A food world devoted to the young chef and those young at heart

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fish Phyllo

I don't care how you pronounce it, phyllo is one of the most delicious delicacies. With a dash of olive oil the pale dough is transformed into gold with a momentary visit from oven. Layers of flaking crisp-ness complement so many flavors and, in this case, fish. My parents invented this dish and many may be confused with the fish of choice, Basa, huh? Basa, related but no the same as the swai, originated in the rivers of Vietnam. A white fleshed catfish of pure wonder. It may be my favorite food of the sea. So light and wholesome with an engrossing melt in your mouth flavor. Tis the fish for all those who think they do not like fish. (and on a totally random note, it is apparently the mascot of Thailand)

Fish in Phyllo
set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

note: To warn you this recipe may be a little unclear, this is due to the surprising thickness of the phyllo we purchased. So for this recipe I called for a "rustic" thick phyllo, but if all you can find is thin you should use multiple layers.
  • 2 medium fillets of Basa (or Swai, which seems to be very common in the grocery store now a days and has the same flavors of Basa) (if you're not a fish person, chicken works just as well)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Rustic style/thicker phyllo (see note)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil and a brush
Begin by cutting the fillets (with a heavy duty knife) while frozen into thirds or so. Pair up any tinier pieces into a serving you feel is justified.

Lay out a piece of phyllo, brush with olive oil everywhere (don't be frightened of oil, its important to create colour along with flavor). Add a serving of fish (or chicken) season with salt, pepper, red pepper and zest.

Take one side of phyllo, fold it over the fish and lightly olive oil (to insure the other fold sticks). Fold the other side and olive oil the edges you will fold next. Place on a cookie sheet folded side down. Repeat for however many serving you have.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until bottom is golden. Flip the fish over and bake until the other side is also crisp. Serve with sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, arugula salad (see past posting) or what ever strikes you as being fabulous. Enjoy.

A little history on phyllo (for anyone uber curious):
Phyllo first appeared in central Asia, near the of areas Mongolia and Siberia. Though not as thin as today's later phyllo doughs, it was an unleavened sheet commonly folded. Composed of water, flour and a small amount of oil, the real work comes in making it so thin. Continuous folding and rolling depicts the process until the the dough reaches the ultimate thinness. Phyllo is seen in many nation's food history, from Greece and Bulgaria to Egypt and Turkey.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm Still Here!

*knock knock knock* Is anyone out there? Well either way, empty space, cramped apartment, suburbia, if someone is reading this, I'm still posting :). I have just been at a stunt lately as for what to cook. Homework weighs heavy and I have no good excuse to create something new in the kitchen, BUT, inspiration has struck me again and more recipes are on there way so be prepared, be excited, be eager!