Monday, August 17, 2009

Back in business here...

Okay, trying again...
Looks like there are a lot of folks out there who would prefer to see Ollie's White House Chef recipes all in one place, so I'm resurrecting this blog.

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is a great place for recipes from me and from 5 other mystery writers. Please come visit - and bookmark both sites!

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Baklava stuffed with almonds, pecans, and pine nuts

1 package fillo dough (Even chefs buy it rather than making it by hand)
1 pound butter, melted.
8 ounces almonds, roughly chopped
4 ounces pecans, roughly chopped
3 ounces pine nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar (for nuts)
2 cups sugar (for syrup)
1 cup water
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Ground cinnamon and powdered sugar to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F

Mix the chopped nuts with I cup of sugar. Set aside.

Remove fillo sheets from package to work surface and unfold. When not handling, keep covered by a damp paper towel or cloth dishtowel. Fillo dries out and becomes unworkable fast.

Cut the sheets in half to fit a 9 X 13 backing dish. Cover the fillo with damp towel again. Working quickly, using a basting brush, paint the bottom of the 9 X 13 pan with melted butter. Remove a sheet of fillo, place it on the bottom of the buttered pan, brush the fillo sheet well with melted butter. Repeat six times.

Sprinkle with a thin layer of chopped nuts and sugar.

Place six more sheets of buttered fillo in the pan, top with chopped nuts and sugar.

Repeat these layers until out of nuts and fillo, finishing with six layers of buttered fillo.

With the sharpest knife possible, cut the layers of fillo and nuts into four to six long rows. (Piece size is a personal preference.) Turn pan and slice the fillo into diamonds by cutting diagonally across the long rows.

Place in oven and cook until golden brown and toasty (about 35-45 minutes).

Remove from oven, cool pan on a rack.

While the pan is cooling, place 2 cups of sugar and a cup of water, plus cloves and cinnamon in a large and heavy saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down slightly and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour boiling syrup gently over fillo and nuts in pan.

Cool completely. To serve, place a doily or paper cutout over a dessert plate. Dust with cinnamon. Move the pattern carefully a half inch to the right and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Remove the pattern. Serve the individual diamonds of baklava on cinnamon and sugar-dusted dessert plates.

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