Naxian Cheese Coins

This is a very good receipt I got from a cousin who lives in Naxos. They are the Naxian equivalent of cheese straws and are made with a local cheese called kefalo tiri. Maybe you could get it at a Greek delicatessen, but I do not have one so I use Parmesan instead. The main thing is that it should be a very hard cheese, so perhaps any old bits of Cheddar would do as long as it is grated very finely.

Ingredients

  • 115 g/4 oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • 115 g/4 oz butter, or margarine if preferred
  • 115 g/4 oz plain flour
  • a large pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp each paprika, celery salt and dry mustard
  • a large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

Keep the butter or margarine in the freezer at the ready. Sift the flour, salt and all the dry spices into a bowl. Add the cheese. Grate the frozen butter on the coarsest side of your grater and mix into the flour with a knife or fingertips until crumb-like. Beat the egg yolk and combine with the mixture to bind it. Knead everything together until pliable. Divide into three pieces. Roll each piece in the palms of your hands to form a sausage with the diameter of a large coin. Place the sausage shapes on a board and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Slice into thinnish discs. Arrange on oven trays and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 10-15 minutes, swapping the tray positions at half time. The coins should be crisp and golden brown, and are perfectly splendid with a good cocktail.

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