EGGPLANT-HUMMUS PHYLLO ROLLS

Another recipe that should not compete for looks, but gets high grades in the taste department… So easy to put together that it almost qualifies for my Incredibly Simple category. I used store-bought hummus. We like Sabra brand but any brand will likely work. Of course, you can make your own for added bliss.

EGGPLANT-HUMMUS PHYLLO ROLLS
(adapted from Messy Vegan Cook)

1 medium eggplant, cut vertically in 1/2 inch slices
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
hummus (I used Sabra traditional)
6 sheets of phyllo dough (3 per roll)
olive oil spray

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush that mixture on the eggplant slices and use a grill pan to lightly cook it, no more than a couple of minutes per side. You can use an outside grill, but don’t let the eggplant overcook and get mushy. Let the slices cool before proceeding with the recipe.

Lay one sheet of phyllo on the surface, spray olive oil lightly. Lay two more sheets on top, spraying olive oil each time. Lay two slices of eggplant overlapping (as shown in the picture after the recipe). Spread some hummus on top. Fold the phyllo over the eggplant, forming a long strip that totally encloses the eggplant. Gently roll. Place on a roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes at 375F.

Let it cool slightly before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The main thing to keep in mind is that the eggplant will cook in the rolls for 35 minutes, so make sure not to overcook it in the first step, and do not cut it too thin. Phil wants to have a variation with eggplant and mushrooms together, so I will definitely try that soon, but I already leave the idea for you. I also think adding a couple of thin slices of roasted red bell pepper would be delicious.

ONE YEAR AGO: Happy Easter!

TWO YEARS AGO: Brioche Pepin

THREE YEARS AGO: Sakura Buche du Printempts

FOUR YEARS AGO: Clay Pot Roast Chicken

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2017

SIX YEARS AGO: Secret Recipe Club: Chicken Korma and a Bonus Recipe

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Josey Baker’s Olive Bread

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Almonds, A Cookbook Review

NINE YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

TEN YEARS AGO: Codruta’s Rolled Oat Sourdough Bread

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Corn and Tomato Risotto

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Light Rye Bread

A SAVORY PHYLLO PIE

I was going to call it “Meat and Potato Phyllo Pie”. Side note: the expression “meat and potato guy” always makes me smile, as it took me a while to fully understand its meaning. When you are a foreigner, it’s not feasible to stop people all the time to ask for clarifications on every expression you don’t quite “get”. So you go with the flow. Of course now I know that it refers to someone who is not very adventurous in the gastronomic department. But this version adds a few tidbits that a true meat and potato being might object to, like tahini, eggplant, maybe even phyllo could be a no-no… Therefore, let’s go with Savory Phyllo Pie.

SAVORY PHYLLO PIE
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)

8 inch-springform pan (or pan with removable bottom)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 rib celery, diced
1 pound ground turkey (dark meat if possible)
3/4 pound ground bison (or substitute extra turkey meat)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you like)

for the vegetable layer:
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 medium eggplant
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil spray or a few tablespoons

for yogurt sauce:
3/4 cup full-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste

to assemble pie:
8 sheets of phyllo dough
olive oil spray
sesame seeds (optional)

Prepare the meat layer. Heat the olive oil, sauté the celery and shallots with a little salt. When fragrant, add all dried spices, let them heat for a minute, then add the two kinds of meat, salt, and cook until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, close the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Reserve, allowing it to cool to room temperature or place it in the fridge.

Prepare the vegetable layer. Peel the eggplant, cut in 1/4 inch rounds, do the same for the sweet potatoes. Brush or spray the surface with oil and bake in a single layer at 425F until it starts to get golden. The eggplant will work best if you use a grill, but it was too cold for that when I made it. Reserve the veggies.

Prepare the yogurt-tahini sauce and reserve. Assemble the pie: Spray the bottom and sides of the springform pan with olive oil. Grab one sheet of phyllo at a time, spray with olive oil and place inside the pan with the ends going over the sides and hanging. Use 5 more sheets overlapping them in a circle. Place the sweet potato slices at the bottom, then the eggplant. Cover with the meat, pressing it down and leveling the surface well. Drizzle the tahini sauce and spread it well on the surface. Grab two more sheets of phyllo, fold in half, spray with oil and cover the top of the pie. Now bring all the phyllo that is hanging outside and crump the edges to neatly close the pie. Spray additional olive oil over the top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 40 minutes at 400F. Let the pie sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I actually made phyllo pie two weeks in a row, first time following a recipe from Falastin. It was good, but a bit too heavy and the meat got slightly dry. So I made this version with similar Middle Eastern tones. We both loved it! It is a bit involved, but totally worth it. I usually make all the components and save them in the fridge. Then, it’s all a matter of heating the oven, assembling the pie and dinner is ready in one hour. You do need to wait for 15 minutes or it will be messy when you cut it.

I use the mixture of turkey and bison very often. It is great for chilis, and even burgers. Both are very lean types of meat, the bison gives a more complex flavor. We have excellent bison meat in Kansas, but if you cannot find it, just use turkey, or ground beef, or even lamb, although the end result with be considerably heavier.

All that was needed to call it dinner? A simple salad. We ate like royalty… I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, another good option for company, as you can do a lot in advance. Plus, it looks pretty awesome when you remove it from the springform pan.

ONE YEAR AGO: Nut-Free Lady Grey Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Mini-Heart Cakes for your Valentine

THREE YEARS AGO: Blue Moon Milk

FOUR YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooked Chicken Meatballs

FIVE YEARS AGO: Zesty Flourless Chocolate Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Maple Pumpkin Pecan Snacking Cake

SEVEN YEARS AGOSilky Gingered Zucchini Soup

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Sweet Fifteen!

NINE YEARS AGO: Sesame and Flaxseed Sourdough

TEN YEARS AGO: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones

TWELVE YEARS AGO: White Bread

PHYLLO PARCELS WITH MOROCCAN TURKEY

Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here.

Not too long ago I blogged about a savory pie made with olive oil crust and ground turkey. It was delicious, and I knew I wanted to re-visit it shortly after. Today I share a departure on that recipe, using a very similar filling but wrapped with phyllo dough. It is considerably lighter, especially because I use a light hand with the olive oil spray in between the layers. Works great and is a lot kinder on the waistline.

PHYLLO PARCELS WITH MOROCCAN TURKEY
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

large or jumbo size muffin pan, makes about 5 parcels

for the parcels:
1 box of phyllo dough, thawed in fridge overnight
olive oil spray

for the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 large carrots, cut in pieces
8 oz mushrooms cut in pieces
2 celery ribs, minced
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and seasoning with 1 tsp salt. Once the meat is brown, transfer to a bowl. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and saute the carrots, shallot and mushrooms, sprinkling all the spices and the final 1/2 tsp salt over the veggies as they cook. Once the veggies start to get some color, add the harissa, the ground turkey reserved, and mix everything gently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool it completely.

Lay your phyllo sheets and cut squares large enough to cover the whole inner surface of the muffin pan. Lay 3 sheets of phyllo over each hole, each slightly  twisted in relation to the previous one, and spray a very light amount of olive oil as you lay them. Add the cold filling, get one square and fold it in four, so that you are left with a small amount of pastry that can sit right on top of the filling (see photo on the composite below).  Crunch all the phyllo from the base layers over the top, spray olive oil.

Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. They should un-mold very easily and neatly.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The idea for these little parcels came from the new cooking show by Nadiya Hussein, “Time to Eat.” She used this method to make little apple pies but I really liked the way she handled the phyllo and wanted to adapt for a savory meal. Instead of fiddling with one sheet of phyllo at a time, it is a lot easier to just grab several sheets, cut them all at the same time in squares and then peel them off to place in the tin. Brilliant. I highly recommend the show, available on Netflix. A recipe from it should be on the blog soon.

The filling is already cooked, so you are basically just browning the phyllo and making it all crunchy and delicious. Super easy to assemble, this would be absolutely perfect for guests, and of course you could make it vegetarian-friendly. I imagine a filling with butternut squash and mushrooms, or eggplant and sweet peppers, lots of tasty ideas. You can also go for a hearty lamb filling, but with warmer weather on the horizon, lighter is definitely better.

We enjoyed it with mashed sweet potatoes, made sous-vide, but I need to tweak that recipe before sharing, there were a few “issues.”

Depending on the size of your muffin tin, you might be able to get 6 little parcels. They hold well in the fridge and to warm up what I like to do is run them in the microwave for 1 minute (yes, 60 seconds) and then transfer them to a hot oven for 10 more minutes. They turn out perfectly warm all the way through and the phyllo retains its nice texture.

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Corn and Zucchini Salad

TWO YEAR AGO: Fraisier Cake, A Celebration of Spring

THREE YEARS AGO: Zucchini Frittata with Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

FOUR YEARS AGO: Playing with Pectinase

FIVE YEARS AGO: Poached White Asparagus with Lemon and Pistachios

SIX YEARS AGO: Dan Lepard’s Saffron Bloomer

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Fesenjan & The New Persian Kitchen

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets

NINE YEARS AGO: Pasta Puttanesca

TEN YEARS AGO: Miche Point-a-Calliere

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU CHARD…

… you open a bottle of Chardonnay!  Yes, of course! But if the chard is as gorgeous as this batch I got last week:

Golden chard

you also need to find the perfect recipe to show it off.  I could have taken the simple route and made a saute to serve over pasta or as a side dish for some juicy grilled steak. But, I am aware that hubby is not as wild about chard as I am, so other possibilities came to mind: a quiche? an open tart? a gratin? I searched for a recipe in some of my cookbooks, but as it happens so often, the internet came to the rescue. I found this recipe and knew it would be a winner. I made a few changes, taking it slightly away from Greece and closer to Italy, to accommodate the ingredients I had around.

GOLDEN CHARD PIE
(adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe)

2 pounds Golden chard, stemmed
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh herbs of your liking (I used basil and lemon thyme)
3 large eggs, beaten
4 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
black pepper and salt to taste
dash of ground nutmeg
12 sheets of phyllo
olive oil spray

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the stemmed chard and blanch for 1 minute. Transfer the leaves quickly to a bowl with ice water. Drain and squeeze well. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and saute the diced onion until it just starts to get some color. Add the chard, herbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Saute for a couple of minutes, remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, mix to incorporate, add the saute chard mixture.

Spray a 10-inch baking dish with olive oil, layer 7 sheets of phyllo over the dish, allowing part of the sheets to hang outside (see photos). Spray each sheet with a little olive oil as you place it in the pan.

Add the filling, fold the hanging bits of phyllo over it, then cover the pie with 5 more sheets of phyllo, always remembering to spray some olive oil in between the layers. Tuck the edges into the sides of the pie.

Spray olive oil on the surface, cut 3 or 4 small slits to allow steam to escape.

Bake the pie at 375 F for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

IMG_1264

more photos and comments, click here