Starter: serves 8. Total time: 1 hour plus overnight chilling
Cheese straws and biscuits have an enduring appeal and are accommodating enough to ward off the more serious pangs of hunger. Make these in whatever size and shape takes your fancy, you could also use them as the base for a sliver of cheese and chutney, or even roasted strips of pepper.

100g unsalted butter
50g freshly grated Parmesan
100g plain flour
50g ground almonds
big pinch of cayenne pepper
sea salt

Blend all the ingredients in a bowl or a food processor, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour (or overnight). Heat the oven to 140 fan oven/150 C or 300 F electric oven/Gas Mark 2. Lightly flour a worksurface, roll the dough to a 2-5mm thickness, and cut out with a biscuit cutter depending on what size you want them. Only roll the dough twice at most as it tends to toughen beyond that. Lay the biscuits on a baking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes until a uniform light gold. Allow them to cool, and store in any airtight container.