I am sure there are very few of us who really feel like talking about hors d’oeuvres after the last two days of feasting BUT we are now on the countdown for New Year’s Eve and the cooking must continue!
To ease us gently back into the water I thought I would share a recipe that is so simple that it is hardly a recipe at all. If you have some puff pastry frozen in your freezer, a wedge of parmesan cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper then you have everything you need to produce a tray of these addictive straws. If you happen to have some fresh thyme leaves or rosemary then all the better.
When I make puff pastry I always use the recipe from Baking with Julia written by Dorie Greenspan. This is a great, straightforward recipe although it does require a bit of patience and somewhat of a time commitment. I salute anyone who has the time and makes the effort to produce their own puff pastry during this crazy season. Me, I head down to the Gourmet Warehouse where they have two brands of puff that only contain ingredients that I can pronounce. Is this puff as good as homemade? Honestly, no. But it is pretty darn good and there are just too many delicious things that can be made with store bought pastry to discount its valued place in the kitchen.
Both kids and grownups love these so whip up a batch (or two!), pile them high on a platter and watch them disappear.
If you happen to have a teaspoon or so of minced thyme or rosemary leaves feel free to sprinkle them on top of the cheese before baking.
400 g (.9 lb) sheet of frozen puff pastry defrosted for a few hours in the fridge
Flour for rolling out the puff
1 large egg
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 ºF (204 ºC). Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough until it is 10 x 12 inches (25 cm x 30 cm). Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush over the surface of the pastry.
Sprinkle the pastry surface with the grated parmesan and gently press into the puff pastry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a pizza cutter cut the pastry into 24 strips.
Take each strip and gently twist and then lay on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the straws are puffed and browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve.
Makes approximately 24 straws.