Monday, May 2, 2011

Buckwheat Cheese Sticks

I have been a busy busy bee in the kitchen lately. A lot of firsts this week: first big catering gig out of the new kitchen and first CSK day today! Tonight was Thai, and for those of you who received a meal, I hope you enjoyed it! It felt great to have it all come together for the first time (although I think I need to go pass out now).

Luckily I had a few helper bees home today to form a last minute spring roll-ing assembly line because I definitely underestimated how long it takes to roll 45 of em. Eeks! But they are just so delicious, I had to pamper my first-time customers... so it was all worth it.

In other news, I served these buckwheat cheddar straws at a 75th birthday party on Saturday, to a wonderful couple in Stowe and their extremely gracious friends. It was part of a cheese platter adorned with fresh fruit, turkish figs, maple tamari nuts and 6 extravagant wedges of cheese. A nice way to start or end a meal if you ask me.

The recipe started from Heidi Swanson's, but morphed into a gluten-free version with rosemary instead of thyme. I did try it her way (with WW pastry flour) and decided I liked the gluten-free version better, as it has a complex grainy flavor that added to the rustic appeal. My next project will be to try a dairy-free version, with olive oil instead of butter... let me know if anyone tries it first!

These cheese sticks keep well for several days in an airtight container, and the dough can be made the day before they bake, if you are planning ahead. Just keep them in the fridge instead of freezer.

Buckwheat Cheese Sticks
Makes about 30

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour 
1/2 cup Teff flour
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup cheddar, grated
1/2 cup ice cold water

In a food processor combine the flours, salt, rosemary and butter and pulse until you have a sandy texture. Add grated cheddar and pulse several more times. With blade running, add the ice water gradually until your dough comes together to form a ball. Remove dough from food processor, form into two flattened balls, place in an airtight container and place in the freezer for one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Working with one ball at a time, remove dough from freezer and roll out on a floured surface, using a rolling pin, to about 1/4 inch thick. Slice into long strips about 1/2 inch thick using a sharp knife. Remove a strip and working the entire length of the dough, gently pinch the sides in. This will make it easier to roll as you create your round stick. Gently roll dough to about 1/4 thick, cut in half if ridiculously long, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips, and second ball of dough. Give each stick enough wiggle room so that it won't attach itself to its neighbor. 

Bake for 8 minutes, flip, and continue baking for an additional two, or until golden brown. Cool, and enjoy!

Relax. Eat Well.

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