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Phyllo Pastry 4-Ways (Posted On: Tuesday, January 19, 2010)

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Chef Roger Genoe at the Ravenna Country Market invited us into his kitchen to teach how one simple ready made product can be used in four fabulous ways. Chef Roger loves phyllo pastry because it’s forgiving and adaptable. It can be used for appetizers, entrees and desserts and you don’t have to be a chef to enjoy success.

No matter what you choose to make, there are some phyllo basics that you need to know:

  • You should always have a clean, damp towel handy or a piece of saran wrap available to cover the phyllo dough you’re not working with and keep the air away from it.  Phyllo dough is very very thin and dries out quickly.  If it dries out it becomes brittle and cracks or breaks, making it more difficult to work with.
  • Have all ingredients ready and any fillings mixed together in advance.  You have to work quickly once you’ve started.  It’s a simple but concentrated effort that will ensure success. 
  • Purchase a good quality pastry brush or even a paint brush (to cover a larger area more quickly).  Whatever brush you choose to use, make sure it is good quality and won’t leave behind any bristles as you work.  Brush the corners with butter first…then fill in the rest of the sheet using quick but gentle strokes.  By brushing down the corners first it anchors your sheet of phyllo dough.
  • Have a nice clean work surface prepared.  A large breadboard makes a good choice.  Make sure the breadboard is bigger than the sheet of phyllo dough.
  • For all of the ideas below, an oven set at 350 degrees for 10 minutes is suggested, but keep your eye on things and adjust accordingly.

Beggars Purses

We started with an appetizer of Beggar’s Purses (because of their shape) stuffed with a very yummy mixture of braised chicken, Rosenberg Blue Cheese, sautéed vegetables (zucchini, red peppers and onion) some garlic puree, heavy cream and salt and pepper. 

Two sheets of phyllo were used.  The first sheet laid out, then brushed with melted butter, then the second sheet, then some more butter.  Then Roger put out small spoonfuls of the filling, cut the dough in sections and folded each purse up.

Marinated Goat Cheese Rounds

Large goat cheese rounds were marinated in basil pesto, wrapped in phyllo and served with a marinated root vegetable salad.  Chef Roger used oven baked beats, olive oil blanched celery root, braised carrots, curry roasted turnips and grilled peppers all mixed in with some apple cider vinegar.  Note; the beets were not mixed in with the rest of the veggies because their colour would turn the whole dish purple if mixed together.  You could also serve the phyllo wrapped goat cheese with any type of salad that you love.  This would be a great way to serve a spinach salad or micro greens.

Spring Rolls

This one was much easier than I thought it would be.  Chef Roger started with a julienne (very thinly sliced) mixture of carrots, zucchini with skins on, peppers, green onion.  The vegetables were sautéed quickly with some Soya sauce, pickled ginger, sesame seed oil, some rice wine vinegar and a bit of honey.  Then the whole mixture was let to set for a while and then the liquid was blotted out with a clean towel.  If you have too much water content in the filling, you’re going to end up with soggy pastry.  Again, two sheets of phyllo were used. 

Sweet Phyllo Pastry Cup filled with Caramelized Apple

Using a muffin tin to bake the phyllo pastry cups is fast, easy and makes a fabulous dessert presentation.  Chef Roger filled these tasty treats with caramelized apple, brandy infused pastry cream and finished it off with some white chocolate shavings and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

If you have any questions about these ideas, give Chef Roger a call.  The Ravenna Country Market has everything you would expect to find in a small town country store. Fresh baked pies, breads, butter tarts, a full pantry of dry and canned goods, plus fresh dairy products. The new owners are planning on carrying seasonal fresh produce and also offer fresh and frozen gourmet to go meals. You can zip by and grab a cappuccino and croissant for breakfast or a fabulous fresh lunch. Many of the products available are sourced from local suppliers like the frozen cuts of beef that are hormone and antibiotic free. You can also find Ashanti Coffee, maple syrup and home made jams and preserves. Chef Roger Genoe would be pleased to cater any function, large or small.

495972 Grey Road 2, Ravenna ON N0H 2E0
T: 519.599.2796
www.ravennacountrymarket.ca

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