Black Tie Parmesan StrawsMakes 20 servings, Recipe Courtesy of Heather Ramsdell: A tall glass filled with these light, crisp little olive straws are a nice detail at a cocktail gathering. You can fill cheese straws with so many flavors, but for the season, these have a swanky black stripe of pungent olive paste snazzed up with orange zest and red pepper flakes. Yum.
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (preferably all-butter, about 16 ounces)
2/3 cup pitted oil cured olives
Zest of 2 oranges
1 clove garlic
Pinch red pepper flakes
All-purpose flour for dusting
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Defrost the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 30 minutes until pliable.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet trays with nonstick mats.
- Put the oil-cured olives, orange zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes into the bowl of a food processor and process, scraping down the sides as needed, and loosening the consistency of the mixture with one teaspoon of water at a time until you have a spreadable paste.
- Dust a work surface lightly with flour and a sprinkling of the cheese. With a rolling pin, roll out the pastry dough sheet to 10 x 16 inches. (The texture of the puff pastry should be pliable, but not soft or sticky. Refrigerate for a bit if it gets too soft.) Brush one half of the olive mixture evenly all over the pastry dough sheet with a pastry brush, being careful not to tear it.
- Sprinkle the dough with half of the cheese and season with black pepper. Press gently with your hands to stick the ingredients to the dough. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, so it is 10 inches x 8 inches. Roll to flatten and sprinkle lightly with a few tablespoons more cheese. Trim edges and discard scraps. Refrigerate while you repeat with the other sheet of dough, olive paste and parmesan.
- Using a sharp knife, pizza wheel or pastry cutter, Cut 20 8-inch-long by half-inch-wide strips from the first sheet. Twist each strip to make a spiral. Lay one inch apart in two columns on a baking mat. Press the ends to the mat so they don’t unravel. Chill to set for at least 20 minutes (or freeze and bake later). Repeat with other sheet of dough. Bake the straws until cooked through and golden brown, about 20 minutes, flipping the straws and rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking so that they brown and puff evenly. Serve.