Monday, March 15, 2010

PHYLLO FIESTA (Teese Challenge: Mozzarella)

A short while ago, Chicago Soydairy put a call out to vegan foodbloggers.  In exchange for samples of Teese, they wanted said bloggers to come up with new and interesting recipes using their vegan cheese varieties.

Complimentary vegan cheese?  I quickly threw my hat into the ring, forgetting for the moment that I can't cook.  I decided I'd deal with that later.  The cheese arrived shortly thereafter: one tube of mozzarella & one tube of cheddar; I was elated at having received such a care package.  But the excitement was fleeting; I soon recalled that not only can't I cook, but I certainly can't come up with an original recipe!  What was I thinking? 

So, every time I opened the fridge those two tubes of cheese sat mocking me and I wanted to just eat them plain and get it over with.  I could have, but I didn't.  Instead, I masterminded came up with what I thought was a good idea for the mozzarella and got to work.  The results were unexpectedly successful and this is my (very first) recipe:

Phyllo Fiesta (serves 6)
prep time: 1 hour, cook time: 1 hour

1 tube mozzarella style Teese
1 package frozen phyllo dough, thawed overnight in fridge
1 bag frozen corn
1 large container fresh mushrooms
2 large onions
1/2 small jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 small container of dry sundried tomatoes, re-hydrated
2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1 cup chopped walnuts
spray olive oil
olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon


1. As you begin to prepare your ingredients, remove box of phyllo dough from fridge and place on counter to bring to room temperature.  

2. Prepare ingredients:
  • slice onions paper thin, stir fry with salt & pepper
  • thinly slice mushrooms, stir fry with garlic, salt & pepper
  • cook corn until bright yellow (or roast if you'd like)
3. Prepare pesto:
Combine basil, walnuts, lemon juice, some olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Pulse in Magic Bullet until smooth.

4. Prepare sun-dried tomato paste:
Drain and quarter rehydrated and oil-packed tomatoes.  Combine and pulse in Magic Bullet with olive oil until paste consistency.

5. Shred Teese.

6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

7. Lightly oil 9 X 13 baking pan.

8. Roll phyllo dough out onto a wet towel.  Keep another one handy to cover the remaining dough as you prepare the layers of your Fiesta.

9. Fold one sheet of phyllo in half and lay in bottom of pan, spray generously with olive oil.  Repeat so you have 3 doubled layers.

10. Evenly spread your onions and mushrooms, sprinkle 1/3 of your shredded Teese.  Repeat step 9.

11. Evenly spread your sundried tomato paste and sprinkle 1/2 of your remaining shredded Teese.  Repeat step 9.

12. Evenly spread your pesto, corn, and all of your remaining Teese.  Repeat step 9.

13. Depending on your oven, bake at 350 or 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

Let cool for five minutes, slice and serve. 

The beauty of this recipe is in the melange of many simple flavors.  While I am a fan of exotic spices, pungent flavors, and considerable heat, this recipe was absolutely delicious without any of them.  I served it to myself (vegan), a vegetarian, and an omnivore: all thoroughly enjoyed. 

*Also makes great leftovers. Re-heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered.

I've never tried Teese before and I was very happy with the results.  Plain, I thought the taste, texture, weight, and consistency were very authentic.  It worked incredibly well in this particular recipe by deliciously fusing each and every layer so that every forkful was a complete tasting of all of the ingredients.

I'm anxious to try the cheddar variety, so keep an eye out for my second installment of the Teese Challenge.

As always, special thanks to my sous-chef!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have you got something to say? It would be so nice to hear from you!
(I know captchas suck, but not as much as spam.)