Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Long Time

It's been a long time, I know. I've been busy with finals, graduating, and dragging all of my stuff back home in preparation for my move to the Czech Republic. So here's a a short post with an elegant, celebratory recipe.

Spicy Cumin Cheese Straws
Adapted from Epicurious

4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/2 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 sticks butter
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
coarse sea salt to taste

In a small bowl toss together cheese, ground cumin, paprika, and cayenne.

Separate your phyllo dough into individual sheets. Brush one sheet with butter all the way to the edges. Smooth a second sheet of phyllo on top of it. Continue until you have used half of your phyllo sheets. Sprinkle the cheese and spices onto the dough, leaving a one-inch strip along the top and bottom. Press another phyllo sheet on top, making sure to seal the edges with the butter so your straws don't fall apart. Continue layering the phyllo sheets until you run out. Brush the top sheet with butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

With a pastry wheel or sharp knife cut pastry into strips about 7 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Twist strips and arrange on baking sheets, pressing ends onto sheet to keep strips twisted.

Preheat oven to 350°F. and grease 2 baking sheets.

Arrange half of cheese straws about 1 inch apart on 1 baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Bake remaining cheese straws in same manner.

Serve cheese straws warm at room temperature.