Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Phyllo Is Your Friend
I love phyllo dough. LOVE IT. It's so easy to work with, yet makes me feel so accomplished, kind of like homemade pizza dough (which is easy, easy yet I feel supremely proud of myself any time I make it).
My favorite form of phyllo are phyllo triangles, the wonderful little flaky pockets of goodies. Everyone loves them and the options, there are limitless.
To make them, melt tons of butter, more than you think you'll need. Lay one tissue-paper-thin sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush with butter. Repeat until you have six layers of phyllo brushed with butter. Slice each stack of sheets into six strips. Place the fillings at the edge of each strip (anyone confused yet?) and fold over, starting at the end like you're folding a flag and go all the way up to make little triangles.
This is a link to a photo tutorial, which may make more sense. It's easy to do yet hard to explain.
For several years, my go-to filling was Tex-Mex. I used leftover grilled chicken or purchased cooked chicken or whatever. Some kind of chicken. Each triangle got a little bit of shredded chicken topped with salsa, shredded Colby Jack cheese, a few black beans, and chopped green onions.
Last weekend we had bought a rotisserie chicken for something and had some left over so I decided to do the phyllo triangles. They are so nice to have in the freezer, especially around this time of year as the holiday season gears up.
This time I branched out a bit and filled the triangles with a bit of chopped chicken, basil pesto, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and goat cheese.
And they were AWESOME. We've found a new hit and will be making them again and again. We've already enjoyed some twice - once with a dinner salad and once with soup.
Try them. You'll love them.
Oh, wait. I bet you'd rather like to know how to store and bake them.
If you're baking right away, preheat oven to 375 and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.
To squirrel some away for later, place the triangles in a singly layer on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Place triangles in a freezer proof zip top bag and freeze. To bake, place frozen triangles on ungreased baking sheet and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 375 oven.