Adventures in Eating: Judith’s Cheese Sticks
Having been raised in Los Angeles, going to Pasadena was always a “trip”. I never realized that Pasadena was a part of the San Gabriel Mission in the San Gabriel Valley established by the Spanish priests in 1771. In 1873, the land was purchased by the California Colony of Indiana. This organization was headed by a man named Thomas Elliott. The Hoosiers really got around. Its original name, “Indiana Colony” was changed to Pasadena in 1875. It is an Indian word meaning “valley between the hills”. It became a city in 1886 and is best known today for its New Year’s Day Rose Parade. From moccasins, to Keds, and now to Nike and Reeboks, who knows where and when it all started about the “lady in tennis shoes”.
Our friends, Arthur and Judith Reeder live in Pasadena. Their home was built in 1924 and is decorated in English antiques. A charming, shingled house, done in eclectic taste, combining the graciousness of yesteryear with the casual yet practical comforts of today. They just finished a major kitchen remodeling and addition, and invited us for a celebration of the completion.
Large steamed shrimp on a tray, dabbed with 3 different sauces, greeted us, along with a bottle of Pomino, Il Benefizio (limited series), an Italian chardonnay blend. Tarragon aioli, garlic aioli, and a vinaigrette were the 3 sauces she used. Along with the shrimp, she served some “twisted” cheese sticks hot out of the oven. She said it was easy, and passed the recipe on to me. Although, I like to feature a squash recipe in October, Judith’s cheese sticks won out.
JUDITH’S CHEESE STICKS
All done in a food processor.
1 cup each, all-purpose flour, and very finely grated parmesan cheese
7 tb sour cream
4 tb butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Paprika or hot paprika
Combine flour and cheese in container whirl until well mixed. Add sour cream, then process by turning machine quickly on and off 8 times.
Add butter and whirl until a ball of dough forms against the blade. Whirl again until dough ball forms. Turn mixture out and chill for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch wide and 5 inches long. Form twists by pinching each strip in alternating directions along its length. Give each patterned strip a slight twist before setting on a well-greased baking sheet. Sprinkle twists lightly with paprika and bake for 15 to 20 min. or until nicely browned. Remove from sheet with a spatula and cool 2 minutes on an open wire rack. Serve warm. Please use fresh parmesan when making this.
P.S. Can’t forget the squash! Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a Kabocha squash like you would a pumpkin, clean out seeds. Place 1/3 cup Maple syrup, 1 Tb. butter and a dash of nutmeg in the cavity, replace lid, wrap in foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until done. Test with fork for doneness. Great with pork , especially ribs.
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