“Mom I’m hungry”. I used to say this relentlessly when I was a kid. I don’t know how my mom put up with it. Truth is that there was always, ALWAYS, amazing food in our house. I am not sure why I didn’t realise it then. I used to groan, open the kitchen door 20 times and feeling defeated go open up the pantry door and eat sticks of raw pasta. Sadly, I am not joking.
My friends loved coming to our house. Homemade Cypriot sweets and pastries in every corner of the fridge, freezer and cupboard. Of course, me and my sister took it for granted growing up. That all changed when I left home for the first time to live on my own. I realised then how special and wonderful it is to have a mom who is such an incredible cook. I remember when I used to go through these “rants” that my mom would always end up saying “well, why don’t you eat some breadsticks”. But I never wanted breadsticks.
(Because, apparently, raw pasta was better.) So today when I couldn’t figure out what to eat I remembered my mom’s words. “Why don’t you have some breadsticks”. So I made breadsticks. Pretty easy. You buy the puff pastry, and simply pile on the ingredients. These are pretty useful if you are entertaining. They take 30 minutes maximum to bake and they look and taste as though you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. People can snack on them before they eat dinner. And at any other point in time, if anyone tells you they are hungry, then there are always breadsticks…
1 box frozen puff pastry (defrost in the fridge the night before you make this recipe; note that you will only need one 10 by 10 inch puff pastry piece but there are often two sheets inside a frozen box, so simply double the ingredients if you would like to make more)
flour for dusting
1 tbs water
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1/2 cup freshly grated halloumi
1 tsp dry mint
1 tbs finely chopped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
2. Roll out a piece of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut a piece of puff pastry to be 10 inches by 10 inches. (You will have two sheets of puff pastry in your package, so you can repeat this process with the second sheet but the measured ingredients above are for one 10 by 10 inch sheet).
3. Beat the egg with water in a small bowl to create an egg wash. Brush the surface of the puff pastry with it.
4. Mix the cheeses together. Sprinkle the puff pastry generously with the cheese mixture. (You may not need to use all of the cheese mixture.)
5. Sprinkle the chives, mint and thyme generously over the puff pastry. (You may not need to use all of the herbs.)
6. With a rolling pin (or your hands if you do not have one), lightly press the cheese and herb mixtures into the puff pastry.
7. With a sharp knife cut strips 1/2 inch thick, twist each piece and place on a baking try lined with baking paper. If you want the pastry to have that wonderful brown twists, then twist the puff pastry in a way where the flavouring is exposed (not hidden in the middle of the twist).
8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until puffed and slightly browned. Let cool. Serve the same day or next with olives, chutney or on their own.