Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Yam, Yam, Gimme Some!

Crostata  di Pasta Filo all'uovo & Erbe con Patate Dolce & Formaggio Fresco
Filo Egg & Herb Tart with Yam & Cream Cheese

It takes quite a while to use up a whole packet of filo pastry if you live alone- but with this delicious Springtime supper, I managed to do so in style! I am always loathe to waste good food, so this is another of my "scavenge the fridge" recipes for you!

There it was, one solitary and skinny yam, waiting to be transformed from a vegetable version of the ugly duckling into the elegant, pastry-based swan you see here. I had a last scoop of cheese curds, a couple of eggs and herbs. Lots and lots of herbs. And I also had an idea...

How do you make a single little yam go a long, long, way? Slice it very finely so that you can spread it over a larger surface area- which also means it will cook more quickly- so those are 2 good reasons to do just that. My next step was to steam them for 3-4 minutes, just to jump-start the cooking process on them. I then drizzled a little olive oil on them and set them to one side and turned my attention to the eggs, which were up for a beating!

I used 2 eggs and a good handful of parsley and mint, a Spring onion, the cheese curd (about 2 tablespoons) and a little grated salted ricotta. This all got whizzed together in my blender, along with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a little Tabasco.


For the next step, I had to move swiftly... as you know, that paper-thin filo pastry loves to dry up before you get around to shaping it! I brushed some olive oil around my frying pan and then laid the pastry inside and swirled it around to get it coated- then flipped it over and did the same from the other side. It soon softens up once it is lightly moistened and you do not need much oil! I hate that people think that they have to soak filo pastry in melted butter... you don't! I am not saying that the butter is not delicious- but there are alternatives and it is possible to reduce your fat consumption.

Next, fold over all of the edges towards the middle, any old way- just so that the outer edge is twice as thick as the rest and therefore slightly raised. I then poured the egg/herb/cream cheese "royale" into the center, making sure not to overfill it and to leave a nice, generous area around the outside that will get crispy later on. And then I laid out the yam slices and popped the pan into the oven, at 350° for 20-25 minutes until golden brown... it was so easy!

I sprinkled a good bit of thyme on top after baking (so that it would not dry up and burn)- and of course, plucked the leaves from the stems- it just worked better this way for my photos ;-), sprinkled with some of my seasoned salts and grated with a last hint of nutmeg. And I have to say it tasted wonderful but hot and cold! I hope you give it a try and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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