These caramelised onion cheese straws are a bit like something that featured in one of Charles’ earliest recipes, but with my parents coming to visit, I thought we ought to put on a bit of a party for them in the new house. As they were going to be arriving late on Friday evening, I got a lasagne in the oven and set about making them something to nibble with a drink when they got here. With homemade food being at the heart of our home, it’s hard for us to hold back with that sort of thing. If you come for a cup of tea or coffee, expect homemade biscuits or a cake, but if you come for a drink, well, we’ll try to put on a bit of a spread. I know my Mum is a fan of cheese straws, so I figured we could add a little bit of interest to the traditional script by adding a caramelised onion chutney. These are so simple to make but are pretty impressive when you wheel them out, and although Charles ended up eating most of them, they are pretty tasty and moreish as well as filling enough to serve up with drinks.
- 1 packet ready-rolled puff pastry
- 4 tbsp caramelised onion chutney
- 100g mature cheddar
- 1 egg
- Grate the cheese onto a plate or into a bowl.
- Roll out the ready-rolled puff pastry and flatten out any creases.
- Using a spoon, spoon and spread out the onion chutney all over the surface of the pastry.
- Add around half of the grated cheese onto one half of the pastry.
- Fold the uncheesed pastry half over the cheesed half and press down lightly, matching up the edges as well as you can muster.
- Cut the pastry in half and then cut each half into four sections. Then cut the whole thing in half widthways to give you 16 sticks of sandwiched pastry.
- Lightly beat the egg with a fork and use a pastry brush to brush egg over all of the sectioned pastry.
- Now comes the tricky part! Prepare two large baking sheets or trays by lining them with greaseproof paper. Now turn each pastry stick into a twist by picking up the top right corner and twisting and folding it over the left side, and repeating the process but in the opposite direction with the bottom of each straw. Press them down a little and then egg wash each straw and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pop them in the fridge for half an hour and preheat the oven to 180c.
- Once they're nice and chilled, pop the trays in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, risen and crispy on the edges. If the cheese or caramelised onion burns in place try not to worry as long as the pastry hasn't burned.
- Allow to cool before removing from the trays, being careful as the cheese can become quite sticky, so if you try to whip them off too quickly they could break.
- Pop them into a nice bowl and serve to your guests. And enjoy the party!