Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TEACHING fillo dough class, # 2 BAKLAVA








WALNUT BAKLAVA

In my family, my grandmother made baklava always for New Year. We had a huge tree in the front of the house. Long after school started (in Romania September 15th) it was a very odd type of collecting walnuts from tree. My mother and my grandmother had 2 long poles, and they “beat” the tree, so the nuts will open from the shell and fell on the ground, My brother and I used to collect them and put in basement, to get dry, on the newspaper beds….




Close to New Year Eve, my grandmother (bless her soul) start very early in the morning to knock and clean and knock and clean… many walnuts.

I brought one time, at my neighbor party BAKLAVA and they dream about many year later. I keep telling them it is very easy to make, but they don’t believe me. So this year just before holidays I get them together to teach how to deal with fillo dough.




They were surprised how easy is to use fillo dough, they didn’t know anything about

It is a very, very sweet dessert, and all I remember when I was little, was “fishing” them from a “huge” bowl of syrup. Later I found out that it was not so much syrup but my grandmother recipe it is DEFINITELY a “wet” baklava compare to a “dry “ baklava as people from Egypt make it.





Ingredients:


1lb Walnuts
1 package of Fillo Dough
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
Syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vanilla powdered
¼ cup of honey
2 tablespoons Rum (Bacardi) at end, just before you take it off stove.

 Directions:

Mix 3 cups of crushed (coarse) walnuts,one tablespoon of Cinnamon and set aside.

Brush 9/12 pan with melted butter.

Preheat oven at 375 Degrees


Use 2 or 3 layers for Fillo Dough as a base,then butter Fillo Dough add a couple more Fillo Dough, spread walnuts mixer, add 5 more layer of Fillo Dough.
Every second or third slice butter the Fillo Dough on the 5 slice of Fillo Dough spread mixture.
Keep repeating until mixture is done.
Cut in squares, with a sharp knife.

Bake at 375 degrees for ½ an hour or until golden brown.

** If Baklava is Hot do cold syrup or vice- versa

To make syrup:
Heat on stove 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, and 2 tablespoons vanilla powdered. Heat until thick then add 8 oz of honey with 2 tablespoons Rum (Bacardi)

When syrup is thick enough remove from the heat and pour over cold Baklava.


Step by step photo cook book and the recipe you can find into my own photo-cookbok:


Bone appetite!

print recipe here

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TEACHINNG fillo dough class #1. CHEESE STRUDEL (ROMANIAN=PLACINTA)




 Teaching people to cook easy and healthy food is one of my dreams for quite a while. I am preparing for this for few years and I am ready to teach few techniques, few dishes, that I master for years, mainly from my home cooking.

I know how to cook, looks like forever…… and coming to this BLESSED COUNTRY I realized how easy is here to make a meal. You can find anything you want, anytime of the year, any spice that you need, and any kitchen tool you ever dream… Just you need to know how and how easy is to master anything!

This is the second time I have a group in my house. These are my neighbors and I am teaching them how to deal with 'FILLO DOUGH" They were amazed how easy is to prepare a desert or a cheese pie with fillo dough, that they never seen in their kitchen.




When they came to my home for my class, I already prepared a cheese strudel ( we call it in Rumanian "PLACINTA") to have something to try and I get all the applause for it: delicious, stunning looking when you bring it to the table...very tasty... They all wanted to know how to make it!




INGREDIENTS:


1 package of Fillo Dough

1 lb Ricotta Cheese (Fat Free Optional)

1 lb Feta Cheese Crumbled

12 Eggs ( EggBeaten Optional) 6+6 ( for topping)

1-Tablespoon Caraway Seeds

1 Stick of Unsalted Butter

1lb spinach, blenched (optional)

Topping:

1 lb Sour Cream

6 Eggs




1. How to make CHEESE STRUDEL





DIRECTIONS:


Mix 1lb of Ricotta Cheese, Feta Cheese and 6 eggs. When mixed well add 1 tablespoon of Caraway seeds mix until blended.

Open Fillo Dough box:




Melt the 1 stick of unsalted butter in the microwave.

Brush 9 x 12 pan melted butter.
Place 3 or 4 Fillo Dough down on the bottom of the dish to make a solid base. Brush butter on the Fillo Dough. Place Fillo Dough on top and spread a large tablespoon full of mixture. 
Place Fillo Dough on top butter place another Fillo Dough spread cheese mixture.



Keep repeating until you get ½ of Fillo pack

Squish to make a roll on one side of the pan.


Now you are going to repeat to make another roll on the other side, which you squish again.


 Mix:


1 lb Sour Cream with

6 Eggs

Mix together then pour on top, all over the 2 rolls of fillo dough and cheese.



Turn on oven at 375 Degrees and bake the cheese strudel for about 1 hour.






The surface must be well baked, with beautiful shade of brown, and yellow. The stick "test" should be clean once you insert inside of the strudel.



THE BEST HUMMUS, from “Silver Palate Cookbook”

  The first time I had hummus, I love it! 30 years ago (1987) new to this coun...