10 September 2009

Filo Appetizer uses "Notes on Cooking"

Filo Pizza with Basil, Tomatoes and Feta

A while back I received a copy of Notes on Cooking which I was lucky enough to win in a giveaway on Susan's site The Well Seasoned Cook. We all know Susan who is the founder and proprietress of My Legume Love Affair. I apologize to Susan for not bringing this informative book to your attention sooner. I received my copy from the authors them selves!!!

Chef and food stylist Lauren Braun Costello teamed up with Russel Reich to write this succinct, instructive and indispensable guide "Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft". From her experience as an Executive Chef of Gotham Caterers in New York, to recipe testing for the 75th anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking, to her current role as a food stylist for The View and The Early Show, Lauren is an undisputed expert on the culinary arts.

It condenses the art of cooking into exactly 216 kitchen snippets of advice that can benefit everyone from the amateur to the expert. It reads like a seasoned chef standing over your shoulder in the kitchen.

You'll find common sense, but rarely thought of tips such as our mantra "Shop locally".

Another excellent tip, which I can relate to coming from an allergy and respiratory background is that if you are prone to seasonal allergies, buy and eat local honey. Local bees collect pollen from local flora. Eating continual small doses of their honey can act like a series of immunology injections, strengthening your tolerance and lessening your allergies."

There are also tips on how to perk up the food and flavour of your dishes like the chefs do in their restaurants. Yes ...restaurant secrets are shared with us!!!

The novice chef will pick up advice to make him feel more competent in the kitchen. The experienced cook will find information that will help to make them even better. This is a unique book that will be appreciated by any foodie on your list. Or pick one up for yourself so that you have something useful to read as you wait for the water to boil.

Now on to a simple and easy recipe. This recipe came about from trying to decide what to do with that leftover filo and bits and pieces in the refrigerator. Salty cheese, tomatoes, and basil make this a savory treat. Pair with a tossed green salad for a light summer supper if you want have it all to yourself...but don't be greedy share with a friend. In this case I shared with many and cut the "pizza" into appetizer size pieces to share the love.

**Filo Pizza with Feta, Basil and Tomatoes**

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup finely crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 (18 x 14–inch) sheets frozen filo dough, thawed
Cooking spray
2 cups thinly sliced plum tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

Cut filo sheets in half crosswise. Working with 1 filo sheet half at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), place filo sheet on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat filo sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with 2 more layers of filo. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Repeat layers 5 times, ending with 2 filo sheets. Coat top filo sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture.Pat tomato slices with a paper towel. Arrange tomato slices on top of cheese, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with onions and the remaining 6 tablespoons cheese mixture.Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

What advice did I use from the book to make this recipe.

#130 " Store your produce as your grocer does....whole tomatoes , grown in the sun and ripened on the vine, loose their flavour and texture in the chill of the icebox. Refrigerate only after they have been sliced and therefore left unprotected by their natural seal." This I knew but it is good to be reminded.

#186 - "Grate cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses offer convenience but lacks flavour. Stabilizers and additives are needed to keep such cheese from clumping together....."

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. A wonderful recipe! I was also very lucky to win that book and love it!



  2. sometimes I need to be reminded of things I "know" too. Gorgeous pizza!

  3. pizza toppings and filo...that sounds like a winning combination!

  4. I love this Vall and I love a lot Phyllo dough, look delicious, gloria

  5. Great shot .. it looks delicious! And yes, I never keep tomatoes in the fridge, and yes, I always grate cheese myslef (whe I serve pasta I put the piece of Parmigiano Regiano on a board with a grater .. so much better!). Thank you for remaining us!

  6. I love good common sense books like this Val! Love the recipe.Has your usual classic ingredients. Delicious! Maybe I should start rolling my own filo!

  7. Ooooh, your filo pizza sounds incredible! I love the idea of using filo dough as pizza dough!

    Such a cool-sounding book! I completely agree with the local honey advice - it's made a huge difference for my mom's allergies, and mine too!

  8. pizza on filo dough sounds scrumptious! Love the idea!

  9. I love those clever recipes that give ideas about leftovers. They make my life so much easier!

  10. Thanks for the honey advice, I know a guy...I'm going to get some.

  11. Sounds like a good book :) And your filo pizzas look very tempting and mouthwatering!

  12. ..oh yes, and I like the new look...tidied up a bit. Very nice :D

  13. Sounds like a great book to read through. Especially if it yields a dish this delicious.

  14. SO glad you like the book, Val! And your recipe is tops! I love thin-crust pizza. Don't think you can get any thinner than filo. ; D

  15. I've never tried to make pizza with filo dough before. It looks wonderful!

  16. Looks like a great book. Love the tip on buying and eating local honey. I have never heard of that before. Will try to find local honey. And that filo pizza looks delicious.

  17. Great pizza! I love it!

  18. Phyllo pizzas are the best.....somehow I always feel less guilty when eating this pizza!!!

  19. This book sounds like a must-have.

  20. A lot interesting compliments has a blog!

  21. I have never thought of making pizza with phyllo -- what a cool idea! Great flavors on this one ; )

  22. The book sounds great. Terrific tips, especially the thought to eat local honey. Your pizza looks delicious, really beautiful, and I also have filo in the freezer that needs to be used. I will be trying this recipe.


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