Oops, I did it again!

There are days when food disasters are unavoidable. Over-ambitious targets, a key ingredient tragically missing at the last minute, an unexpected allergie, or the casual oven malfunction, if you have cooked, you have had your share of epic fails.Yet, from these food debacles, hidden behind the sense of urgency and betrayal is a trepidation! Away from the paved road, and onto the unknown! The tumult of flavors and inventions is suddenly infinite!   Be gone treacherous cod!

As the carefully laid plan fades away in the face of reality, ingredients start to re-appear in their glorious simplicity. Suddenly, a disdained loaf of bread,  roughly sliced, toasted, rubbed with garlic and topped with creamy cottage cheese,  a sprinkle of cumin and sea-salt becomes a treat.

spice7
When in doubt, grind some spices! it will allow you to think while looking like you got it under control 😉

As the guests ring the doorbell and you realize you are standing in the middle of the kitchen unsure of what happens next, here is a thought for you: Don’t panic! Simply serve everyone (including yourself) a crisp glass of white wine,  add some upbeat music and invite them to be part (or at least witness) of the creative process! As it turns out, my favorite food stories have often been related to unexpected turn of events. This is how this incredible Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Phyllo pastry recipe was born!

  • 1 Squash Halved & roasted (recipe from the Sunny Squash post)
  • 1 package Phyllo Pastry leaves (triangles)
  • about half a cup of Mixed nuts
  • a small handful of Sultana raisins
  • 1 table spoon of mixed Spices (pick and choose or all: and divide equally to fill in 1 tablespoon) – Cumin, nutmeg, mild paprikas, cinnamon, hot paprika, ground coriander, ground clove, ground pepper, Turmeric,
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon Brown syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 table spoon soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thick balsamic vinegar (I use the red one)
  • 1 Goat Cheese log (remove the skin and use only the creamy part)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs – shelled & mashed with a fork
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: Fresh Parsley, garlic, onion (from the roasted Squash step)
  • Melted Butter for the phyllo pastry

Steps: (prepare  first the Roasted squash as per instructions and allow to cool)

  1. Sing along as you bash away your spice mix:

2. Chop the nuts roughly, Not into a powder!- I use a small food Processor but it can be done with a knifespice7 (2)

3. Spoon out the Flesh from the roasted Squash  and cut into rough cubes, put to fry with olive oil in a pan

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4. Add all the spices, and seasoning, (vinegar, syrup, soya, … ) and cook covered at medium/high heat to allow for soft “caramelization” (browning). Gently smash with a fork. You can add water to cook it down. Don’t stir too much, and let cook until it reaches a thick, jam like consistency – Taste and adjust the seasoning.  – Preheat the oven to 190C.

5. Take out 2 leaves of phyllo pastry and brush with butter to stick them together (1 is usually too thin) – Place some of the butternut-squash mix to the center, add a spoonful of goat-cheese and top with the eggs.

6. Close thephyllo0 Phyllo by brushing melted butter to the extremities, fold onto the center (see pic) & brush both sides before placing of a baking tray covered with baking paper.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crips & golden

I served it with some fresh, thinly sliced fennel drizzled with Olive oil & lemon and a large tray of cheeses!

fennel.jpg

From disaster to a deliciously fragrant & unexpected twist, this recipe will have a special place in my repertoire from now on!

How about you, any food drama turned around?

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Valeäiti says:

    Hello darling, time to comment your awesome awesome blog! Firstly, is this a weird WordPress bug or even worse, a horrible feature: Clicking the “Squash half and roasted” takes me to a sign-in page?? Hell no!

    Secondly, I want to do this dish! With a couple of twists / questions. I bought Myskikurpitsa, is that the same as or close enough to Squash? Also, how do I prep it 😀 no the more important thing – do you think a butter pastry will do instead of the Lehtitaikina? We stille have loads left from unmade Tähtitorttus.

    Cheers babe and keep up the excellent work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hungryinhelsinki says:

      Yes! I did it and got you motivated 😉 success 💕 ok now to business! I’ll check the bug ASAP- you can use Lehtitaikina, but the effect will be more like puff pastry- phyllo is much thinner so use only one leaf and simply fold it onto itself! Cooking time might be shorter though so keep an eye on the coloring. Any squash is ok for this 🙂 the fun part is to swap and have fun! Some tricks: Put a whole garlic in the oven while you roast your squash, you can squeeze out the caramelized bits to the mix … Yum!! Tell me how it went ?

      Like

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