Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cheese Straws a la Westinghouse

This is from a little mid-30's volume, modestly titled "Your Westinghouse Dual-Automatic Flavor Zone Electric Range" and containing some of the most luscious food illustrations I have ever seen. There's a picture of a pot roast on page 18 that almost makes me want to chew on the paper.

The salad is a fairly typical bridge-luncheon mix of shredded cabbage, olives and whipped cream that I think I'll save for a day when I feel unkind. The cheese straw recipe (although I haven't tried it) doesn't look half bad.

Cheese Straws

2 cups pastry flour (sifted before measuring)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup grated American cheese
cold water

"Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add shortening and grated cheese, work in flour using two knives, a for or dough blender until the particles of fat and cheese are the size of peas. Add slowly, cold water, just enough to make a stiff dough. Chill the pastry before rolling if there is time. Roll and cut in strips 1/2 inch wide and 3 1/2 inches long."

(edited to add: When you look at this recipe, it is basically piecrust with cheese added. I wonder how it would taste as the crust for a savory pie?)


GDad said...

Is there such a thing as American cheese that doesn't come in individually wrapped slices? I've never seen a chunk big enough to grate.

Shay said...

I've never seen a chunk that wasn't too soft to grate. "American cheese" is an ingredient you find in recipes from the first half of the 20th century, and I am guessing they mean something similar to Colby. Is there a food historian in the house?

Sharon said...

Any recipe that calls for American cheese I use cheddar cheese. Pie crust doesn't call for baking powder so the cheese sticks would be a different texture thatn pie crust.

Laura said...

What a gorgeous picture - that must be one beautiful book. Though the salad does look like it has claws -

Bridge lunches always make me think of Lucy and Ethel. Actually we watched one toniht where they were having a bridge party, and the ladies just got sandwiches. I think cheese straws would be excellent. I might learn to play bridge with the promise of cheese straws!

Someone tried to teach me in college, and gave up.

Shay said...

It's not just the food...I love the detail on the vase and the delicate edges on the placemat.