June 14, 2007

Salvaging Deliciousness

As a new chef, I’m terminally likely to totally screw up half the recipes I attempt. It’s okay, I’m learning, but occasionally, wrestling with failure, I feel like Ralph Wiggum struggling to open a milk carton.

So after botching one of the first steps of making Baklava, I was feeling kinda low. The friends I was cooking with, however, had other plans, and what they decided to do made me feel, for the night, like a real chef:

We improvised.

The problem with our Baklava recipe was, we tried to speed up the defrost process of the Fillo dough with warm water, assuming the bags involved were hermetically sealed. They weren’t, which left us dough rather soggy at the edges. But the middle of the roll was fine–and after some cutting, we had lots and lots of thin strips of Fillo. That’d be one helluva narrow pan of Baklava…but what else could we make?

Tarts, as it turns out. With a maniacal look in his eye and an inspiration I’m still trying to understand, one of my friends started mixing up spare stuff around the kitchen–raspberries, cinnamon, some lemon zest from the baklava—until he had a bowl full of deliciousness. Meanwhile, my other friends began laying down strips of Fillo.

We took turns layering the paper-thin dough and filling it with the raspberry mixture, making funny shapes (including what can only be described as a raspberry tumor). It was my idea to fold the dough into triangles, someone else’s to make some sauce with honey intended for the baklava, someone else’s idea to…you get the idea. It was like cooking by wiki.

The results? Well, I’ll give you a hint.


The recipe can be found here: Improvised Raspberry Honey Tarts.

Enjoy! I know I did.

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