Super quick to make, these Grana Padano Easy Cheese Straws are perfect for summer parties and picnics. Eat them fresh from the oven with lashings of my fresh and chunky Tomato and Basil dip.
I’ve used one of my favourite ingredient hacks – ready-rolled puff pastry – to achieve savoury snacks that look pretty fancy but in reality are an absolute doddle to throw together. You could even make them with the kids over the holidays.
I’ve combined tangy grain mustard with the rich flavour of Grana Padano Riserva cheese (which is aged for over 20 months to develop its full flavour) to make the filling for my twisty puff pastry straws. They’re finished with a dusting of poppy seeds for added crunch and a professional looking finish.
Whether you’re off out for a picnic or throwing a party, your hungry hordes will be well impressed that you made these yourself.
How to make Grana Padano Easy Cheese Straws
The process is simple, as you can see from the pictures below. You simply unroll a sheet of puff pastry, spread it with grain mustard, scatter it with grated Grana Padano cheese and then press it into the pastry using a rolling pin. Then fold it in half, scatter the remaining cheese on top, and press it in and roll it out to make it a little bit thinner.
Next you cut the filled pastry into equally sized strips, and then holding both ends twist and twist until your pastry is sufficiently twirly and press both ends onto a prepared baking sheet so stop them from unravelling. A quick spell in the fridge, then it’s time to give them a glaze with beaten egg and a scattering of poppy seeds. Into the oven they go to puff up into golden twists of deliciousness.
The dip is ready in a matter of minutes – combining ripe and juicy chopped vine tomatoes with shredded basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil. I also put out dishes of Balsamic Vinegar and Basil infused Olive Oil as an extra flourish.
After I’d photographed this bevvy of tasty snacks, they were snaffled in a matter of minutes by my hungry house guests, who had just arrived after a three hour car journey. The Cheese Straws got a resounding thumbs up, so I’ll definitely be making them again. I’m thinking some crispy bacon would be a good addition and marry perfectly with the Grana Padano Cheese.
Grana Padano Facts
So what do you need to know about Grana Padano cheese? As usual with Italian produce, there’s a great deal of passion involved in making it which is why I’m such a big fan:
- Grana Padano is recognised as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and is the
world’s best-selling PDO cheese. Its PDO status means that it is essentially and exclusively
linked to the particular area in Northern Italy where it is produced, inseparable from the
climate, culture, and people that create it. This ensures the ultimate in quality, authenticity
and traceability, making it an ideal ingredient in meals and snacks around the globe.
- Once matured for 9 months all Grana Padano wheels are examined and if they pass the
quality tests, they are fire-branded with a mark that guarantees the quality, by the Grana
Padano Protection Consortium’s experts – without this fire-brand, the cheese cannot be
called or sold as Grana Padano.
- It takes 15 litres of naturally semi-skimmed milk (from the production area, in the Po River
Valley), to produce a kilo of Grana Padano.
- Grana Padano has great nutritional qualities and contains a high concentration of vitamins, proteins and minerals – which form a vital part of a balanced diet. It provides 600mg of calcium per portion, which is 60% of the daily recommendation for adults, 50% for children.
- Grana Padano is completely carbohydrate free and also lactose-free due to the characteristics of its production and its long ageing period, which is why it is perfectly suited for people who suffer from lactose intolerance.
Grana Padano Easy Cheese Straws Recipe
Hopefully I’ve whetted your appetite sufficiently to get you scrolling down here to the good stuff… the RECIPE!!!
These easy cheesy puff pastry twists are perfect for Summer parties and picnics
- 375 g Ready Rolled Sheet of Puff Pastry
- 75 g Grana Padano Cheese Finely Grated
- 3 tbsp Grain Mustard
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 large vine tomatoes
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Grease and line two baking sheets.
Carefully unroll the sheet of puff pastry, then spread the grain mustard over the surface in an even layer. Scatter half of the grated cheese over the top then press into the pastry using a rolling pin. Fold in half from right to left.
Scatter the remaining cheese over the top, pressing again with the rolling pin and rolling it out to make it a little thinner, making sure that all the layers are well combined.
Using a sharp knife cut the pastry into equal strip about 2-3cm wide. Take one strip at a time in your hands, twist the top and bottom until twists form along the strip - about 4-5 twists should do it. Then place on the baking sheet, pressing each end down so it doesn't unravel. Repeat until you've twisted all the strips, placing them an inch or two apart from each other on the baking sheets.
Pop both trays into the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes to firm up, then bring them out. Brush over the surface with beaten egg and then scatter with poppy seeds.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the twists have puffed up and are golden. Once they've cooled a little, transfer onto a board or platter to serve and then make the dip.
Chop the vine tomatoes into little cubes - about 1cm square and place in a bowl.
Roughly chop the basil leaves and toss in with the tomatoes with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and season to taste with sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper.
Win win win!
And it doesn’t end there. I’ve got all manner of tasty Grana Padano goodies to give away to one lucky Feeding Boys follower… I know, I know, I’m spoiling you!
The prize bundle includes:
- 400g Grana Padano cheese
- Branded lunch box
- Branded baseball cap
- Children’s activity brochure & crayons
How To Enter my Grana Padano Giveaway
Fill in the Rafflecopter widget to verify your entries Entries are via a mandatory blog comment, with bonus entries via Facebook, Twitter etc
Please read the rules below
Closing date midnight Thursday, 20th September 2018.
How Rafflecopter Works
- If there is no form hit refresh (f5) and it should appear
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TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- This giveaway is open to all readers with a postal address in the UK.
- The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post.
- I am running this competition on behalf of Grana Padano who will be organising the prize. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- They reserve the right to substitute the prize for one of a similar type/value if the prize above is not available.
- The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not reply within 48 hours another winner may be chosen.
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- Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified. No cheating please! I will check the winning entry to see that you have commented/tweeted/subscribed etc.
- There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries. Follow the instructions in the form above, but please you MUST leave a comment on the competition blog page for any of your entries to count.
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I have been commissioned by Grana Padano to create this recipe for you, run the giveaway and to share it on my blog and social media channels. All views are my own and I only endorse products that I genuinely use and love.