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Savory item for a bakeoff?

betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 12:00 AM

My office is having a bakeoff next week, and I'm leaning towards bringing something savory to provide some relief from the sweets.

What are some baked goods that are savory that don't need too much reheating (we have a toaster oven)? I was thinking about doing empanadas. Someone already signed up for quiche. Maybe spanakopita? I have lots of filo dough, though I suppose that would be "cheating"...I'm not really fussed about being in the contest and trying to win, just want to bring something to contribute.

I'm especially interested in anything that can be made ahead or has some make-ahead components, as I won't be getting home until 9pm the night before the bakeoff.


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    flashria RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 06:21 AM

    How about a tart made from a sheet of puff pastry with caramelised onions on top? You can add olives and / or anchovies depending on your colleagues' tastes - i think it's better at room temp. Or you could do cheese scones, perhaps with slices of ham or prosciutto and / or chutney; or even cheese muffins (I have a fail-safe, yummy recipe I could post if you like). Alternatively I'd suggest a 'flip-over' pie which starts with a sheet of pastry, plenty of filling consisting of sliced cooked potato, ham and cheese bound with some sour cream and mustard, then you just fold over the pastry and seal along one long edge. Bake and serve at room temp.

    1. n
      nemo RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 10:45 AM

      I don't think filo is cheating at all. Here's a bundt torte that is really delicious. Some CHers have said they reduced the amount of butter with good results.

      Pasted in "In case you'd like a savory recipe, here's one from the NYT that I've made a few times. The recipe in the NYT link is accurate; the link to Ciaochowlinda has pictures. It's very rich and buttery and a small slice goes a long way, but it is very easy to make and absolutely delicious. Don't be afraid of the amount of dill -- it makes the dish. You definitely need a crowd to help polish this off!"



      Also, there are the puff pastry twists sprinkled with Parmesan, old standard cheese straws, blue cheese and pecan (or walnut) bites with a nutmeat pressed on top or made thumbprint style with a dab of fig jam. The last two doughs could be made ahead and just baked off the night before.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nemo
        hotoynoodle RE: nemo Feb 19, 2012 06:44 AM

        while that ny times dish looks very pretty, spanakopita isn't supposed to be a cheese bomb. it's a pie of greens, with cheese as an accent. greek (and italian) peasants used all sorts of local wild greens to make savory pies. they grew in abundance and were used that way.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          lilgi RE: hotoynoodle Feb 20, 2012 10:13 AM

          I don't think that's supposed to resemble spanakopita or spinach pie; it's closer to a Tiropita, mostly cheese.

          1. re: lilgi
            hotoynoodle RE: lilgi Feb 20, 2012 10:29 AM

            ah, thanks.

      2. mamachef RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 11:20 AM

        I'd just go ahead and make the spanakopeta - everyone loves it and if you're not invested in winning, I don't see a problem. You could also do picadillo casserole with layers of filo,and you could make the filling 2 days ahead, then just assemble. I'm sure it will all be delicious, whatever you choose. Oh, and I just saw a recipe for a sort of wild-rice casserole/mushroom/onion pie made with filo; starchy and delicious. :)

        1. m
          mitzy1400 RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 11:29 AM

          Maybe a savory galette. There's a great one on Smittenkitchen.com http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/but...

          1 Reply
          1. re: mitzy1400
            Lady_Tenar RE: mitzy1400 Feb 20, 2012 10:40 AM

            I was thinking of a savory galette too.

            Also, one of my favorite savory baked goods to make (I've brought them up here before) is a batch of bacon-cheddar-apple muffins. Just your basic buttermilk corn muffin batter, sweetened with a little grade B maple syrup, and crumpled bacon, shredded cheddar and a little diced granny smith baked in. Not nearly as high-brow as some of these other suggestions but bacon is always a crowd pleaser! And they're pretty easy and don't need to be re-heated.

          2. iL Divo RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 11:59 AM

            Was watching Ina yesterday and she and TR were doing a duo of shopping chores. Ina was making the food and TR was buying some of it. I'm thinking to promote his lovely face and get him some tv commercial time. Either way, she made chicken pot pies using a pie crust that just happened to be in the freezer or frig. I have seen chicken pot pies using phillo dough many times, thinking one was on Nigella's show, yea, it was.

            Ina's version of her filling seemed very good to me, good sized chunks of roasted chicken breasts and a nice light colored almost yellowish gravy plus easy veggies like carrots and frozen peas. I may be all wrong here but I've made my fair share of chicken pot pies and they can present a struggle. Too thick of a filling or too thin, to many veggies or not typical ones you'd usually find. To add potatoes or not? My sons favorite one was always Hamburger Hamlets in Westwood Village by UCLA. Why? Because it really contained a strong flavor or garlic and always arrived piping hot...was so so good.

            You can always either make her crust recipe featured here too or use that wonderful phillo you already have. Either way, you'll no doubt receive high marks.


            1. roxlet RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 12:04 PM

              Make a pizza rustica. It is like an Italian quiche except larger and made in a spring form pan. I would post the recipe except I am away from home and not at my computer. However, I have posted both the recipe and photos here previously, so if you do a search,myou will find it. Think of every delicious Italian ingredient from ricotta to salami to prosciutto to mozzarella, etc, put them all together and bake. Pure deliciousness!

              1. hotoynoodle RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 12:53 PM

                spanokopita is a crowd-pleaser always, and delicious at room temp. i use copious amounts of fresh dill and mint in mine, plus lemon zest.

                instead of coating the layers with melted butter, i spray with pam. it makes for a substantially lighter finished product. i also do it jelly roll style and it's easy to slice into small servings that way, for finger food.

                i also use filo with a duxelles/goat cheese filling.

                1. 4
                  4Snisl RE: betterbeheaven Feb 18, 2012 05:51 PM

                  For quick, easy and delicious, I'm not sure you can beat scones. Maybe gussied up with some classic flavor combination, like cheddar and scallions (or cheddar and jalapeno), caramelized onion and gruyere, or goat cheese and sun dried tomato pieces.

                  If you use your phyllo, I'm sure no one will consider you a cheater. :)

                  1. k
                    katecm RE: betterbeheaven Feb 20, 2012 10:03 AM

                    These parmesan and thyme crackers are really understated and elegant. You can make the dough ahead of time, then slice and bake the night before: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                    1. s
                      silvergirl RE: betterbeheaven Feb 20, 2012 10:13 AM

                      What about cheese straws with the phyllo?

                      1. caseyjo RE: betterbeheaven Feb 20, 2012 10:38 AM

                        My preference is always for chicken pot-pie. I make one quite similar to Thomas Keller's from Ad Hoc at home, and it always turns out great. Gougeres are another easy option, and quite different from the usual baked good. Now that I'm thinking about it, garlicky and/or cheesy bread bites would certainly be amazing.

                        I think philo might be cheating, depending on how seriously others take the bake-off.

                        1. Yank RE: betterbeheaven Feb 20, 2012 10:43 AM

                          How about making Gougeries? They're easy, can be made in advance and just need heating up. They also happen to be delicious.

                          There are lots of recipes on the net for them, but in essence they are just choux pastry with the addition of a sharp cheese. Easy.

                          1. b
                            betterbeheaven RE: betterbeheaven Feb 27, 2012 11:04 PM

                            Thank you everyone for the ideas! ....I ended up going the sweet route because a lot of folks actually signed up for savories, and it seemed easier to make a simple dessert (though cheese straws was a good idea too, in terms of minimal work). I made scotcheroos (http://annies-eats.com/2011/02/18/pea...) which I didn't realize were a Midwestern thing until someone in my office told me. The whole pan got eaten up, but I wasn't really a big fan myself -- too heavy, too much honey.

                            Incidentally, the best thing IMO at the bakeoff was a savory galette with sweet potatoes and blue cheese.

                            Will be making the spanakopita for a friend's party this Friday night instead.

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