I was talking the other day with Cookie Jill about Cheese Straws, and how they're extremely popular down south, and not-so-much, north of the Mason-Dixon line. I don't know why. I know they're good, no one else seems to get it up here! What do they know? You can't even get a beer to-go up here! If you've ever read Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite, which is about two New Orleans cooks, cheese straws are what Rickey makes when he's stressing out. The recipe I use to make these is based on the one from the Commander's Palace's cookbook, Commander's Kitchen.
1 1/4 Cups Good Quality Cheddar Cheese
3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
1/2 Stick Room Temperature Unsalted Butter, Cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 Large Egg Yolks, Beaten
1/2 tsp. Cayenne (I make these pretty spicy)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together the flour and cheese with your hands. Work the butter in with your hands. Add the egg yolk and seasonings and work in with your hands. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is a nice shiny ball. Roll this out to a 1/3 inch thickness. Cut into 2 inch strips and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden orange. Let cool.
Makes about 5 dozen. These can be stored in an airtight container.
Here is Cookie Jill's Version!