John Martin Taylor, author of "Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking" and several other Southern works, is one of the best home cooks Tom Sietsema knows. Among the snacks he likes to serve guests as they arrive at his door: blue cheese straws, pencil-thin, with a cayenne kick and a salty edge.
Tom never throws a party without these great cocktail companions.
Servings: 36 pieces
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg yolk (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have two heavy baking sheets at hand (or stack four rimmed baking sheets).
Combine the butter, salt, blue cheese, cayenne pepper and flour in a food processor; pulse until a ball of dough forms. Add the optional egg yolk if the dough does not come together, processing until incorporated.
Lightly dust a work surface and a rolling pin with flour.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll out in a rectangle to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Re-dust the rolling pin and/or work surface as needed. Fold and roll as many times (at least six) as needed to form a tidy 6-by-9-inch rectangle.
Use a long, sharp knife to slice the rectangle of dough, creating 18 pieces (each 1/2 inch wide, about 6 inches long). Use a thin spatula to transfer them to the baking sheets, arranging them close together but not touching. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake one sheet at a time for 20 to 25 minutes or until the straws just begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Store in an airtight container.
From cookbook author John Martin Taylor.
Tested by Tom Sietsema.
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