Tag Archives: phyllo dough

It's All Greek To Me: How to Make Baklava

-Eleni Pappelis

Having been brought up with a Greek heritage, one thing I have come to appreciate is the great food Greeks make. Baklava is a type of honey pastry and is also a Greek delicacy that I have enjoyed my whole life. To truly call myself Greek, I baked this easy dessert!

Ingredients:

One 16 ounce  package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts of your choice
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Chop nuts and toss them in with the cinnamon. Set that aside.

3. Unroll the phyllo dough. Cut the whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover the phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in the pan, and butter them thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top it with two sheets of dough, butter, and nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 to 8 sheets deep.

4. Using a sharp knife, cut the layers into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut it into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts.

5. Bake it for about 50 minutes, or until the baklava is golden and crisp.

6. Make the sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until the sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

7. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let it cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Not Your Average Afterschool Snack: Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

-Whitney Barton

I pretty much love anything with puff pastry or phyllo dough.   Crispy, buttery, flakey; what’s not to like?  These little pizza-esque tarts are not only delicious and easy to make, but they possess that little x-factor that tastes like they came out of a small, chic bakery.  Not your college student apartment.  Find the original Ina Garten recipe here.

Tips:

–   Buy the puff pastry at the grocery story.  I am a HUGE fan of homemade, but when it comes to puff pastry, save yourself the 36 hours (I wish I was exaggerating), and just pick it up for three bucks.

–   Get some parchment paper!  It’s in the isle with wax paper and saran wrap.  Every cook should have it; it’s a time saver, and when baking it protects the bottom of whatever you’re making.

–   Pull the pastry out of the freezer. Maybe 10 minutes or so before cooking, as they take about as long to defrost as it does to prepare the tarts.

–   Don’t have a rolling pin?  Just use a glass.  My makeshift rolling pin for years was a pint glass.  Just flour it and you’re good to go.

–   Get the onions and garlic started before you even look at the rest of the recipe.  (In reality though, I strongly recommend reading every recipe in its entirety before you reach for your cutting board.  Read it twice.  Thrice even.  Just read it.)  You’ll be essentially caramelizing the onions, which takes a while.

–   Don’t like goat cheese?  Don’t use it!  You can still make this dish; just choose a different  (probably soft) cheese.  Mozzarella, gouda, fontina, whatever suites your taste.  When I first discovered the beauty of swapping ingredients, it was both mentally freeing and pure culinary magic.  I encourage everyone to do it.

–   I used shaved pecorino cheese instead of parmesan.  It’s a hard, salty sheep’s milk cheese with a great buttery, nutty flavor.   I love it.

–   Set your timer for 17 minutes.  The recipe says 20-25.  I pulled mine out at 18 and the bottoms were borderline burnt.  Another minute and they would have been scorched. After smelling the delicious onions and garlic for 30+ minutes, I may have shed a tear.  Just one.

–   If you’re 21+, pour yourself a glass of wine.  It really just enhances the cooking experience.

 Bon appétit!