I blinked and then it was February. We were recently discussing our upcoming move to North Carolina and how we’ll have to learn about basketball to fit in – we come from Friday night football country – and then we realized, oh, it’s the super bowl this weekend. Which led to us thinking about food, specifically game-day foods, and then beer, and then things that pair with beer, and then our thoughts turned back to the south and southern food, and then we found ourselves at cheese straws. Pimento cheese cheese straws.
Game-day or not, beer or not, pimento cheese straws are a welcome snack in our house. A bit like a cheez-it, but more refined somehow. The pimentos – and additional chile flakes if you’d like – add a much need bit of pep. A fluted pastry cutter adds a bit of southern drama, but you can easily make do with a sharp knife or a pizza wheel.
pimento cheese straws
makes about 4 dozen
1/2 cup pimentos, patted dry and finely diced
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder
2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
salt for sprinkling
In a large bowl toss together the pimentos, flour, salt, and mustard powder. Set aside.
To the bowl of a food processor add the cheese and butter and blend until almost perfectly smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture until the two are fully incorporated and resembles orange playdough – fun! Form dough into a rough flat rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour.
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sandwich the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a fluted pastry cutter (with the crinkly edges) or a pizza wheel, cut the rectangle into long thin straws, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch wide. Carefully transfer the straws to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, place in the middle of the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crackers are set and the bottoms have just begun to brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve with a crisp beer, or not.
Happy snacking, y’all.