I spelunked into the depths of my freezer today in order to pull out the bacon I knew was in there, as well as the kataifi (Greek shredded filo/phyllo pastry) I picked up at the Italian Supermarket last week to make teeny sugared birds’ nests out of for our Easter brunch and egg hunt tomorrow. I know, it’s very Martha of me, but it costs less than $5, and it’s fun.
But the real question here is: Why?? Do I continue to put so many unmarked baggies and yogurt containers in the freezer? For some reason I always believe I’m going to be able to identify it 3 months later when it has formed an icy exterior and spots of freezer burn.
During my inventory I came across: beef, bison, pork tenderloin, ground lamb, stewing beef and 2 giant packages of corn tortillas I forgot I had, on top of freezer bags of chokecherries I picked last summer and a plethora of chopped rhubarb. (Can someone please explain to me the expression “more than you could shake a stick at”? Wouldn’t it conceivably be possible to shake a stick at any quantity of something?) My plan for years has been to pick up a magnetized dry erase board on which I could list the contents of the freezer, and add to/wipe off the list as I add too/use up its contents. But you know it will end up with funny/dirty things written all over it by visitors to my kitchen, anyway.
So my mission, should I choose to actually accept it, is to chip away at the contents of my freezer. But first, there’s the small matter of leftover chicken to deal with.
Everyone knows that the best reason for roasting a chicken in the first place is to make cold roast chicken sandwiches. Surprisingly though, I rarely make them, instead opting to transform leftover chicken into fried rice, quesadillas, curries and the like. I think this is because I always want cranberry sauce on my chicken sandwiches, and usually there isn’t any on hand, unless it’s leftover turkey we’re dealing with. This morning though, I came across 2 1/4 bags of frozen cranberries, so I dumped the quarter bag into a small pot with some water and sugar and let them simmer and pop while we assembled the sandwiches. I baked a crusty loaf of no-knead bread this morning, so all the stars fell into allignment.
Seriously. What’s better than a roasted chicken sandwich?
Even though this wasn’t part of dinner, I made the nests today, so I’ll post the recipe in case you might want to make them this weekend. Kataifi is easy to find at most ethnic grocery stores: Kalamata and the Italian markets in Calgary, for sure. Otherwise you could buy phyllo and slice it thinly while it’s still rolled up. I’ve often wondered if a healthier version would work using shredded wheat. I think it would need to somehow be softened though, in order to be able to press it into the tins.
After you make these, your kitchen counter and floor will be covered with shredded kataifi bits. Don’t worry about it; they sweep up easily.
1/2 pkg. kataifi, thawed if frozen (pre-shredded phyllo; sold frozen at Greek grocers and large supermarkets.)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch cinnamon (optional)
chocolate eggs, jelly beans or those pastel candied almonds you get wrapped in tuille at weddings
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pull the kataifi apart with your fingers or with scissors, tearing it into chunks a couple inches long. Toss it in a bowl with the butter, sugar and cinnamon.
Press into mini muffin cups, pressing the mixture loosely into the bottom and up the sides, to form a nest. Bake for about 10 minutes, until pale golden. Let cool and then fill with chocolate eggs or jelly beans.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen nests.
March 21 2008 09:23 pm | sweet stuff