I needed an appetizer to bring to the holiday party I went to last night and I decided to make Cheese Straws which has been on my list of recipes to try. This recipe is in the first Barefoot Contessa cookbook I got as a gift which was Barefoot in Paris. It is the very first food recipe in the book (the first three are cocktail recipes) and I was waiting for just the right occasion. I just knew these would be good since they start with puff pastry and are topped with a combination of Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. They lived up to my every expectation and they were easy to make.
Cheese Straws (22-24 straws)
Adapted from Barefoot in Paris
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
1 large egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it's 10 x 12 inches. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the surface of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and some pepper. With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11 or 12 strips. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don't overbake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature.
These will firm up a little more as they cool, so don't be concerned if they seem a little limp coming out of the oven.