Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Swiss Chard, potato and leek phyllo pie

I brought home two grocery bags, stuffed to the brim with green, freshly-picked-from-the-garden vegetables from Mike's parents' home, following Sunday Thanksgiving dinner. One bag consisted entirely of Kale and I turned half of that into Kale chips this afternoon. Mike and I demolished every single one. I stopped making them when I started to wonder if it was possible to overdose on Kale.

Today's post is not about Kale but I will tell you that I cooked them at 250F for about 20 minutes with canola oil, soy sauce and udon spice and they turned out perfectly. At a lower temperature you don't have to watch them too closely, but you have to wait a bit longer to eat them.

I have had my mind drifting into the world of savory galettes, tarts and skillets recently. The possibilities for fillings, seasonings, cheeses and wrappers are vast. I chose to combine Swiss chard (which I have never cooked before) with leeks, shallots and thinly sliced potatoes. Mike's dad suggested swiss chard goes well with milk so I added goat cheese and some plain yogurt, wrapped them up in a phyllo present, and voila - a delicious meal.  

I was not sure what to expect from swiss chard but I really did not notice it in this dish. If anything it was just like spinach. In fact this dish tasted suspiciously like spanikopita, but with potatoes.

Swiss Chard, potato and leek phyllo pie
The process of layering phyllo does not have to be neat nor elegant. I roughly tore up smaller pieces for the interior layers of 3 (i.e. 3 layers were derived from 1 sheet torn into 3 pieces). Also, I used gold nugget potatoes but I think another kind may have been better. Remember to lightly salt the potatoes either after you cut them or after layering them in the pie. 

4 small potatoes
1 large leek, stem and root removed
6 large swiss chard leaves (or more), stems discarded, and chopped
3 cloves crushed garlic
75g goat cheese (3/4 of a small log)
2 green onions chopped
1 shallot chopped
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan
dried dill
phyllo dough
1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 - Boil potatoes about 10 minutes (undercook). Cool and then slice thinly (see picture above)
2 - Wash leek well (look for hiding dirt) and chop into smaller pieces.
3 - Saute garlic, leeks and shallots for a few minutes in canola oil on moderate heat.
4 - Add chopped swiss chard leaves, a drizzle of honey, dried dill (~1/2 tsp) and salt to taste. Saute until chard is wilted and some of the moisture evaporates. Stir in green onions towards the end of the cooking process.
5 - If desired, when mixture is cool, chop the mixture into smaller pieces
6 - Mix goat cheese well into chard mixture
7 - Grease a pie pan and lay down 3 sheets of phyllo, brushing lightly with butter in between layers.
8 - Sprinkle parmesan onto bottom then layer on 2 layers of potatoes, salt lightly and layer on half of the yogurt.
9 - Lay down 3 more layers of phyllo and butter (you can tear them into smaller pieces to fit the pan). Top with half of the chard mixture. 
10 - Repeat 3 more layers of phyllo, top with parmesan, 2 layers of potatoes and the rest of the yogurt
11 - Repeat step 9 with the remaining chard mix and finish by topping with remaining parmesan.
10 - Close up phyllo, brush with butter, bake at 350 for 40 minute 

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