Phyllo is a great pastry when you want to create texture and crunch and today's recipe doesn't disappoint, no-sir-ee! I have something of a crunch addiction and a cheese freak so these cheesy, crispy pastries are just perfect for me.
While I am a huge lover of quiche and will be sharing my recipe with you in the future today I want to introduce you to a a lighter, crunchier pastry treat that I think you are going to love!
Canadian bacon is great for this recipe as it is the perfect size and is also lean so it helps keep the fat down and save time as you just pop the whole slice in - easy as pie ;-)
You can eat these cold or warmed up in the oven but if you are tempted to heat up in the microwave be warned, they will lose a bit of their crunch but the flavor is still awesome!
These have a rather striking and artistic look on the plate and go well with a light salad and ketchup for that bit of tangy sweetness! Great for brunch, lunch or dinner.
If you do not have Parmesan cheese just substitute with a good strong flavored cheese.
You can also substitute Lavache (The Laughing Cow cheese wedges) for cream cheese.
For different flavor combinations add chopped vegetables like capsicum, tomato, spinach etc. Feel free to experiment!
Chopped ham, regular bacon, chicken bacon, turkey bacon or smoked salmon can also be substituted for the Canadian bacon in this recipe - just mix into the egg
You could also make these into mini pastries in a muffin pan - great for a dinner party appetizer.
YOU WILL NEED
4 sheets phyllo pastry
3 tablespoons melted butter
4 slices Canadian bacon or chicken bacon (both work well)
4 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A couple of splashes of Tabasco/hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2-1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, basil or spring onions
1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms (optional)
1/8 of cup refrigerated cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia/Britannia)
1/2-1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley basil or spring onions for garnishing (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/375°F.
Use a little of the melted butter to lightly grease four non-stick 13cm/5 inch mini pie plates.
On a clean, dry surface place your first phyllo pastry sheet. Gently brush with melted butter and cover with another sheet and brush again with the melted butter.
With a sharp knife, cut into four even quarters and gently place into your mini pie plates. (They will be rectangular and bigger than the pie plate, that is fine and what gives the striking end result.)
Repeat the process with the next two phyllo pastry sheets but this time place the sheets “opposite” to the first set of phyllo sheets so you get a rough “8 point star” effect. (This isn't essential but looks pretty.)
Place one slice of Canadian bacon inside each pastry case.
In a medium sized bowl add the lightly eggs, cream, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, Tobasco/hot sauce, black pepper, salt and herbs of your choice and mix until well combined.
Pour the egg and Parmesan custard mix equally between your four pie plates.
Evenly sprinkle the chopped mushrooms evenly over the egg custard of your four pie plates.
With your fingers break the cream cheese into small chunks and distribute evenly between the four pie plates. (The chunks do not need to cover the whole custard, they will melt in on their own.)
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Garnish with some chopped herbs if desired and serve warm with a crisp side salad and sauce of your choice if desired.
MAKES 4 PASTRIES