Showing posts with label filo pastry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label filo pastry. Show all posts

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Little Filo Cheese Rolls

Crispy, crunchy filo pastry baked around a lovely green onion, feta and ricotta cheese filling makes these little filo cheese rolls the perfect snack.

Food Lust People Love: Crispy, crunchy filo pastry baked around a lovely green onion, feta and ricotta cheese filling makes these little filo cheese rolls the perfect snack.

So it’s the Super Bowl today! As the old Texas saying goes, I don’t have a dog in that fight, but that won’t stop me from setting up my dvr to record the game (since it comes on a 3:30 a.m. Monday morning for me in Dubai) and then watching the most super of bowls munching on snacks and sipping on drinks.

And I am just going to warn you right now that I won’t be on Facebook on Monday until I’ve watched the game. It’s more fun to watch if I don’t already know the winner, don’t you think?

This week for Sunday Supper everyone is making delicious dishes that they would like to eat while watching the big game. The hard part was narrowing it down to just one! But I have to tell you that I am delighted with my choice! Crispy, crunchy filo pastry baked around a lovely green onion, feta and ricotta cheese filling. And as I bit into the first one, I decided it needed a little something to dip it into. So I poured some honey in a ramekin and added a chopped fresh red chili. The saltiness of the cheese was complemented beautifully by the sweet honey with a bite of spicy heat. So good!

1/3 cup or 75g melted butter
About 4 1/2 oz or 125g ricotta
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta
Generous bunch green onions
9 1/2 oz or 270g pack of filo – you won’t use all

Optional dip: About 1/4 cup or 60ml runny honey and one small red chili pepper

Preheat your oven to 325°F or 165°C.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  I give the pan a quick spray with Pam to stop the parchment from slipping around and you might want to do the same.

Finely chop about four inches or 10cm off the ends of your green onions.

In a small bowl, measure out your feta and ricotta and add in the green onions.  Use the tines of your fork to crumble the feta. 

Add in your egg and use your fork to beat it just a little bit.  Mix the whole lot together.  Set aside.

Remove the filo pastry from the package and figure out how to unfold it without ripping it so that you can see exactly how large the sheets are.  This is the trickiest bit of the whole recipe.  Once your sheets are unfolded, decide how you can best cut them into large rectangles of around 4 inches wide and 10-12 inches long. 

As you can see, my sheets were quite large so I ended up cutting them in fourths.  Stack all the layers on top of each other.  Place them on your clean kitchen counter.  I usually lay a piece of cling film down first to make clean up easier.

Brush the top sheet with melted butter and put about a tablespoon full of filling about an inch or two centimeters from the short edge.  

Roll the filo around the filling a couple of times and then fold in the two sides. Continue rolling until you reach the end of the sheet of filo.  Place seam side down on your prepared baking sheet. 

Continue buttering and adding filling and making cheese rolls until all of your filling is gone.  You will probably have some filo sheets left over.

Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining butter and bake in your preheated oven for around 30-45 minutes or until golden and crispy. 

While there is no official dipping sauce to go with this, as I mentioned above, I mixed a little honey with a chopped fresh red chili and it was lovely with the cheese rolls.  You might want to do the same!


Food Lust People Love: Crispy, crunchy filo pastry baked around a lovely green onion, feta and ricotta cheese filling makes these little filo cheese rolls the perfect snack.

This recipe was adapted from an original by Claudia Roden in The Accidental Foodie. 

Have a look at all the wonderful dishes the #SundaySupper crew have prepared today!

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Appetizers & Snacks:

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Main Dishes:

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Desserts:

Pin these little filo cheese rolls!

Food Lust People Love: Crispy, crunchy filo pastry baked around a lovely green onion, feta and ricotta cheese filling makes these little filo cheese rolls the perfect snack.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pecan Pie Baklava with Dried Cranberries for #CookedinTranslation

Sticky, crunchy pecan pie baklava is made in the traditional manner but with the unusual ingredients of pecans, cranberries and pecan pie syrup for a delicious cross cultural treat.

A couple of years back, I had the good fortune to attend a class at the Asian Food Channel kitchen in Singapore.  I wrote all about it here.  One of the recipes we made was traditional Middle Eastern baklava with honey syrup and pistachios.  The chef demonstrated how to roll the first tube of filo pastry with nuts and then squish it off into the baking tray and then asked for a volunteer for the next one.  I held back a minute or two, in case someone else would step forward, but since no one did, I raised my hand. The chef looked much relieved and complimented me nicely on my baklava roll.

I was amazed at how easy baklava really is because it always looked so complicated on the plate, with all those layers! After that, my fellow students got into it and several took a turn. Sometimes you just have to start the ball rolling, you know. They turned out to be nice folks and we had a great time learning, cooking and eating together.

When my fellow Cooked in Translation members were discussing the theme for this month, we decided that we would each “translate” a different Thanksgiving favorite, rather than working on the same dish.  I remembered my baklava class and thought that pecan pie would translate quite well.  And while I was playing free and easy with pecan pie, I also decided to throw in some dried cranberries.  Just because I could.  If this were real pecan pie, no variations are allowed.  Whatsoever.  Because we use my aunt’s recipe and it is engraved in stone.

As you might remember from past months, Cooked in Translation is where we take a recipe from one culture or ethnicity and interpret it from another culture or ethnicity.  It makes me put my thinking cap on and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

For the baklava:
1 cup or 225g butter, melted
About 14 oz or 400g pecans, separated (1/4 cup chopped will be reserved for topping)
16oz or 500g package filo pastry (You will probably have a few sheets leftover if you buy the 500g package.)
1/2 cup or 60g dried cranberries, separated (two tablespoons reserved for topping after chopping)

For the pie filling:
1 egg
3/4 cup or 180ml light Karo
1/2 cup or 115g sugar

For the topping:
Reserved chopped pecans and cranberries

N.B.  You will also need a wooden dowel, which can be purchased at a craft or hardware store, or one long chopstick that is used for cooking, like this or this.  This also bakes best in a non-stick pan.  It will get lovely and sticky and you want to be able to remove it easily.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Chop your nuts finely in a food processor.  Take out 1/4 cup and set aside for topping later.  Chop your dried cranberries in the food processor.  Reserve about two tablespoons for topping.

Mix the remaining pecans and cranberries together in one bowl.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top layer of filo pastry with melted butter.  Sprinkle with a thin layer of the chopped pecans and cranberries.

Roll up from the long side with your dowel or chopstick and roll it all the way off the stack of filo pastry.

Brush the next layer of filo with butter.  Place your roll back on the near edge of the filo and roll up once more.

Using a hand on either side, compress the stuffed filo roll.

This was a hard step to photograph with only one hand.  You will use both hands to push the filled roll to the middle. 
 Now push it down to one end of the dowel and slide it into the pan.

Make as many rolls as will fill your pan.  My pan is 21cm x 21cm or about 8 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in and, as you will see, it took six rolls.  Which also just finished my pecans, so that worked out. :)

No problem if you didn't compress the roll enough. 

Just push it in and make it fit. 
Brush the tops liberally with butter.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into short lengths - about an inch and a half or four centimeters. Be careful not to mar your non-stick pan though!

Bake for about 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven.

Meanwhile, put your egg, Karo and sugar into a medium bowl.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.  This should turn a pale yellow color but, as you can see, my lovely egg yolk was vivid orange so mine just turned yellow.

When the timer rings or your baklava is slightly golden and crunchy, remove it from the oven but leave the oven on. (Sorry about this but the baklava needs to go back in.)  Let it cool for about 10 minutes.

When cooling time is up, give your sugar/Karo mixture another good whisk.  You just thought the sugar was dissolved.  But a little always seems to settle out again.

Pour the mixture over your baklava.  Give it a few minutes to soak in, pushing the pieces apart gently with a spatula, if necessary.

Pop the pan back into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it is a nice medium gold and completely sticky around the edges.

You can see that it was still bubbling a little but that subsided when it cooled. 

Mix your reserved pecans and cranberries together and sprinkle them all over the top of the rolls.

Allow to cool just a few minutes before removing from the pan to serve.  The sticky, chewy edges are the best part but it is all delicious.


And just a quick picture of something I am thankful for today.  The pooch has arrived in good form!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Filo Pastry with Raspberries and Whipped Cream

My mother called me the other night, all excited. She had been watching PBS and Julia Child was on with a guest chef, Gale Gand.  I have DirecTV so I don’t get her same PBS and I had to find the episode online. I don’t know if folks outside the US can watch this, but I am still in Houston, so I could.  This show first aired 15 years ago on 11 September 1996 and young pastry chef Gand made a filo pastry ice cream sandwich.  I love filo for several desserts so I was instantly intrigued. I pretty much followed her instructions for the raspberries but decided to add whipped cream to the top instead of ice cream. Also, each person would get one filo pastry “crust” instead of two, as in an ice cream sandwich.  I also didn’t bother with the berry anchor sticks since I didn’t need to hold another filo pastry circle on top.  If you can’t see the video, don’t worry. I’ll tell you what I did do!

In retrospect, this looks very much like my Meringues with Berries and Whipped Cream but is way less time consuming than making meringues so it was perfect for an impromptu visit to my sister’s.  (I had just been to the imaging center for my mammogram or “the annual mashing,” as I like to call it, so I needed cheering up and nothing cheers me up like a visit to Whole Foods and cooking something for family. Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you haven’t been for a mammogram yet this year, consider this is your reminder to make an appointment now!)  

3 -6 oz packages of raspberries
1/4 cup of melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Half package of filo pastry

I preheated my oven (actually sent youngest daughter a text from Whole Foods asking her to preheat the oven so it would be ready when I got home and finished the prep) to 400 °F or 200 °C.

I did follow Gand’s example and cut the filo into fettuccine-width strips.  As she did, I left the plastic on and pulled it all out at the same time as I fluffed up the pastry.

Then I made mounds of the pastry on a parchment covered baking sheet and drizzled them with melted butter and then sprinkled them very lightly with sugar.  I popped them into the oven and baked until golden, about 12 minutes.

While my pastry was in the oven, I prepared the berries. I had three 6 oz packages. I pureed the first one with two tablespoons of raw sugar (but white caster or fine sugar will work) and then folded in the other two packets, to coat the raspberries with the pureed mixture.

Next I whipped 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks formed and stored it, covered, in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve, each person gets one filo pastry round, a heap of berries and a goodly scoop of whipped cream. (I ended up serving this at my sister’s house so please excuse the paper plate.) Delicious!