Homemade Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Easy Peasy Cheese Straws – this recipe contains no peas!

WARNING THIS IS A RECIPE FOR SERIOUSLY ADDICTIVE CHEESY NIBBLES

This is a very simple recipe to produce mouth-watering, addictive bar snacks or party nibbles, puff pastry Cheese Straws. Unlike American cheese straws when a flavoured cheese pastry is piped on to baking trays, these straws are made with puff pastry. Puff pastry, as I posted previously, is one of those items where I think the shop bought item is pretty damn good and you are hard pressed to make such a uniform pastry at home. That is what makes this Cheese Straws recipe really easy peasy, they are great for parties or as a garnish for French Onion soup instead of the classic toasted croute, but be warned make a seriously generous amount as you will eat loads of these.

Homemade Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese Straws

Puff Pastry Cheese Straws     makes 30 to 40

350 gr frozen Puff Pastry

60 gr very finely grated Cheddar Cheese

30 gr very finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Smoked Paprika

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 fresh free-range Egg

30 ml  fresh Milk

Preheat your oven to 375 F / 190 C / Gas mark 5. On a clean floured worktop roll out your pastry into a rectangle about one eighth on an inch thick. Whisk the egg and milk together and brush over half the pastry. Cover with three quarters of the Cheddar and Parmesan and a generous sprinkle of paprika and black pepper. Fold over the other half of the pastry and roll out again until just over half a centimeter of an inch thick.

Cheese Straws 2

Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the pastry into thin strips about the width of a finger. Working quickly place the strips on to a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Then hold a straw at each end gently twist three or four times and replace onto the tray.

Cheese Straws 3

Repeat until all the straws are twisted. Brush with the remaining egg wash and carefully cover with remaining grated cheese. Sprinkle with more paprika and a little salt. Place in oven and bake until the straws are puffed up, light golden brown in colour and crispy.

You can vary the recipe by replacing the Cheddar with Gouda or Gruyère and finishing the straws before you bake them with any of the following; freshly cracked black pepper, sesame, poppy and fennel seeds, smoked sea salt ( this is delicious ), freshly chopped thyme or rosemary and finally if you like heat cayenne pepper or chilli pepper flakes.


Preparing Tartiflette

Tartiflette

So, it’s the New Year, the gales are blowing, and rain is lashing down and you are wanting something substantial after partying out 2017.  Tartiflette is a truly indulgent dish, a hearty, rich, starchy treat for your taste buds, traditionally served after a strenuous morning on the ski slopes — or at least a brisk winter’s morning walk.  We do not get the opportunity to ski very much on Jersey and the last snow created travel chaos. My Tartiflette recipe is a memory of times spent on the slopes and ideal if you have been brave enough to start the New Year blowing out the cobwebs on a preamble along the cliff tops and building up a very hearty appetite.

Preparing Tartiflette

Making Tartiflette

When making Tartiflette it is important to use the right cheese, usually a ripe Reblochon, which you can find in a good deli. It is a rind washed cheese with a soft centre and light bloom of fine white mould from cellar ageing, traditionally produced in the French Alps. The richness of the cheese and its very name derives from the tradition of the farmers withholding a little milk from their landlords by not milking the herd fully. The withheld milk was creamier resulting in a superior cheese. The cows were milked twice, and the name Reblochon literally translates as ‘twice pinched udder’.

Tartiflette     serves 8

3 kg medium-sized Red Potatoes, such as Desirée, thoroughly washed

2 large White Onions, peeled and finely diced

12 thick rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon, diced

200 gr Button Mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced ( optional )

2 large Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced ( optional )

50 gr Butter

1 Garlic clove, peeled and cut in half

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

1 ripe Reblochon Cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F/ Gas Mark 5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the onion, bacon, and carrots in the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat, they should soften but not brown. Drain the potatoes and as soon as they are cool enough to handle peel them — the quicker the better and slice thickly.

Take an ovenproof earthenware dish and rub it well with the halves of garlic. Layer half the sliced potatoes across the base, season, then scatter over the onion, bacon, carrots and the mushrooms if included. Add the remaining potatoes and more seasoning. Place the whole Reblochon on top in thick slices. Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4 for a further twenty to twenty-five minutes. The Reblochon should melt within its skin and the melted cheese drip down while the potatoes crisp.

Allergens in this recipe are;

     Milk

Please see the Allergens Page