Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Puff Pastry Cheese Straws & Sweet-Savory Dipping Sauce

Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

1 pkg Puff Pastry (two sheets)
1/2 c Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Sweet-Savory Sauce
2 c sugar
1 c water
1 c red wine
1 t oregano
1/2 t rosemary
1 t smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare two baking sheets with a layer of  aluminum foil covered by parchment paper.

Thaw puff pastry per package instructions. Separate sheets. Coat counter or table top with parmesan cheese and unfold one sheet of pastry on it. Lightly cover the top of the pastry sheet with more parmesan cheese. Roll out to about 1/8" thickness. With a pizza wheel or long knife, slice the pastry into 1/2" wide strips. Twist each strip 6-8 times, fold in half and place on a baking sheet leaving about 1/2" between each strip.

Bake each sheet for 10-12 minutes until puffed and the cheese is browned. Remove from oven and cool.

In a large saucepan, put sugar in the pan over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts completely.  Continue heating to caramelize the sugar to a mahogany brown color. Just when the first puffs of smoke start, remove from heat and CAREFULLY add 1/2 c water. THIS WILL BOIL AND SPLATTER THE HOT SUGAR. BE VERY CAREFUL! When you can safely begin whisking again, stir all of the water into the sugar.  Put the pan back on the stove to heat, whisking constantly.  When the mixture returns to a simmer, add the red wine and spices.  Simmer to reduce slightly for 20 minutes or so.

Serve both the pastries and sauce together. To serve, put a couple Cheese Straws on a small plate and drizzle sauce over them.

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