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Calzones to napoleons ... fila stands in for puff pastry.

Calzones to napoleons ... fila stands in for puff pastry

A quick, lightweight substitute for puff pastry, fila dough comes in paper-thin sheets. Buttered sparingly and stacked, they create a layered pastry that's easy to work with and much less rich than the classic puff pastry alternative. Simply cut the fila stacks into one of a variety of shapes and fill them to make a main dish, an appetizer, or a napoleon look-alike. Sold refrigerated or frozen, fila dough is fragile and needs attentive handling. To thaw, leave airtight in refrigerator for about 8 hours; this method minimizes accumulation of moisture, which can make sheets gummy. When using, keep it airtight except when actually working with it; air dries fila quickly, and makes it brittle. You can refreeze what you don't use, or keep it in the refrigerator 3 or 4 days (although it's inclined to mold).

Fila Calzone

16 sheets fila dough (about 3/4 lb.),

thawed if frozen

About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) melted butter

or margarine

Chicken-vegetable filling (recipe

follows) Keep fila covered with plastic wrap, except when using, to prevent drying and breaking. Lay 1 sheet of fila on a flat surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top of the first and brush lightly with butter. Repeat for 2 more layers, but do not butter the top layer. Repeat process to make 3 more 4-layer stacks. With an 8-inch plate or pan as a guide, use a very sharp knife to cut 2 rounds from each fila stack; reserve scraps, if desired. Put 1 round on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet; put 1/8 of the filling on half the round, leaving about a 3/4-inch rim. Fold plain half over filling. Working quickly, lightly brush entire edge with water; roll rim over a few times, to meet the filling. Press rolled rim firmly to seal. Push filled calzone to the end of the pan; repeat process to fill and shape 3 more calzones. Using another 12- by 15-inch baking sheet, repeat to fill remaining fila for 4 more calzones. Brush tops of calzones lightly with melted butter, then carefully cut a 1-inch slit in the center of the top of each. If desired, arrange fila stack trimmings in a single layer around calzones; brush lightly with butter. Bake calzones in a 350 [degrees] oven until fila is golden brown, about 25 minutes. With a wide spatula, carefully slide calzones onto plates and serve at once. Offer scraps as an accompaniment. Makes 8.

Chicken-vegetable filling. Coarsely chop 2 large red bell peppers; 2 zucchini (about 1 lb. total), ends trimmed; and 1 small onion. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir-fry vegetables in 3 tablespoons olive oil until barely tender when pierced, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl. To frying pan add 1/2 cup dry white wine; 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme leaves and fresh basil leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons each of dry herbs); and 1 large firm-ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and finely diced. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 7 to 10 minutes; remove from heat. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water; add to tomato mixture along with vegetables and 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice. If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day.

Fila Flower Appetizers

16 sheets fila dough (about 3/4 lb.),

thawed if frozen 5 or 6 tablespoons melted butter or

margarine

Artichoke filling (recipe follows) Keep fila covered with plastic wrap, except when using, to prevent drying and breaking. Lay 1 sheet of fila on a flat surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top of the first; brush lightly with butter. Repeat for 2 more layers; do not butter the top layer. Repeat to make 3 more 4-layer stacks. Cut each stack into 12 equal squares. To make each cup, center 1 square on buttered muffin cup (2 in. wide); set another square on top, rotating so there are 8 corners. Gently press center of fila down into cup, fitting smoothly against bottom and sides, with edges poking up. Spoon filling equally into cups. Bake in a 350 [degrees] oven until filling feels set when lightly touched and fila is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes. With the tip of a blunt knife, gently ease pastries from pan and serve warm. If made ahead, let cool, then package airtight and chill up until next day. To reheat, set pastries in a 10- by 15-inch pan and place in a 400 [degrees] oven until hot, 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 24.

Artichoke filling. Dice 1 package (9 oz.) thawed frozen artichoke hearts. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the artichokes with 2 tablespoons butter or margarine until slightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. In a bowl, beat 1 large egg with 1/2 cup half-and-half (light cream) until blended. Add 1 cup (8 oz.) ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry basil leaves. Add the warm artichoke mixture and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.

Fila Napoleons

4 sheets fila dough (about 3 oz.),

thawed if frozen

2 tablespoons melted butter or

margarine 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Berry cream filling (recipe follows)

Powdered sugar Lay 1 sheet of fila on a flat surface. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Lay another sheet on top of first; brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Repeat with remaining fila, butter, and sugar to make a 4-layer stack. Cut the fila stack into 24 equal rectangles, each about 2 by 4 inches. Place rectangles slightly apart on 2 lightly buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Bake in a 350 [degrees] oven until rectangles are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. With a wide spatula, carefully transfer fila rectangles to racks to cool. If made ahead, store airtight up to 3 days. To assemble, use 1/2 the berry filling to top 8 of the fila rectangles equally. Spread cream to make level on pastries, then align another fila rectangle on top of each of the first 8. Top with remaining filling. Level cream, then set remaining fila, sugared side up, on each pastry. Dust liberally with powdered sugar. Serve; or chill, lightly covered, no longer than 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

Berry cream filling. Beat 1 cup whipping cream until it will hold soft peaks, then mix in 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in 1 cup rinsed and drained raspberries. Use at once.

PHOTO : Golden, flaky fila calzone (above) holds a moist filling of chicken, fresh vegetables,

PHOTO : and herbs. First step is cutting fila into circles, using plate for pattern (left). Fill,

PHOTO : fold, bake, then eat while hot and crust is still crispy

PHOTO : Press buttered squares of stacked fila into muffin cups; cut edges project upward,

PHOTO : flower-like. Bake with artichoke and ricotta cheese filling for appetizers

PHOTO : Use ruler to cut neat rectangles of sugared and buttered fila stacks; bake to golden

PHOTO : brown. Assemble in tiers with berry cream filling to make fast, spectacular napoleons
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Words:1250
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