Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another recipe

I'm not going to post this recipe as it appears in the magazine, because I altered it pretty significantly. This is my version:

Phyllo Turnovers with Roasted Squash and Chiles

2 cups delicata squash, cut into 1/2-inch by 3-inch strips (you can leave the rind on) or
butternut or kabocha squash cut into rough cubes
1 bell pepper (red, orange, yellow, or green) halved lengthwise and seeded
2 pasilla peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, add squash and peppers and spray with cooking spray. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool; peel peppers and squash and chop.

For turnovers you need:
1 package phyllo sheets, defrosted and set out at room temperature
clarified butter or warm olive oil

Prepare filling:

2 leeks, chopped
olive oil
2 tblsp chopped cilantro
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
spices to taste (chili powder, cumin, oregano, mild curry powder)

Cook the leeks in a little olive oil until tender. Add roasted chopped squash and peppers, cilantro, feta (if using) and spices, and stir until mixed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a working area with half the phyllo sheets opened up but covered with a few thicknesses of moist (not wet) paper towels, the butter or oil, a pastry brush, and the filling. Have some baking sheets ready, coated with cooking spray. To make turnovers, uncover the phyllo, remove a sheet and put it in front of you; re-cover the remaining sheets while you work. Brush half of the phyllo sheet lengthwise with butter/oil, and fold it lenthwise. Repeat. After folding the second time, you should have a sheet about 3 inches wide and 14 inches long, 4 thick. Place about a tablespoon of the filling near one end of this length. Pick up one of the corners nearest the filling, and fold it over the filling to begin forming a triangle. Pick up the corner and fold the sheet plus filling back, sealing the filling in. Keep folding until you reach the end, tuck any extra phyllo underneath. Brush lightly with butter or oil, and place on baking sheet. Continue until you either run out of filling or phyllo.

Bake turnovers at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until crisp.
I usually use chili powder (about a tablespoon or so), a little cumin, and oregano to season these, to give them a southwest flavor. But you could also give them an Indian flair with curry powder and cumin, so be creative. The original recipe calls for 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in the oil before adding the leeks, and a little salt and pepper. It is also served with a cilantro and mind raita, which you really don't need if you don't make them too spicy (the original recipe called for 3 pasillas - I use fewer because we have spice-wimps in the house).

The original recipe also calls for adding artichoke hearts with the leeks; I forgot them the first time I made the recipe, and I just leave them out now, they taste just fine without them. It also calls for cooking the pasillas with the leeks, but I roast them as well - it makes the flavor mellower and sweeter. As I said, I changed the original recipe around quite a bit, but I think these are delicious as I make them.

If you use olive oil to brush the phyllo and omit the feta, this is a very tasty vegan course, hearty enough for Thanksgiving.


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