Phyllo, part two:
When one cooks for two one has to plan ahead to use things that come in quantities.
My phyllo dough comes in a pack of 12 sheets.
I normally use two sheets preparing a starter (or a main course) for the two of us. So I have enough for six recipes. If wrapped well it will keep in the fridge for about two weeks.
To be honest, the last sheet or two is usually shared by the dogs…. But as the whole package costs about a dollar I’m not to worried about the extravagance.
My Bayonne ham, which is dry-cured, like Prosciutto, comes in packages of four slices – two for the strudel and two for these.
I bake these in lightly oiled ramekins. It only takes a slight, light twist to get them out.
Spinach, Leek Phyllo Cups
Total time: 35 minutes
- 2 sheets phyllo (filo) dough
- 1 leek, sliced, including light green
- 2 slices Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, chopped
- 4oz (120gr) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2oz (60gr) feta cheese
- 2 tbs fresh, chopped chives
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs olive oil, divided
- Sauté leeks and ham in 2 tsp olive oil until leeks are tender.
- Remove from heat, add spinach and stir to combine.
- Lightly oil 2 ramekins, 2 1/2 – 3″ (6 – 7cm), place on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Lay out 1 sheet of filo and, using pastry brush, lightly brush all over with olive oil.
- Fold the sheet in half, lightly brush the top.
- Fold in half again, the other way, so you have a small square. Brush the top lightly with olive oil.
- Pick the filo up by bringing all 4 corners together and carefully put inside a ramekin. Smooth out the bottom a bit so it kind of lines the ramekin, leaving the 4 corners to hang over the edge. It should all be rather loose. Repeat with other sheet and ramekin.
- Lightly whisk egg.
- Add spinach / leek mixture, chives and feta.
- Divide and spoon into each phyllo cup.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 20 minutes. The corners hanging over the edges will get quite brown very quickly – don’t worry, they won’t burn (Or, at least, mine didn’t)
- When done remove from oven and carefully remove from ramekins. Kind of wiggle, then turn upside down into your hand.
We’re having a typical spring: beautiful, warm sunny days followed by cold, gray, rainy days.
For most of you living in the U.S. this would be a mild irritant, but nothing more.
You would get the required heat on the cold days and not on the warm days. You would get heat on the cool mornings but not the warm afternoons.
You would have heating systems that simply took care of such things.
For us it requires reprogramming the furnace / boiler on a daily basis.
Le me rephrase that….. It requires me to reprogram the boiler on a daily basis.
Yes we have a thermostat…. but only one. We have a big house and not all of the rooms have radiators. We also have a wood-burning stove and a fireplace. It’s complicated.
And fuel is expensive here. Most things are cheaper than in the U.S. but fuel is not one of them. Which is why almost everyone burns wood, either as their only heat source or as a supplement.
Back to programming the boiler…..
During the winter it’s set to a standard, factory program: on all morning, off for the afternoon, on all evening and off for the night.
A few weeks ago I changed the program to only run for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening.
I was rather proud of this as the ‘special’ programming has eluded me for several years.
Depending on the day I would pop into the boiler room and modify the program to run more or less. Once I figured it all out it was so very easy, you see.
Well somehow I screwed it up to the point that it was set to run all day on Friday and then not again until Monday.
Each day has to be programmed separately. I managed to make two days completely disappear.
It was one of those situations that, if I knew what I had done I wouldn’t have done it in the first place, but certainly would have fixed it promptly. (Yes, there was a conversation.)
I have two manuals, one in French and one in English, neither for this exact model.
I was trying to sort out my problem using the English manual but nothing was working quite like the instructions.
I finally picked up the French manual and, all of a sudden, the instructions made perfect, logical sense and I reset the programs.
I hope we are set for the few remaining weeks of spring. It gets turned off completely as soon as the weather stays decent.
I think I’m going to be rather proud again…..
But not too quickly.