Cheese Straws and Christmas Eve Dinner

Roast Beast and delicious appetizers a la Gigi. It’s hard to go wrong when you start with a menu this good:

  • Appetizers: Caviar, Smoked Salmon and Dom, Cheese Straws
  • Standing Rib Roast, horseradish cream and au jus
  • Green Beans with Garlic Croutons
  • Spinach Artichoke Casserole
  • Potatoes roasted in beefiness
  • Butter dipped yeast rolls

I can’t share the recipes because they are the intellectual property of  Gigi herself, but I can comment on the cool checkerboard appetizer and cheese straws I helped make.  Hopefully I’m not giving too much away since there was no actual cooking or mixing of ingredients. It was all just manual labor.

All in the presentation--gorgeous!

The checkerboard was made possible by the doting family members who played with the kids while I futzed with the tiny squares.   The real trick is just having a 1.5″ x1.5″ square cookie cutter for the bread and the salmon.  Butter or cream cheese to make the salmon stick; sour cream on the caviar ones and voila!  Beautiful and impressive appetizer!

Cheese Straws

Great dough for my toddler to work with, not sticky and cuts easily. He also loves pulsing the food processor.  If you use pre-shredded cheese, they come out drier–like Goldfish crackers. If you shred it yourself, they tend to look more rustic.

1 1/2 C (6 oz) shredded extra sharp Cheddar

3/4 C all purpose flour

1/4 C unsalted butter, softened, cut into 4 pieces

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tbsp half and half

1.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse in 5 second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add half and half, process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.

2. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and roll into 8×10 rectangle, 1/8″ thick.  Cut dough with pizza cutter into 1/4-1/2″ wide strips. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets

3. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until ends are slightly browned. Cool 30 minutes and break into desired lengths.

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