What can you make with Phyllo pastry dough?
- Phyl Mar 10, 2003 04:05 PM
I just bought a packet of Phyllo pastry dough and can't think of anything to make with it. I prefer a savoury dish-type meal perhaps but am open to all suggestions, particularly easy and simple ones.
Well, working with phyllo is tricky, so I don't think any recipe using it can be called "easy and simple". Spanakopita (a Greek dish of spinach layered with phyllo) is a relatively easy savory dish. Almost any turnover/pasty filling can be wrapped in phyllo.
Bisteeya (a classic Morrocan dish of spiced poultry, eggs, nuts, cinnamon and sugar) is one of my favorite phyllo dishes.
re: Ruth Lafler
I love Spanikopita!
You can put many savory mixtures into the dough and fold it over and seal it closed like a turnover. Just make sure there is very little liquid in the mix.
Try sauteed mushroom with rib roast spices.
ground lamb, sliced green olives with/and pimentos, a little cream cheese and a hint of Cavender's Greek Spice (Cavender's is also a good rib roast spice).
Or place a bit of Brie and and apiece of dried apricot with a hint of garlic powder sprinkled in it and seal it closed.
Bake about 10 minutes until brown (maybe more, maybe less, depending on your oven)
I've used it mostly for party type food. You can mix chopped sauteed mushrooms, herbs and soft goat cheese and make a strudel type roll that you bake and slice. I've also sprinkled sheets with Indian spices and ground nuts, layered them, cut them in strips and used the strips to wrap jumbo shrimp that you bake.
1) Have phyllo thawed out before you open box. 2) Have melted and cooled butter handy, and a brush. 3) Have a big piece of plastic wrap handy so you can keep phyllo you're not working with absolutely out of the air as it hardens almost instantly when the air hits it. 4) If you remember those three things you can do almost anything you like with phyllo. Work with half a dozen sheets at once. Have some sisscors handy. Don't worry if phyllo tears, just glue it back together with a drop or two of water as it is very forgiving. Quickly brush each sheet with melted butter. Then be creative. You can wrap phyllo around little blobs of a meat or vegetable mixture. You can cut it (six thicknesses) into squares, bake them on a cookie sheet, and use them as crust or topping on anything sweet or savory. Or layer the squares with something. If you leave your six thicknesses in one big sheet (buttered in between) you can sprinkle it with bread crumbs, lay sweetened fruit on it, roll it up, tuck in the corners, seal the seams with water, and make a strudel. Or you can do a holy exercise and make the best baklava---you will never buy baklava again. Put three or four thickness of buttered phyllo in a greased 8- or 9-inch square pan. Put in a layer of chopped nuts, a couple more thicknesses of phyllo, more nuts, and so on to the top, ending with phyllo. Tuck in the edges and brush everything with butter. Cut into squares while it's still raw. Bake at 350* for half an hour or until golden. Meanwhile make a syrup of 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 slice each lemon and orange, 4-5 cloves, and 1 tsp. cinnamon---simmer this 15 minutes. Right after the baklava comes out of the oven pour all the syrup over it at once. If you just master the trick of handling phyllo you will love using it as it's versatile, reliable, and elegant.
I have a recipe for a zucchini chickpea phyllo pie that involves lining a springform pan with several layers of phyllo brushed with butter, filling it with a precooked filling with rice, zucchini and chickpeas, covering the top with a few more layers of phyllo and baking at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Delicious!
Spinach & Cheese Turnovers:
Take some shredded gruyere cheese and mix with cooked, drained, chopped spinach, an egg yolk to bind, and salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. (I am sorry I make this from my head and never measure.) Put mixture in phyllo layers and fold like a turnover. Brush wth melted butter and top with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 degrees till golden and crispy. Good appetizer.