Easy Cheese Straws with Several Variations
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, 1 at a time, roll out each pastry sheet to a 12 by 18-inch rectangle.
In a bowl, beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash.
Lay 1 pastry sheet flat on the work surface and lightly brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the cheeses and season with Essence, to taste. Top with the remaining sheet of pastry, pressing firmly to adhere, then lightly roll with the rolling pin. With a knife, trim the edges to make even.
(If desired, change the flavor of the straws by using pesto sauce instead of the egg wash, top with the cheese, and proceed as directed. Or, instead of Essence, sprinkle with cayenne or sesame seeds.)
Cut the dough crosswise into individual strips, about 1/3 to 1/2-inch wide. Twist each 3 times to make a spiral and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (Alternatively, cut into a diamond pattern and place the diamonds on the baking sheet.) Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.