Cookstr.com

Taleggio en Croute

Cookbook

The Relaxed Kitchen

Published by St. Martin's Press

This image courtesy of Christine Schmidhofer

Serves4

Easy

Total TimeUnder 30 minutes

Recipe CourseAppetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 box phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted and warm but not hot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pine nuts
  • 1 square Bosina Robbiola or other square or round Taleggio cheese, about 8 ounces
  • Crackers of your choice, or olive oil croûtes for serving

Instructions

  1. Have on hand: a slightly damp kitchen towel, a perfectly dry surface, the melted butter, a pastry brush, and a rimmed nonstick baking sheet.

  2. If you are planning to cook the package immediately, preheat the oven to 400°.

  3. Unwrap and unroll the phyllo; cut the stack in half crosswise, then securely re-wrap and refrigerate the other stack. Peel off one sheet of phyllo from the stack and place it on the baking sheet; cover the stack with the damp towel to prevent it from drying out.

  4. Brush the pastry sheet lightly all over with some melted butter, including the edges. Scatter with some of the chopped pine nuts, then place another sheet on top, rotating it slightly to the right. Brush it with melted butter and scatter with pine nuts. Repeat with a third sheet, leaving out the pine nuts.

  5. Place the cheese in the center and cover it with a fourth square of pastry, brush with butter and scatter with the remaining pine nuts. Place a final, fifth sheet of pastry over the top, rotating a bit, and brush the top with butter. Now gather up the edges, pinching and crimping to form a festive package.

  6. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the pastry is golden but not dark brown. Transfer to a large serving platter, to contain the shards of phyllo, and cut into quarters. Place the crackers or croûtes around the edge and serve with small knives, for scooping and smearing. Serve immediately.

Olive Oil Croutes

Brush crustless slices of rustic country bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast until golden brown. For Garlic Croûtes, while toasts are still hot, rub firmly with the cut side of a halved clove of garlic.

Mise-en-Place

Ideally, thaw the phyllo dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours, to prevent it from sticking together. You can refrigerate the assembled package overnight, covered with plastic wrap; transfer directly to the hot oven. You will not use the whole box of phyllo, so be prepared to re-wrap it securely, air-tight; if you do, it will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.

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