Saturday, September 5, 2009

Phyllo Cigars (Mozzarella and Nutella)

See that ooey gooey goodness up there? That my friends is a delicious, crispy, ooey gooey, BAKED mozzarella stick. Yes, I said crispy, delicious, mozzarella, and baked all in the same sentence. The secret? Phyllo dough! So easy and simple! No need to fry these babies. I first saw these done like this here. Today I wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks and nutella in the phyllo- separately of course! The possibilities are endless though- mini marshmallows and chocolate, minced lamb with potatoes and onions, chicken, pepperoni and cheese, vegetables, crisp pancetta and cheese, asparagus and prosciutto, cinnamon walnut baklava filling, chicken curry, honey and ricotta with orange zest, pate, mini beef wellingtons for appetizers... really whatever you like. For these, cooked fillings that are a little dry are best. This is a method really. Have fun with it!

A couple of things you want to remember
- keep the phyllo dough covered, I take out a few sheets at a time then roll it back up in the plastic and cover that with a damp towel
- phyllo dough rips easily
- even though it rips easy, it's forgiving, an extra layer to cover up a mistake and prevent oozing of filling is not going to hurt anything
- olive oil or butter in a spray bottle or bowl and pastry brush is your friend
-cooked fillings work best for this method since you're just crisping the phyllo and heating the filling
- phyllo browns quickly at 475 degrees, watch it!
For the Mozzarella sticks

What you need-
Phyllo dough sheets- thawed
String cheese
Olive oil- garlic infused would be awesome

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Unwrap string cheese and cut each one in half. (Or as DH says "into transverse sections".) For each of the pieces of cheese I used one sheet of phyllo, cut in half, again "transverse sections" LOL. Spray the phyllo with olive oil- I have a pump spray, I am sure you can use PAM, it just has to be a THIN coating. Take one of the pieces of phyllo and place the cheese about 1/3 up from a corner. Bring the corner up over the cheese and roll once or twice. Fold in the two corners on the sides, spray with more olive oil. Finish rolling the cheese all the way to the end of the dough. (Step by step pictures, I sure do miss you- I'm not a writer). Now take the rolled cheese and place it on the other half of the phyllo and wrap it again the same way. This is called insurance, so you don't have cheese oozing out all over the baking sheet. Place the roll seem side down on a oiled baking sheet. Once you have them all rolled spray the tops with oil again and bake for 8 minutes. Turn them at four minutes to brown the undersides. That's it, it really is that easy.

You want Nutella ones? Same method... seriously- easy peasy.

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