4 December 2013

Healthy Holidays by The Virtual Supper Club

Baked Burrata
Once December 1st hits it is time to start planning, scheming, and dreaming of the holidays.   With dreams of sugar plums and tables laden with special treats dancing in our heads this brings us to another edition of the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club where each month we create a menu from the pages of Cooking Light magazine. Thank you for joining us for our holiday edition. This month we are extolling the virtues of healthy recipes, a theme chosen by our very own Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

If you're like me you like to prepare as much as humanly possible long before the actual day and have the freezer laden with dishes ready for their moment to shine. We have talked about simplifying our holiday entertaining menus in past posts, but, we also want to have our guests feel that they are the centre of our "entertaining universe" with innovative ideas and presentations. You can have that WOW factor without a lot of work and fiddling with complicated recipes. 

 With the holidays coming this is the perfect time of year to pump up our kitchens into high gear! During the holiday season when we are faced with an overwhelming variety of tasty dishes. Let's face it eating is a central part of the holidays. Whether you're serving two or 20, lightened up dishes make sure your dinner will be delicious as well as healthy. 

Let's see what our fellow cooks over at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club have brought to our Virtual Supper this month. 

As a tasty hors d'oeuvres I brought along a Baked Burrata whose oozy, gooey goodness is accentuated between flaky layers of filo pastry. If you cannot find burrata you could substitute buffalo mozzarella, but it will not be quite the same with that melty centre.

Susan of The Spice Garden starts us off with a Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe offers a delectable Apple Cider Glazed Pork Tenderloin for her main dish.

Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie rounds out our meal with Beans and Greens.

Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Ravings and Rants ends on a sweet note with a Rustic Apple Tart.  
Here is my secret to healthy holiday eating. Stop thinking you have to give up your favourite holiday treats, such as those cookies made by a special relative. I don't know about you but as soon as I even think of not eating something, I want to eat more. Instead, plan to enjoy one or two cookies rather than a whole plate even if they are just that good!!! To get the most flavour and pleasure from any food, slow down and savour every bite. Everything in moderation has always been a good philosophy to live by.

**Baked Burrata**

1 (8-ounce) ball burrata
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large ripe plum tomatoes, halved $
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
6 (14 x 9—inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Cooking spray

Unwrap burrata; gently pat dry. Wrap burrata in several layers of plastic wrap to preserve the "ball" shape. Freeze 8 hours or until completely frozen.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 2 teaspoons oil and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); toss to combine. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes or until blistered and liquid almost evaporates. Cool. Chop tomato mixture.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining phyllo to prevent it from drying), lay 1 sheet on a flat surface, and coat with cooking spray. Stack another phyllo sheet at a slight angle over the first, and coat with cooking spray. Repeat the procedure with remaining phyllo and cooking spray, angling each phyllo sheet slightly over the previous sheet. Using a slotted spoon, spoon tomato mixture in centre of phyllo stack, and discard any liquid. Unwrap burrata, and place frozen burrata on tomato mixture. Fold the phyllo edges over to enclose cheese and tomato mixture, pressing to seal. Turn ball over with tomato mixture on top, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush phyllo with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Preheat broiler to high.

Broil cheese ball 2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. I have begun to see burrata on menus and in grocery stores around here. This looks delicious.


  2. Lovely dishes and ideas.

    Your baked burrata is simply splendid. A mouthwatering hors-d'oeuvre!



  3. Boy this looks mouth watering! Festive too w/ the red and white..


    I love baked brie.
    Burrata is my favorite cheese.
    I am making this as soon as I get my hands on burrata!

  5. Burrata is my favorite ~ this takes it to a new level. Yum!
    I'm glad you included it in our Healthy Holidays celebration.

  6. Oh! I wanted to tell you that I finally tracked down a shop shop that sells Burrata!!! HOORAY! :-) I hope to get some next weekend. :-) This looks absolutely fantastic. :-)

  7. This looks just scrumptious, for me it could be a meal with a salad on the side :)

  8. Gooey melty cheese is always good. Anything wrapped in layers of phyllo is good. Combine the two and I just might be your slave for life!

  9. This is a wonderful dish ... rich and gooey cheese! It doesn't get any better and..., it's a starter, so one can't overdo it on the cheese! Genius!

  10. Baked burrata...I'm definitely drooling.

  11. Moderation is so important - particular at this time of the year. Moderation and burrata . . . almost impossible I believe!

  12. phyllo plus cheese, that's fantastic. i love seeing melted gooey cheese (and i like eating it even more).

  13. You love your burrata! I wish I could buy it here and try this. Will have to sub out the cheese. Looks amazing.

  14. Looks delicious Val and I like that you added tomatoes to the cheese, a little acidity is nice in there.


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