Thursday, August 6, 2009

Appetizer Memories Restyled

When I was younger we went to the restaurant Bennigan's a lot. It was new to us at the time and the food was pretty decent. One of things I remember loving was their broccoli bites appetizer. It was a deep fried ball with chopped broccoli, oozy velveeta like cheese and bread crumb outside. Crunchy on the outside and gooey cheese on the inside. It was healthy cuz it had broccoli in it, right? HA! That was my rationale back then. Now I know better. I haven't had those in a long time...boy I'd kill for one now.

In reading two blogs, I kinda made this up from their influence. Eating Thin had a broccoli and cheese quiche bite recipe. Girlichef yesterday was making a recipe with broccoli and she HAD to go and say "choppin' brocco-lay" (visions of Dana Carvey singing in my head now) and today she used some phyllo (delish looking maple walnut tartlettes!) So I got to thinking....I have some broccoflower and some phyllo and cheese...hmmmmmmm.

This is what I came up with....

Broccoli and Cheese Phyllo Pie

1 head of broccoflower, cut into 'florettes'
4 eggs
8 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. flour
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp of mayo (I used this since I was using skim milk)
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
dash of cayenne
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 package of phyllo dough sheets (1 of the 2 cylinders in the box), at room temperature
6-7 Tbsp butter, melted (you may or may not be heavy handed with this)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put your broccoflower in a pot with a enough water to cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl put your chopped bacon, green onions, shredded cheese, mix well.

In a medium bowl put your eggs, salt, peppers, flour, mayo and milk beat well. I used an immersion blender for the mayo tends to 'seize in little pieces from the cold milk. The immersion blender made it all smooth.

Unroll your phyllo dough and cover with a damp paper towel. Either grease your 8 inch springform pan with cooking spray or melted butter. Uncover your dough and remove two sheets of phyllo (replacing the damp towel) and lay into your springform pan. Take your pastry brush and coat it with butter. Making sure the phyllo 'sticks' to the sides. Rotate pan a bit and repeat with two more layers and butter. Keep rotating and layering and buttering until you have quite a thick 'phyllo' nest. Roughly about 3/4 of the roll. Since there are 20 sheets to a roll and you are putting down 2 layers at a time; this will be about 14-16 sheets)

Since your broccoli is cool now, roughly chop it and mix it in with the bacon and cheese mixture. Put the broccoli/bacon/cheese mix into your phyllo nest and gently pat down. Remix your egg mixture (pepper and flour may settle a bit) and pour over your broccoli mixture.

Take your remaining phyllo sheets and put on top 2 layers at a time coating with butter in between. Roll your over hanging edges with the phyllo sides to create a 'crust edge'. Brush top with butter.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. You may need to cover the phyllo after an hour to keep it from overbrowning. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting (you don't want everything to ooze out on you).

Be careful cutting very gently so you don't MASSACRE your phyllo dough. Use a serrated knife and gently saw. When you get to the bottom where the phyllo is more don't have to be so gentle.

I tell ya, the smokey cheese, soft yet still firm broccoli and the bits of bacon. This is ON POINT! Granted there is no bread crumb coating....but the crunchy phyllo worked.

Don't be afraid of working with phyllo. Like riding a bike...the more you work with it, the more comfortable you get. For example when I was putting the layers on the bottom....I didn't worry about any tears or total even coverage of butter. I knew once the filling was was all good. This was a total risk from fusing two ideas....and man, it paid OFF!

BTW, as I was making this with eggs....thought I'd show you this...

Notice anything? Does the Sesame Street song "one of these things doesn't belong here" come to mind?

My neighbor gives me some farmer's market 'rejects' every so often. By law, the farmer can't sell 'double yolked' eggs apparently? I know I've gotten plenty of them in 'store bought' eggs before...but these eggs must be laid by ginormous chickens. I laugh when I get them for I can't put them in my egg carton with the others. Here was Big Bird's baby picture next to regular birds....LOL



girlichef said...

Oh my gosh, woman!!! This looks freakin' amazing!!! You know I just happen to have a half a package of phyllo left, too...hmmmmm! Thanks for the shout-out :D

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

That looks great. I love broccoli. I might have to borrow this recipe. I think I have some phyllo in the phridge, lol.

Anonymous said...

Oh..I have filo dough in the freezer!
On the Bennigans broccoli bites, have you considered using wonton skins, either rolled up or tucked in a mini muffin pan for this filling?
I'm a "3 bites or less" appetizer hound, and I think this would be delicious!

JennyMac said...

OH great idea STONEMAVEN! See what happens when great cooks put their heads together? I guess I was so busy trying to find a use for the phyllo that I looked right past the wontons in my FREEZER! LOL