Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trying Out Holiday Bites from Saveur

Cheese Straws
About a year ago, I decided that a Saveur subscription was non-negotiable. I needed it so that I may be inspired in the kitchen to create crazy dishes in my spare time. We're not going to discuss my lack of spare time, or the few dishes from the magazine I've actually made this year, but I did find some flavor inspirations that transferred to my regular cooking. But at the beginning of this month, I decided it was time to break the cycle, I was going to make some of their recipes for one of the parties I'd been invited to. The winners: Cheese Straws, and Pissaladières (Onion and Anchovy Tarts).

Cheese Straws
My love of cheese runs over into a love of cheese straws, but for some reason I always thought they was some complicated process in making them. For the most part, they ended up being a bit easier than the tarts. You can easily make the dough in a food processor, roll out the dough, cut, and twirl. Easy, but tedious, especially in the cut and twirl part. And my raw straws didn't take to twirling very well, at least once half a tray add made itself flat again before going into the oven. There has to be some trick I'm not aware of to prevent this! The end result though was well worth it, cheesy goodness, perfect for snacking, appetizers, and maybe placing in a few cookie tins for holiday treats! I could have eaten this whole batch if I wasn't responsible to actually bringing them somewhere.

The tarts proved a little more difficult. They involved making puff pastry "shells" to rest the onion and anchovy goodness on top. Easy enough since you can buy puff pastry as sheets-yes, I can cheat a little. I did this the night before, thinking that the morning onion-caramelizing and anchovy-slicing would go on as planned. Except my onions didn't caramelize. Instead they tenderized and then become really sweet from adding sugar. And anchovies are tiny little suckers to slice, it ended up being more like tear and hope for the best. The friends who did try it seemed to enjoy it, the few I assembled were gobbled up. Not a complete failure, but not a complete success like the cheese straws.

You can get both recipes online at Saveur.com: Cheese Straws (from Joseph E. Dabney's The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking) and Pissaladières.

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