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Soppressata Cheese Sticks

Yield MAKES 5 TO 6 DOZEN CHEESE STICKS

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sliced soppressata or other spiced Italian salami, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • 1 pound puff pastry, preferably all-butter, chilled
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. In a food processor, work the soppressata with the Pecorino, mustard and water to a fine paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl.

  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry 1/8 inch thick. Spread the soppressata paste evenly over the bottom half of the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border on the sides. Fold the top half of the dough over to cover the paste and press the edges to seal. Using a rolling pin, lightly press the top and bottom together. Slide the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and chill until firm.

  3. Roll out the pastry a scant 1/8 inch thick and cut into 3 long 6-inch wide strips. Working with 1 strip at a time and keeping the others refrigerated, trim the pastry to a neat rectangle. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with one-third of the sesame seeds. Cut the dough crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide sticks and arrange them 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until chilled.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the soppressata sticks for about 16 minutes, or until golden and crisp, shifting the pans halfway through baking. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  5. Make Ahead: The baked sticks can be kept in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Recrisp the sticks in a 350° oven.

  6. Wine Recommendation: Bobby Stuckey: 1997 was a banner year in Piedmont, Italy, and that region's Francesco Boschis Dolcetto di Dogliani Sorì San Martino bursts with fruit--a great balance to spicy cheese sticks.Madeline Triffon: Spice, salt and dairy fat--all the flavors that tame astringent tannins--call for a big red like the 1995 Nottola Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Vigna del Fattore from Tuscany.