Cheese Straws – and other holiday appetizers

December 12, 2011  •  Appetizers,

Every year I am amazed at how busy the month of December can be. I’m not talking about decorating your home for the holidays, or even about shopping. No, my decorations went up quickly the day after Thanksgiving and it seems that in their early 20s, all my kids need for Christmas is a little cash. I’m talking about the holiday social circuit and how dizzying that can be. Keeping a few staples on hand for appetizers can really help when you have guests stopping by either on short notice or in a steady stream.Puff pastry is one of those things you should always keep in your freezer. It thaws pretty quickly and can be use for a boatload of recipes. Like Puff Pastry Spirals, Puff Pastry Pizza, or these cute little Puff Pastry Appetizers that are filled with cheese and green tomato jam. For this recipe you simply roll the dough out into a rectangle.Sprinkle the whole thing with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, then some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and some grated Gruyere cheese – or just one of the cheeses if you wish.Press everything into the dough just a tiny bit before cutting into long strips about 1 inch wide. Carefully fold each strip in half lengthwise (you’ll end up with about a 4 inch piece) and twist it to hold the cheese in. Don’t worry if it seems messy – just press it all together and make sure you don’t lose too much of the cheese while you are twisting them.Lay the strips onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.Delicious hot out of the oven, but if you want to store them let them cool before putting them in an airtight container. You may reheat them briefly if you want before serving, but it’s not necessary and if you do, make sure you don’t burn them! This is a great appetizer with a nice glass of crisp bubbly of your choice. Here are some other holiday appetizer favorites of mine:

Goat Cheese and Pistachio Crostini

Lemon Garlic and Parsley Shrimp

Truffled Grisini with Prosciutto

The ingredients for all of these can easily be kept on hand in your pantry or freezer so you’ll be ready to greet any holiday guests who make their way to your home. Enjoy the season!


4 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Jenny @ Savour the Senses says:

    I’m sure the boys up here would love these! At first I thought these were bite sized, that would be awesome!

  2. Pam says:

    M – I was browsing online for some easy and yummy holiday app ideas and these are a perfect match for what I need! So thank you (and I hope you will have some down time for a little r & r before the new year arrives!).

    • Michele says:

      Good to hear from you Pam! I’ll finish recipe testing on 12/28, so looking forward to a New Year’s Eve dinner with friends to celebrate. Happy holidays to you!

  3. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    So happy to have discovered your blog…it’s really lovely. I keep puff pastry in my freezer but forget about it for appetizers. Thanks for the inspiration.

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