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Cooking with phyllo

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starbucksbrew Oct 16, 2008 01:44 PM

I did a search before asking this but didn't find what I'm looking for. I've used phyllo to make baklava, but I've never cooked a dinner dish with it. If I want to do something like stuffed chicken and mushroom phyllo pockets, do I have to coat each sheet of dough with water or butter? Or can I just wrap them and bake? I was hoping to keep this lighter than the baklava.

  1. k
    Kelli2006 Oct 16, 2008 02:01 PM

    Brushing them with melted butter will help them to brown and make them crisp but it isn't absolutely necessary. I would brush the first sheet and the very last.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006
      MMRuth Oct 16, 2008 04:41 PM

      I never realized that one could get away with not buttering all sheets. That's great news.

    2. todao Oct 16, 2008 02:14 PM

      Phyllo is extremely versatile, if somewhat delicate, and can be used with just about any sweet or savory filling or topping you'd care to try. I've used it to build pie crust, strudel, lasagna style casserole, and many other "weird" ways. I agree that it's not necessary to oil or butter each individual layer. As Kelli2006 pointed out, the butter/oil process helps brown the layers and allows them to separate a bit while browning (especially along the edges of the sheets) and I believe it provides more visual interest when plated. But I often assemble the pieces in 3 layer packets, adding the butter or oil to each top layer as I build the dish. I only use butter where it adds significantly to the flavor I want in the final product; e.g. baklava. I sometimes use olive oil and, for a little butter flavor without overpowering the dish, I sometimes mix vegetable oil and butter for that purpose. I'll be making a savory dish using Phyllo dough for dinner tonight that includes chicken and vegetables and a bit of sour cream and some sun dried tomatoes. I will simply assemble the layers, cut into squares, fill with the savory mixture and fold over to wrap it all up into a package. Can't wait for the dinner bell to ring.

      1. s
        starbucksbrew Oct 16, 2008 02:17 PM

        Okay, that all sounds good! That's what I'm going for - maybe just coating the inside and outside layers. Thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: starbucksbrew
          todao Oct 16, 2008 09:07 PM

          How'd your dinner turn out? I chopped up two roasted chicken thighs, added that to some sauted celery, onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and a bit of chicken broth. Reduced to eliminate liquid, spooned onto two assemblages of eight layers of olive oil/butter brushed phyllo, rolled 'em up (like a strudel) and baked for about 30 - 35 minutes. I left out the sour cream that I had originally considered ... maybe next time.

          1. re: todao
            s
            starbucksbrew Oct 19, 2008 05:35 PM

            I ended up doing more of a phyllo empanada, with beef, onions, green chiles, garlic, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Buttering just the inside and outside layers worked great, but the phyllo didn't really compliment the tex-mex filling.

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