Tag Archives: phyllo dough

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

There’s just something about food made in tiny individual forms that makes me happy.  I’m really not sure why.  They are so cute and delicious and let’s face it, it’s fun to say you ate 4 quiche for dinner.

Instead of the traditional pie crust, I used phyllo dough for the crust in these.  I was in the mood for something light and flaky and it was the perfect solution!  As an added bonus, they were also really pretty and had a satisfying crunch.  Since you’re making individual servings they are also really easy to customize to different tastes if you have a mushroom or feta hater among you.

This recipe makes a dozen quiche, but don’t be surprised if everyone eats three or four.  If you have some left over, they are great for breakfast the next day, but the phyllo will lose its crunch after a night in the fridge.

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo.  How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo. How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

1 package phyllo dough (you will probably only use half of it)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 oz. mushrooms
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half n half
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Spray a muffin pan (regular size, for 12 muffins) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half n half, nutmeg and a bit of salt & pepper.  Set aside.

Unroll your phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel so it doesn’t dry out.  On a clean surface, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough.  If you haven’t worked with phyllo before, be warned it is quite fragile, but it’s not tragic if it tears. If it does, just set the pieces side by side and keep going.  Brush lightly with melted butter (it does not have to be perfect).  Top with another sheet and brush lightly with butter.  Repeat with another 3 to 4 sheets, until you have a stack of 5-6 sheets of dough.  Cut into 6 squares.

Yes, it looks like paper.  It even feels like paper.  But it tastes like dough.  It's magic!

Yes, it looks like paper. It even feels like paper. But it tastes like dough. It’s magic!

Place each square into a muffin well, pressing to shape the square to the bottom of the well.  Repeat process with another 6 sheets of dough, and press into the other wells, making 12 pie crusts.

Tiny pie "crusts"

Tiny pie “crusts”

Saute mushrooms in a small skillet until browned.  Put a few mushrooms in the bottom of each quiche.

Mushrooms.  Don't like mushrooms?  Just leave them out.

Mushrooms. Don’t like mushrooms? Just leave them out.

Squeeze liquid from thawed spinach.  Place a wad of spinach in each quiche and spread out a bit.

minispinachquiche4

Top with a few crumbles of feta cheese (or any other cheese you’re fond of).

minispinachquiche5

Pour egg mixture over the top of the veggies and cheese, being careful not to overfill.  This is most easily accomplished by using a measuring cup with a spout or a small ladle. Top each quiche with a few pine nuts.

minispinachquiche6

Bake for 20-30 minutes until egg mixture is poofed up and crust is golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes or so to cool and set up.  Use a butter knife to carefully lever each quiche out of the pan and transfer to a plate.  These are great served with a big green salad.

When they are done, they look like this.  Yum!

When they are done, they look like this. Yum!

 

 

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Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus

Appetizers are something I love, but hardly ever make.  Unless I make them as dinner, instead of a starter for dinner.  But given the opportunity, like a recent family dinner, it’s fun to make (and eat!) something pretty and delicious.  These definitely fit the bill.

I love these little asparagus wrap ups.  They are quick to make, and I like the combination of the crunch of the phyllo dough and the tender bite of the asparagus.  They are a bit of fancy but not hard to make…one of my favorite combinations.  Doesn’t hurt that they also are pretty healthy compared to most appetizer options.

If you aren’t familiar with phyllo dough, it’s very, very thin sheets of dough, which are layered and baked.  I love the light and crispy texture.  You find it in the frozen section of the grocery store.  In most recipes you brush oil or melted butter between the layers, but the cooking spray works great and is a lot better for you.  For a vegetarian version, just leave out the ham, or substitute thinly sliced cheese.

Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
1 package of phyllo dough
Cooking spray
Thinly sliced ham or prosciutto

Unroll the phyllo dough.  Working quickly, separate one layer and lay it on a cutting board or towel.  Spray lightly with cooking spray, top with another layer, spray with cooking spray, and top with a third layer.  If you like some extra crunch you can also add a fourth layer.  (Cover remaining phyllo sheets with a slightly damp paper towel so they don’t dry out).

With a sharp knife slice the phyllo rectangle in thirds across the long length, and then down in fourths, making 12 squares.  Put a piece of ham on each square.  Place a stalk of asparagus on one end and roll up.  If your asparagus is really skinny, you can put two in each one.

Keep going until all asparagus and/or phyllo is used up.  Pile these on a plate as you finish.  If you don’t cook them all at once, just cover with a towel while the rest are cooking.

All rolled up and ready to cook!

Heat oven to 375˚. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Fill the tray with asparagus rolls, leaving a little space in between them.  Spray with cooking spray (it will help it brown a little better).  You will probably have enough for two or three trays, depending on how big your asparagus is.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, until phyllo turns golden brown.  Remove, arrange on a platter, and serve immediately.

Hot out of the oven.

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Roasted Vegetable Strudel

Phyllo dough is a fairly new discovery for me.  Other than for a couple of specific recipes it’s not something I think of in my day to day cooking. But that is going to change because every time I use it I love it even more.  Crispy, crunchy, flaky, versatile.  It’s everything I love about pastry without all the evils of pastry.

I came across a recipe on the “Proud Italian Cook” blog not too long ago for roasted vegetable strudel.  I didn’t do mine exactly the same but I thank that lovely lady for the inspiration because this turned out fantastic!  I can’t wait to experiment more with different variations, since I think you could use just about any combo of roasted veggies and cheese in this.  This first time I kept it pretty basic.  Delicious.  Feel free to mix and match your favorite veggies in your own version.

Roasted Vegetable Strudel and Fresh Fruit

Roasted Vegetable Strudel

12 sheets of phyllo dough
Cooking spray
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt & pepper

Spread veggies out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast at 400˚ for about 20 minutes, until tender.  I added the tomatoes about halfway through since they don’t need to cook as long.  Remove from oven.

Roasted Veggies

On a clean, dry work surface, lay out your first sheet of phyllo dough.  Keep the rest of the sheets covered so they don’t dry out.  For each roll I used 6 sheets.  On the first sheet, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with a cheese (I used about 1-2 tsp for each layer).  Lay out another sheet on top and repeat until you have 6 sheets.

Prepping the phyllo dough.  Just a spray and a sprinkle on each layer.

Spread half of the roasted veggies over the surface, leaving about an inch all around.

Top the phyllo with the veggies.

Roll up carefully.

Roll it up like you’re making cinnamon rolls.

Repeat with the other 6 sheets of dough and the rest of the veggies so you have 2 rolls.  Crimp the ends so things don’t fall out.  Sprinkle rolls with the remaining parmesan.  Drizzle with olive oil.

All dressed up and ready for the oven.

Bake at 400˚ for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.  Let cool for a minute or two and slice with a serrated knife.  Serves 4.

Crispy, crunchy and ready to eat! Let’s slice these babies up!

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