We all get in them unintentionally, despite our best intentions. You get busy, and before you know it, you are smack dab in the middle of a rut: Taco Tuesday, Grilled Cheese Wednesday, Stir-Fry Thursday. These meals are easy-peasy-just-get-my-family-fed necessities, but after so many taco nights, one just needs a change.
This was the case on a rare free-day a couple weeks ago: I was sick of churning out the same foods, over and over again, and wanted to try something radically different.
Enter: Phyllo Dough.
Now, I have not worked with Phyllo Dough myself, but I remember my mom working with it at some point during my childhood, so I reasoned that this vicarious experience warranted the thought “how hard can it be?” Ha. Famous last words.
First, I made the filling. Now, this is a pretty flexible recipe, meaning, I dumped a variety of different herbs and spices into my mixture of whatever I had on hand, until it tasted good. So, take it all with the proverbial grain of salt.
What I did happen to have on hand were the staples our home has nearly always: cauliflower, kale, garlic and tempeh. I chopped all of the ingredients into very small bits (a food processor would also do the trick!), and pan fried with olive oil, vegetable broth, Thyme and Rosemary. I simmered all of this down, adding salt and pepper as needed, until I had a nice consistency.
Meanwhile, I took out the waiting Phyllo (keep in mind: the phyllo needs to sit at room temp for 2 hours before you start working with it).
I grabbed my first sheet of phyllo and immediately ripped it in half. I instinctively reached for the remaining half in an attempt to salvage the sheet, and it disintegrated in my hands. This happened for a few more sheets until I figured out a technique that worked for me… I gingerly laid the whole stack of phyllo over my left arm, then slid the top sheet off onto the pan below. This seemed to work okay, though I still had a few hiccups throughout the process.
Once I had the sheet placed on the pan, I coated with the melted butter, folded in half, and repeated with another coating. Now, as I have mentioned before many times: I love butter. So, I probably went a little overboard, but I melted an entire stick for easy spreading and added flavor. Maybe not the heart healthiest, but dang… you cannot beat that flavor.
Then I placed the next sheet on top of that, butter, fold, repeat. After 6 or 7 full sheets (12 or 14, folded), I put the cauliflower/kale/tempeh mixture in the middle of the phyllo, folded the short ends in, and then folded the long sides in, rolling the entire log onto the pan, seam side down.
I then coated the entire log in butter, and baked at 350 for 50 minutes, until crispy and flaky.
A completely non-boring weeknight meal, that is labor intensive but totally worth it.