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Melissa Townsend’s Pimento Cheese Straws

Young Hue Townsend was a dear friend of ours during our Belzoni years even though he was much younger. Delta friendships have no age limits. If you love someone they can be your friend regardless of age. During that time, Hue married Melissa Baker and moved her back to the Delta from Chicago. Not long after, Melissa created The Delta Magazine. I still feel a little ownership as we brainstormed many ideas at our Thursday night porch parties. Melissa is so creative. After many years of the magazine, she compiled the monthly recipes into a wonderful cookbook rightly named “The Delta Magazine Cookbook”. I’m not very good at making cheese straws so I roll the dough into balls and press them down on the cookie sheet making cheese rounds. They will great Friday addition prepared either way.

Melissa Townsend's Pimento Cheese Straws

Ingredients: 1, 10-ounce jar of diced pimentos 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 1⁄4 cups Crisco shortening 3 tablespoons ice water 3 to 4 dashes of Tabasco sauce 10 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain pimentos and pat dry with paper towels. Finely chop and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper; mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, Tabasco and pimentos. Work in grated cheese by hand until thoroughly combined. Pinch off a hand full of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball. On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1⁄4 inch thickness. With a fluted pastry cutter, trim edges and cut into strips of desired length and width. Place on an insulated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Touch each straw to test for doneness and put out straws as ready. Transfer to a flat surface, season with salt and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

FNPP Melissa Townsend's Pimento Cheese S
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