Feta cheese straws with Turkish chilli

Makes 30–40

A twist on the ever-popular cheese straw, these use sharp, salty feta and Turkish red chilli flakes, which give them an addictive spicy kick. Serve before dinner with a glass of chilled Fino sherry! They are best eaten on the day you bake them, but the dough freezes well for up to a month.

150 g (5 . oz) plain (all-purpose)

flour, plus extra for dusting

200 g (7 oz) feta, chilled and

chopped

60 g (2 1/2 oz) butter, chilled and

chopped, plus extra for greasing

. teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Turkish red chilli flakes

1 tablespoon creme fraiche (or sour

cream), chilled

Combine all the ingredients, except for the creme fraiche, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly, 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the creme fraiche and process for 10–15 seconds, or until the mixture starts to clump together and form a ball.

 

Tip onto a floured work surface. Divide the mixture in half and shape into rounds. Wrap each piece in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and lightly grease a baking tray.

 

Use a floured rolling pin to roll out a portion of the dough to as even a rectangle as you can manage. It should be about 1/2 cm (1/4 in) thick

and up to 25 cm (10 in) long. With a very sharp knife, cut into long strips, around 1 cm (1/2 in) wide – but a little randomness in both length and shape is good.

Lift the strips carefully onto the prepared tray (you may have to bake them in batches) and bake for around 15 minutes until a deep golden brown. Do make sure you don’t undercook them, or they will

be softish, instead of crisp and crunchy. Cool on the tray for a few moments, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. They are at their very best just slightly warm but, in any event, should ideally be

eaten on the day you make them.

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