… as a food blogger I often get asked if I have a favourite restaurant. It’s at that point that I begin to explain that there are two different kinds of bloggers; restaurant reviewers and recipe bloggers… of course neither are mutually exclusive and in fact even I have turned my hand to a restaurant review every now and then but I do think there is a marked difference between the two. My mission statement has always been about sharing my love of the food I cook and my recipes. Anyone can go to a restaurant but not everyone has the confidence, time and ability to cook. However I think that now we’re in the grip of a massive food revolution, both ingredients and establishments of all kinds are front and centre in everyone’s minds and of course the obsession with celebrity is fuelling our greed for information about places that people go and infamous chefs… but it’s not just people, even the humble burger has become a superstar. So I do understand why people always ask me about restaurants rather than the food I cook – although that happens too but that’s enough ranting for another post… As it happens I do have a favourite restaurant which is a street side cafe on highway one in California called Nepenthe which i’ve waxed lyrically about on many occasions and it’s as much about location as it is about the incredible bowl of french fries… plus it’s nice and cheap which is always a bonus.
cheddar and oregano puff pastry straws
I made an extraordinary lattice pie at the weekend, the recipe for which I will share with you later in the week but I was left with a surplus of pastry and it was quite wonderful, handmade ‘not-on-purpose’ puff-pastry. I tend to be very lazy with my off-cuts and usually just bin them but I knew that this was extra-special pastry so I thought i’d enhance it with a little cheese and make some very easy cheese straws which as you can imagine, lasted for about 10 seconds once they were out of the oven!
the measurements here are for enough pastry to make a lattice pie with left-overs for these cheese straws but of course you could just make a lot of cheese straws!
I have tried to recreate how I made my mistake puff pastry so the method may seem a bit odd but it worked perfectly well…
220g plain flour
100g butter – cold but not fridge cold – cut into small pieces
a pinch of salt
a little cold water
a tablespoon of dried oregano
75g strong cheddar – grated
sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub it into the flour, raising your hands high as you do to allow plenty of air to get into the flour. This rubbing process will not be easy as the butter is cold but you’re not after a fine breadcrumb, you want some large pieces of butter in there
add the oregano and salt and mix in then add a few drops of water and using one hand shaped like a claw begin to stir the flour and butter together, it should start to come together into a dough but you’ll need a dribble in a little more water for it to fully come together… I actually ended up with far too wet a dough
once the dough is formed, tip it out onto some cling film, pat it out into a flattish disk, wrap it up and pop it in the fridge for 15 mins
once cold, take it out of the fridge and, still on the cling film, roll it out to double its size, then you want to envelope-fold the dough, which means folding the top over and the bottom up to create an envelope, then roll flat, turn by 90 degrees and envelope-fold again. Wrap it back up and refrigerate for a further 30 mins, then repeat the roll fold process but this time sprinkle the grated cheddar onto the rolled out disk before folding… it should now be ready to use but a further 30 mins in the fridge won’t harm it.
to form the straws simply roll out the dough into an oblong shape and cut lengths as thin or thick as you like – I like chunky thick straws.
bake on 170C for roughly 15 mins until the straws are puffed and golden
these cheese straws are going over to the fab new Pastry Challenge hosted by Jen from Jen’s Food and Lisa from United Cakedom and they are also going over to the Credit Crunch Munch challenge hosted by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours
eat and of course, enjoy!
Gingey Bites says
These look SO good!
Karen S Booth says
I love things like this Dom, anything with cheese and pastry – delicious and a great snack! Karen
Kevin Chambers-Paston says
I love cheese and I love pastry, so I was always going to love this recipe! I enjoy making my own rough puff pastry like this too!
Mark Willis says
They look great, Dom. The perfect accompaniment to a glass of cold white wine, I would say. It always seems especially nice to get “something for nothing” too.
Adam Garratt says
You know what irks me more than anything else, when people that do not even blog start dictating to you what you should and shouldn't do. i've had it before where someone said I should stop using 'big words' when I write, and I need to do more healthy stuff. Well if you think words like ancillary and capricious are too big and you don't want to eat my pies and cakes then you can quite frankly, bugger off! So yes, I know exactly what you mean.
I used to work as a baker and one of things we were encouraged to do was try the products we had made for quality control and my favourtite thin of all was the garlic and cheese straw tasting, especially picking off the crispy bits of cheese from the tray!
these look wonderful mate and hats off to you for making your own pastry.
SavoringTime in the Kitchen says
I would love to make a big batch of these! I've never made puff pastry at home but your method sounds quite doable. They look delicious and flaky!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
I love the savory spin on these extras! My mom always used leftover crust to make “crust cookies” with a little sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. You know … back in the days when nothing was wasted. I still do the same but can't wait to try cheese straws next time. Have a wonderful weekend Dom!
Jen Price says
I love cheese straws and these wouldn't last 5 minutes once out of the oven in my kitchen. Never been brave enough to make own puff pastry yet, but now I'm running a pastry based challenge I'm going to have to learn!
Thanks for joining in with #thepastrychallenge 🙂
Lucy Parissi says
These look amazing – just so moreish and perfect for a dinner party. I make mine with leftover pastry dough – they barely last 5 minutes before being devoured!