Nuts and honey, sautéed vegetables, cheese, fruit, chicken, fish, bacon, chopped steak … you can wrap anything in phyllo. Keep a box in your freezer and you’ll be minutes away from a creative, tasty tart anytime the mood strikes you. This one is like a little goat’s cheese-and-mustard soufflé wrapped in crisp pastry. The only trick is to keep the phyllo covered with a damp towel while you’re working with it; otherwise, it gets dry and brittle. But even if it shears and breaks, layer it in the casserole anyway. It won’t make a bit of difference to the taste. SAM
PS For hors d’oeuvres, double the recipe in an 8-inch square baking dish and cut into squares.
3 17- by 12-inch sheets phyllo dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 ounces soft goat’s cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 7-inch oval baking dish and set aside.
Thaw the phyllo dough, if frozen, and place flat on a pastry board. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a damp dishtowel. In a small mixing bowl combine the egg, goat’s cheese, cream, water, mustard, and pepper and mix well. Cut the phyllo sheets in half and place 2 pieces loosely in the baking dish, letting the edges overlap the sides. Brush with olive oil and spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on the bottom. Repeat layers twice more, ending with cheese. Fold in the edges of the phyllo to cover the tart and brush with oil. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
Makes 2 main servings.