Chevre Cheese Straws with Caraway and Red Chili

Chevre-Caraway-Chili Cheese StrawsOkay. I admit to bribery. Well. Attempted bribery. I’m hoping that serving up some homemade goodies at our little downtown Helena gallery will entice folks to visit today.

I wanted to make something sweet, but having just watched the trailer for the new anti-sugar documentary, “Fed Up,” I decided I also needed to make a savory treat. We had all the ingredients around for a cheesy decadent something-or-other. I checked my Evernote “recipes notebook” and found that I had clipped Smitten Kitchen’s cheese straws recipe years ago.

Mouth watering recipe, but so much cheese!  I’m sure her cheese straws are out-of-this-world-awesome. Well, in typical Maureen-fashion, I adapted the recipe to what I had in our kitchen and added my own tweaks. I used chevre and parmesan instead of cheddar and decreased the total amount. I left out the salt, added caraway and used water instead of cream.

These are so easy I’m a convert. So is Tim, who ate at least 4 servings of these delicious crunchy snacks.

Chevre-Caraway-Chili Cheese Straws

Chevre Cheese Straws with Caraway and Red Chili

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup goat cheese (chevre)
  • 3/4 c. grated fresh parmesan or asiago cheese
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 c. flour, white or whole wheat (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 T. water (add a little at a time when you are doing the last pulsing. The chevre provides some moisture, but you may need just a wee bit more — thus the water — to make the dough ball up)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a food processor, combine the chevre, parmesan, butter, flour, caraway and chili flakes and pulse for about 20 seconds until it is crumbly. Add the water (a little at a time) and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Lightly flour your countertop or other surface and dump out the dough onto it. Press into a ball, then roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into thin strips, about 1/4 inch wide. Doesn’t matter how long they are.
  4. Place the strips on a cookie sheet (ungreased, or lined with parchment) leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the strips (they puff up)
  5. Bake the straws for about 12 minutes or until the ends are lightly brown.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack carefully.
  6. Munch. Munch. Munch. Serve hot or room temperature. If you are serving them the next day, you can lightly heat them in the oven just before serving. Crunch!

Lunch: Greek Salad and Cheese Straws

These cheese straws are a bit like crackers. I served them instead of bread or another grain, with a Greek salad for lunch. We complimented the saltiness of the crackers and tang of the salad with sweet watermelon and strawberries. Yummo!

Cooling Cheese Straws on Rack

Cheese Straws Ready to go in Oven

1+1=1 Gallery Lunch Special: Greek Salad and Cheese Straws

Old Fashioned Pecan Macaroons

Here’s the sweet treat I baked today: Old Fashioned Pecan Macaroons with unsweetened coconut and less sugar than the recipe called for. mmmm good!

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