Saturday, September 02, 2006
Fun with Filo
If anyone has recently stumbled across my blog they're probably wondering why on earth I'm bothering because I haven't posted since my first entry. We'll you see I'm having a few problems with my photos (the first problem being that they suck! and the second that I can't figure out how to upload the stupid things!) and I figure that a food blog without photos is like a cookbook without pretty pictures - not worth the bother of reading. I'm sure that just as my quilting improved with practice, so shall my photography. Please bear with me.
The main reason I plunged into blogging without having some draft posts and pictures up my sleeve for future use is that I wanted to participate in the current Blogging by Mail event, hosted by Stephanie, the Happy Sorceress, from Dispensing Happiness. The rules are simple - no blog - no play. The deadline for mailing is 15 September which sounds like a long way away but I am a terrible procrastinator. However, I'm pleased to say that my package is winging its way to somewhere overseas and has an ETA of about 7 days. Who will be the lucky recipient? I hope she likes what I chose.
I had leftover rotisserie chicken and based on the fresh veggies I had in my fridge I decided to recreate that old Pampered Chef chicken and broccoli dish that appears on many recipe sites online. It's one of those dishes that transports me back to when I was living in Kentucky and I don't make it often enough. True to the quote on my first blog entry aspects of which I attributed to my mother, I didn't follow a recipe, I was missing a vital ingredient and I didn't have a key utensil!! In New Zealand we do not have any sort of packaged bread that comes in a tube so I had to improvise. I thought I'd make little filo pies in muffin pans. Slight technical hitch - I didn't have a Texas muffin pan and had to use regular a regular size one. I am not a big fan of dill but in this recipe the dill is one of the flavours that adds oomph to the taste. The finished dish didn't taste quite as good as I remembered it but I guess that's what happens when you guesstimate your proportions. Here's the recipe if you're doing the crescent roll thing:
Chicken and Broccoli Braid
12 oz. cooked chicken, chopped (2 cups - about 3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves)
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
1/2 cup. mayonnaise
2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (I like more)
2 pkg (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
In a large bowl, toss together chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, dill, salt, almonds and onion
Unroll crescent roll dough, and arrange flat on a medium baking sheet. Pinch together perforations to form a single sheet of dough. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the chicken mixture along the center strip. Fold the side strips over chicken mixture, alternating strips from each side. Pinch or twist to seal. Brush braided dough with the egg white.
Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown.
If you want to make filo muffin cases take a sheet of pastry, brush it with oil or butter, fold it in half and brush with more oil, fold it in half again etc etc til you get down to a size that will fit your muffin pan (I think it was three folds for a regular sized muffin pan). Press the filo into the muffin pan and fill with the chicken mixture. Bake about 20 minutes.
I served my little pies with creamy mashed potato, partly to appease my husband who loves his spuds, and partly because I thought the creamy mash would be a nice foil to the flaky pastry.