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
pinch English Mustard powder
small pinch cayenne pepper/paprika
2 free-range eggs, yolks only (beaten)
- Ice cold water 4-5 tablespoons.
This is essentially a pastry recipe and I am generally very bad at making pastry on account of having hot hands. So I make all mine in a food processor and the results are always lovely.
Sift the flour and put in the food processor with the butter. Whizz until it resembles bread crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor then rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs. If you run the mixture through your (clean) fingers for a bit you should be able to feel if the butter is evenly distributed. Add all the other ingredients except the water either to the food processor for a final blitz or just stir into the mixture.
Then add the ice cold water a little bit at a time stirring/blitzing until it comes together in a ball.
Put the ball in a bowl with a plate on top and put it in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface until it is the thickness of a £2 coin (maybe 1/4 inch if you are not British). Then cut into strips the desired length and width of your cheese straw and place on a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper on it.
Brush a little milk on the tops of the straws and then bake for 10-15 mins until they are golden brown on top.
I apologise about the eggs yolks only instruction – I should definitely do a Use it or Lose it Egg Whites edition soon. Throwing away eggs whites is a guilty secret of mine, I know I could make meringues but do far I haven’t.