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Chicken & Chicken Liver Pâté Phyllo Roll

Baked paté as good as it gets! Serve warm as a nutritious light meal with mashed potato and steamed vegetables or snack-style, either warm or cold, with favourite pickles or pickled vegetables, sweet chilli sauce and olives. Be sure to also try Carolié’s Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port.

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Fun With Phylllo

Phyllo pastry is such a versatile ingredient.  It can be used for everything from snacks and appetizers to main dishes and impressive desserts!  Phyllo pastry is made with flour, water and a small amount of oil or white vinegar. Phyllo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of phyllo pastry brushed with olive oil or melted butter. The pastry is then filled, shaped and baked.  The crisp texture of baked phyllo pastries is achieved by the extreme thinness of the dough and by brushing each sheet lightly with melted butter before using it. The butter helps keep the sheets from sticking together while the recipe bakes and produces separate fragile sheets of pastry.

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Phyllo Savoury Pie With Flaked Topping

Phyllo pastry is readily available and has the advantage that it adds contrasting crispness to fillings, yet is much lower in kilojoules than other pastries. Turkey or luxury fish turn this into festive fare.  A superb light meal or second meat course. Two filling options, both equally tasty and suitable, are included. Serve with crisp salad or colourful steamed vegetables.

Notes
During the festive season this pie can fill many gaps on the menu. The fillings given below may be adjusted by using leftover turkey or ham instead of the chicken and luxury fish such as pink salmon or even crayfish to replace the white fish.

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Fruit & Yoghurt Phyllo Stacks

Phyllo Fantasy

Most decorative to serve for any special breakfast, as a health breakfast or even a dessert. The phyllo squares may be made days in advance and stored in airtight containers.

Fruit
Select fresh fruit or make combinations with fresh and canned fruit, e.g. strawberries, mixed berries kiwis, mangoes, litchis, pineapple, melon, spanspek, guavas, kiwi fruit, gooseberries, paw-paw or banana – as preferred or available. Wash, peel and cut into neat portions. The kind of yoghurt used depends on taste and the sweetness of the fruit used.

Yoghurt
± 500 ml plain or flavoured yoghurt or combined

Phyllo Squares
4 sheets phyllo pastry
± 50 g/50 ml melted butter
icing sugar
nuts and / or muesli

  1. Fold the sheets of phyllo pastry simultaneously in half, unfold and cut through the fold line. Place the 8 wide strips on top of each other, fold in half again and cut in the same way to obtain 16 strips. Stack the strips.Fold the strips simultaneously in half lengthways, unfold and cut in half on the fold line. Pile the shorter strips on top of each other and fold and cut once more to obtain 64 squares. Stack the squares and cover with a cloth or seal in an airtight container.
  2. Line a large baking tray with a . Place as many of the squares as will fit comfortably, onto the baking tray. Brush lightly with melted butter, cover each square with a second square and brush again. Make double-layered squares or if preferred multi-layered squares and separate into double layers after baking.
  3. Bake at 180°C for 4 to 5 minutes or until the squares are pale golden and crisp. Take care not to over bake – if baked until brown the taste and appearance will be impaired.
  4. Cool, pack carefully into airtight containers and store until required or up to a month.
  5. To assemble the stacks, place one double-layered square of phyllo pastry onto a serving plate, add a spoonful of yoghurt and arrange some fruit on top. Cover the fruit with a second double-layered phyllo square and repeat, ending with a third double layered phyllo square. Dust with icing sugar and finish with fruit and nuts or muesli.

Four sheets of phyllo pastry will make 32 double layered squares sufficient for at least 10 stacks.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 795.

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Fresh Pear & White Chocolate Strudel With Raspberry Sauce

A true gourmet dessert which combines the elegance and sophistication of phyllo pastry with the goodness of fresh fruit. The filled phyllo pastry rolls may be fitted into a round cake tin to form a most decorative twist or placed onto baking trays to make 2 small or one large strudel.

Phyllo Pastry
6 sheets phyllo pastry
± 100 ml butter

Chocolate & Nut Mixture
50g/125 ml  coarsely chopped pecan nuts
50 ml   dried breadcrumbs
30 ml   sugar
2,5 ml   ground cinnamon

Pear Filling
500 g firm, ripe pears
60 ml sour cream
30 ml sugar
2,5 ml ground cinnamon

Raspberry or BlueBerry Sauce
500 g frozen or fresh unsweetened raspberries/blueberries
200 ml white sugar
100 ml water

or

1 x 410 g   tin blueberries / raspberries in syrup
10 ml cornflour
30 ml water
30 ml black raspberry liqueur e.g. Chambord or suitable liqueur e.g.Kirsch (optional)

To Serve & Garnish
icing sugar to dust
mint leaves and tiny flowers

  1. Place the sheets of phyllo pastry onto a cloth and cover with another dry and then a damp cloth.
  2. Place the butter into a small saucepan or suitable jug and melt on top of the stove or in the microwave on MEDIUM for 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Combine the chocolate, nuts, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Peel and core the pears and slice thinly into a bowl.
  5. Add the sour cream , sugar and cinnamon and toss together.
  6. Lay out two sheets of phyllo pastry next to each other, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the chocolate and nut mixture.
  7. Repeat once more, cover with the last sheets and brush with butter or margarine only.  Note: If a large strudel is made, place the two stacks on top of each other at this stage.
  8. Spread the pear filling onto the layered phyllo pastry, leaving 50 mm at the edges uncovered. Fold the sides over the filling and roll up neatly.
  9. To make the twist, bend the 2 small rolls and place into a 220 mm spring-form cake tin, brushed with melted margarine, with the ends of the rolls fitting in between each other.
  10. To make the strudels, place onto a baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet and brush the tops op the strudels generously as well.
  11. Bake at 180°C for ± 35 minutes for the twist or small strudels and 45 minutes for the large strudel or until golden and crisp.
  12. If the pastry browns too soon, cover loosely with foil as soon as the desired colour is reached and continue baking for the rest of the specified time to ensure that the filling and inner layers of pastry will be thoroughly cooked.
  13. To make the sauce, if fresh or frozen berries are used, place the berries and sugar into a saucepan and cook over moderate heat while stirring until the sugar dissolves and the berries soften.
  14. Leave whole or strain through a coarse sieve and discard the seeds.
  15. Return the puree if made to the saucepan or place the canned fruit and sauce into the saucepan and stir in the cornflour mixed with the 30 ml water.
  16. Bring to boil while stirring until the sauce becomes thickened and translucent. Cool, stir in the liqueur and serve warm or refrigerate.
  17. Remove the twist or the strudels from the tins carefully and dust generously with icing sugar.
  18. Cut the twist into sections to serve – not into slices as for a cake.
  19. Cut the small strudels into 40 – 50 mm sections or slice the large strudel into 20 mm thick slices. An electric knife simplifies the task.
  20. To serve, pour about 30 ml of the fruit sauce onto each individual serving plate and place 1 – 2 neat portions or slices onto the plate.
  21. Decorate with a sprig of mint and a tiny flower and pass a bowl of whipped cream for those who want to go all the way!

8 generous servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking p. 793.

Pear&ChocolatePhylloStrudel

Pear&ChocolatePhylloStrudel-2

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Chicken Salad in Phyllo Baskets

Crispy phyllo baskets are filled with Thai-spiced chicken, tossed in a peanut dressing and mixed with noodles. Prepare ingredients several hours before but fry and assemble close to serving time. The salad baskets are garnished with crisp and colourful salad ingredients to compliment the filling.

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Phyllo Pastry Crackers

Phyllo pastry lends itself to be rolled around a savoury or sweet filling and shaped into decorative crackers. Strips of blanched spring onion or chives will make neat bows for baked savoury crackers.  The crackers can also be made with a sweet filling, e.g. Apple & Cranberry (picture below).

Vegetable Crackers

Filling
30 g butter
250 ml coarsely grated carrot
250 ml coarsely chopped leek, OR 1/2 onion and 1/2 spring onion
250 ml sliced mushrooms
125 ml chopped celery1 ml salt
pinch white pepper
pinch mixed dried herbs

Filo Pastry
3 – 6 sheets filo pastry (see note below)
± 50 g melted butter

To Finish
12 chives or strips of spring onion

  1. To make the filling, heat the butter or margarine and add all the remaining ingredients.
  2. Stir – fry 5 minutes over high heat until the moisture has evaporated. Cool and drain well.
  3. For a more substantial cracker, brush a sheet of pastry with melted butter or margarine, fold in half and brush again. For a lighter cracker, cut the sheets of pastry in half and brush with melted butter or margarine.
  4. Divide the filling between the sections, placing it at the base of the sheet. Roll up loosely, pressing the pastry with the fingertips to form a cracker shape while rolling. Press firmly into shape to make neat crackers.
  5. Place the crackers onto a greased baking tray and brush with melted butter or margarine. Bake at 180 ºC for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  6. Blanch the chives or strips of spring onion by covering with boiling water for a few minutes until softened. Drain, rinse in cold water and dry. Tie the chives or strips of spring onion around the indentations at both ends of each cracker.

Yields 6 crackers.

For delicate crackers, use a single layer of pastry for each cracker (3 sheets) or for more substantial crackers, use a folded sheet of pastry or double layer of pastry for each (6 sheets).

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking.  There is a whole chapter on Phyllo pastry which includes hints for shaping and baking phyllo pastry, a variety of sweet and savoury recipes, etc.(page 761 to 800).

Phyllo - Apple and Cranberry Cracker
Apple & Cranberry Phyllo Pastry Cracker

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Individual Bacon & Egg Phyllo Pastry Pies

An all in one breakfast and most versatile, more than classic New Zealand favourite! This pie can be made in different shapes and sizes and enjoyed for breakfast fresh from the oven! It is made and enjoyed at home and served in coffee shops but can also be eaten cold for picnics or added to lunchboxes as a treat.

Pastry
4 sheets phyllo pastry
50 ml melted butter or margarine

Filling
250 g rindless bacon, cut into 2 – 3 cm strips
1 medium onion, halved cut into thin strips
12 whole eggs (small eggs are best for individual pies)
250 m cream or evaporated milk
125 ml hot milk (speeds up cooking)4 additional eggs
5 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
2 spring onions, finely snipped
125 ml grated Cheddar cheese

Garnish
greenery such as rocket and or fresh basil and baby tomatoes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ºC and brush the 12 cups of a muffin tin with melted butter or margarine.
  2. Fold the 4 sheets of phyllo pastry into thirds and cut on the fold lines. Stack the strips and fold into thirds again. Cut to make 36 squares.
  3. Brush 12 of the phyllo squares with melted butter or margarine and cover with 12 squares, points crossing the straight lines.
  4. Brush again and place neatly into the muffin tins to make pastry cases.
  5. Fry the bacon for a few minutes to release a little bit of fat and add the onion. Cook and stir until the onion has softened.
  6. Spoon the bacon and onion into the pastry cases and break an egg into each.
  7. Beat together the cream or evaporated milk, hot milk, 4 additional eggs, salt and pepper and stir in the spring onion.
  8. Divide the mixture over the eggs and sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Place the last sheets of pastry over the tops, brush lightly with melted butter or margarine and carefully fold over the points of all the layers of phyllo pastry to cover the filling.
  10. Press down lightly and brush with melted butter or margarine.
  11. Bake the pies 15 – 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling and eggs have set.
  12. Cover the pies with foil if the pastry browns too soon or too much before the filling has set.
  13. Serve warm or cold as explained above.

12 pies

 

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Baklava

Nut-filled layers of filo pastry, flavoured with spices and drenched with a fragrant syrup is one of the most irresistible sweet treats. This adapted recipe is not overly sweet or spicy. Make baklava at least two hours or up to a day before serving to allow the syrup to work it’s way through all the layers.

Nut filling
300 g nuts (see Note below)
125ml sugar
10 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml mixed spice

Filo pastry
1 x 500g pack filo pastry
125 g melted butter

Syrup
375 ml sugar
375ml water
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
30 ml lemon juice
45 ml honey
15 ml brandy or rose water
15 ml sherry (optional but good)

  1. Combine the selected nuts to make up 300g and place into the bowl of a food processor. Use the “pulse action” and chop the nuts very briefly until coarsely and evenly chopped but not too fine. Stop once or twice in between and stir to allow the larger pieces to move closer to the blade.
  2. Add the sugar and spices and mix.
  3. Brush the base and sides of a rectangular dish or baking tray (± 30 x 20 x 6cm) with melted butter and pre-heat the oven to 170°C (see notes below) .
  4. Divide the pastry sheets into four and the nut mixture into three. Line the dish with the first ¼ of filo pastry, brushing lightly in between all sheets with the melted butter. Fold the pastry in at the sides if necessary but do not cut away and discard any pastry. Brush the top of the last layer with melted butter.
  5. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture over the pastry and repeat until four layers of pastry with three layers of nuts in between have been made, ending with pastry. Brush the rest of the butter over the top.
  6. Mark the pastry into diamonds or squares (2 ½ – 3 cm side length) with a sharp knife, cutting through the top layers only to prevent the syrup from accumulating in the dish under the last layer.
  7. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. To make the syrup, place the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over a moderate heat until the sugar has melted.
  9. Simmer gently for 10 minutes to become syrupy. Remove from heat, stir in the honey and flavouring and allow to cool while the pastry is still baking.
  10. Remove the pastry from the oven and pour the cooled syrup slowly and evenly over the hot pastry.
  11. Allow to cool completely (at least 3 hours) to absorb all the syrup before cutting through the marked lines into diamonds or squares.
  12. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Baklava may be frozen to extend the period of enjoyment!

Serves 24 – 30 portions, depending on size.

Notes

  • Combine at least three kinds of nuts or even more for the best flavour. You can include Walnuts, Sliced Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Macadamias, Brazil Nuts or Cashew Pieces.
  • Selecting a dish or baking tray in such a way that one side of the dish corresponds with the width of the filo pastry will make the layering process a pleasure and the end result as neat as can be.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster for the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 787.

Baklava

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Caprese Salad in Phyllo Baskets

Fill these light and crisp pastry cases with a mixture of small chunks of Mozzarella cheese (± 200 g) mixed with the same quantity of halved baby tomatoes, torn or shredded fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of favourite salad dressing and a dash of salt and ground black pepper.

3 sheets phyllo pastry
75 ml melted butter or margarine

  1. Fold the 3 sheets of phyllo pastry in half and press down onto the fold line.
  2. Unfold and cut through the sheets on the fold line.
  3. Fold the halved sheets in half again and cut the same way as before to make 12 strips.
  4. Stack the strips and fold in half again lengthwise. Unfold, cut on the fold line once more to make 24 shorter strips and stack again.
  5. Cut in half lengthwise once more to make 48 squares.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170°C and brush 16 medium muffin cups lightly with butter.
  7. Brush the first phyllo pastry square very lightly with melted butter and cover with a second square with the points protruding star-shaped over the straight edges of the first.
  8. Repeat with the third square and place the stack over the cup of the muffin tin.
  9. With the finger tips, press down gently into the cup to shape neatly and repeat until 16 pastry cases have been made.
  10. Bake for about 5 minutes or until pale golden. Take care while baking and check constantly for the pastry cases brown very quickly and if over baked the taste and appearance will be impaired.

Makes 16 x 3 layered pastry cases.

Note: The pastry cases may be made well in advance and stored in an airtight container until required. Fill with the mixed Caprese style salad filling shortly before serving.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.  See page 767 of the Art Of Cooking recipe book or instructions on how to make smooth-edged pastry cases.