Makes about 30.
Make two batches; these cheese straws disappear quickly. From "The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook."
11/2c. (about 6 oz.) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tbsp. (1/2stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4c. flour, plus more for dusting
1/2tsp. kosher salt
1/2tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. half-and-half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that's1/8inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips,1/4to1/3inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving at least1/4inch between them. The dough will sag and may break occasionally in the transfer, but don't be concerned -- just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.
Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for 2 days.
WINTER SQUASH CASSEROLE
Serves 8 to 10.
From "The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook."