The universal love of food is pretty undeniable. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the kitchen time spent making it. Sometimes the prep, cook, and clean time for a meal can become overwhelming, especially for someone juggling a busy schedule. But sometimes you just catch the entertaining bug and that’s when quick and easy recipes come in. Enter: appetizers. The right app recipe should be simple, satisfying, and time saving.
Self-taught chef and author of Taste & Technique ($28; amazon.com), Naomi Pomeroy created exactly that recipe. Her parmesan straws are equal parts delicious and easy, serving as the perfect pre-dinner finger food. Pomeroy recommends using these tasty samplers as an accompaniment to soup or a salad garnish, as well. Read on for the full recipe.
Makes about 24 straws
1 (6 by 5-inch) piece puff pastry, chilled
¼ cup ground Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon flaky finishing salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Espelette pepper (optional, but delicious)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the cold puff pastry into strips ½ inch wide and 4 to 5 inches long. (Work with the shape of the dough you have so there’s not much waste.) Twist the puff pastry strips three or four times to create a swizzle. This will also help prevent the pastry from overpuffing. Arrange the pastry twists on the prepared baking sheet and let them rest in the freezer while you prepare the topping.
3. Put the Parmigiano-Reggiano, thyme, salt, black pepper, and Espelette pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream until well blended to create an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush a light layer of egg wash on the pastry twists. Turn the pastry twists over and brush the second sides. One at a time, dip the twists in the cheese mixture and roll them around to coat evenly. Place the twists back on the baking sheet. Freeze the pastry twists until firm, about 15 minutes.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, until the twists are rich golden brown; bake for another 3 to 4 minutes, if necessary. Let the straws cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack until the cheese is set, 5 to 10 minutes. The straws can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.