Here are two matches made in heaven to go with the first review of ingredients from our MARY’s secret ingredients box!
For those of you who ordered a box, I know you dug into the cheese straws as your first or second thing, right? They are great directly out of the box! Before discovering these, I was actually convinced that no one could make a cheese straw as good as the ones I made one Christmas, but I was promptly proven wrong by these cheese straws from Mississippi made by the husband and wife team at Flathaus. These are super! Full of cheddar, crisp and light, with a hint of chipotle, these are going to be a staple in my house.
Serve up a bowl of these Flathaus Cheese Straws with some delicious Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Landjaeger Sausages for a quick and terrific appetizer with cocktails. All you need is a pretty little bowl for the cheese straws and juice glass for the sausages. Cut the sausages in long strips and stand them upright in the glass for a handsome presentation. Stand back and watch your guests delight in these two taste treats!
And then I’d like for you to try this smoked tomato soup recipe with some of those lean Nueske’s sausages, diced, and topped with the Flathaus Cheddar Cheese Straws broken into a crouton size — ooh la la – isn’t this to die for? It’s brilliant! Popping with flavor layers and OMG moments, run to the kitchen and make this. If you didn’t get a box, go to these sites and order the sausages and cheese straws now!
SMOKED TOMATO SOUP – serves 6 to 8
13 vine ripened tomatoes, (or 16 plum) cored and tops sliced off
1/4 cup plus 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2.25 cups diced leeks (white and light green parts), split in half, washed thoroughly & dried
1 heaping cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup dry red wine
2 thick slices diced smoked bacon, preferably no nitrates & remove and discard really fatty areas
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Landjaeger Sausages, diced
12 Flathaus Cheddar Cheese Straws, each one broken into 3 pieces
Preheat the grill to medium. Arrange the tomatoes in an aluminum pan. Sprinkle the cut tops with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, some salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and grill for 20 minutes. Remove from grill, uncover and cool for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the tomato skins.
Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup of the olive oil, as well as the leeks, onions, and bacon in a soup pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Crush or roughly chop the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and all the juices and olive oil from the roasting pan, wine, garlic, salt, vinegar, pepper, and cayenne to the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add the parsley. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or cool slightly and puree in a regular blender in small batches). Add the diced sausages and stir for 5 minutes to warm them up. Divide evenly among warm soup bowls and float cheddar cheese stick croutons on top. Serve immediately.
You have just entered heaven!