- 2 pounds mushrooms (have fun--use a mix)
- 1 handful garlic cloves (cleaned)
- 2 handfuls peas (or peas in edible pods)
- fat (for sauteing, I used chicken fat)
- 1/2 cup liquid (glazing, like stock, wine, cognac, etc.)
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- 1 handful mint (chopped)
- 1 handful chives (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons fat (I used chicken fat)
- 4 tablespoons flour
- roux (this will produce more, than you'll need; refrigerate what's left for the next time you need to make a sauce)
- 3 sheets phyllo (the sheets from my market are 13" x 18")
- 4 tablespoons fat (or more, for phyllo, I used cooled melted chicken fat)
- 2 pounds tomatoes (or more ripe)
- 32 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
- Tame the garlic. Bring a quart of water to boil. Add a handful of salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Lower heat to simmer. Add the garlic cloves and simmer them until they're soft. (Alternately, you could roast the garlic in the oven.) Leave the cloves whole or slice them into smaller chunks. Set aside.
- Prep the mushrooms. As the garlic simmers, clean the mushrooms with your preferred method. (I wipe with a damp paper towel. Be more thorough with "interesting" mushrooms like morels or black trumpets.) Trim off hard and unwanted bits. Slice or tear into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Prep the peas, then set them aside.
- If the peas are in edible pods, rinse and trim/string them, then cut to bite-sized pieces.
- If the peas are in inedible pods, rinse them and shell them.
- If the peas are already shelled, just set them aside.
- If the peas are frozen, defrost them.
- Make the roux. Use a small skillet or pot and low-medium heat to heat the fat. When the fat is hot, add the flour. Stir and cook the flour-fat paste until a toasty aroma and a golden or light tan hue is achieved. You now have basic, toasted roux. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. You'll use this pan to mix the filling together. If your pan is not big enough, do everything in batches, then mix the filling together in a big bowl.
- Saute the peas. Add enough fat to coat the surface lightly. Add the peas. Sprinkle a little salt over all. Saute/stir the peas until they turn bright green--about three to five minutes. Tip the peas into a bowl (or the big bowl) and set aside. Continue with the next batch of peas, or continue with the mushrooms.
- Saute the mushrooms. Add some more fat into the pan and make hot. Add the mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt over all. Stir about to coat the mushrooms in hot fat and salt, then leave them alone. Let the heat force water out of the mushrooms. (This will happen more with fleshier mushrooms.) Stir once every couple of minutes so the mushrooms on the bottom don't burn. Allow the exuded water to evaporate.
- Deglaze. After awhile, the mushrooms will express no more water and the pan will be almost dry. Pour enough deglazing liquid to coat the pan and scrape the browned bits from the pan's surface.
- If you're pouring from a wine bottle or similar vessel, two or three glugs will usually be enough. If you're pouring high-alcohol liquid, take care not to ignite the liquid until you're ready. Singed hair from your face and arms will be unwanted additions to this recipe.
- Continue to scrape the pan until most--if not all--of the browned bits have dissolved into the glaze. Then dissolve a teaspon of the roux into the glaze. After a little stirring and bubbling, the roux should have tighten the glaze into a creamy-looking sauce that's not runny.
- If the result is too thick, stir in a litle water or stock to thin it.
- If the result is still thin, stir in more roux.
- Tip this batch into the big bowl and continue with the next batch of mushrooms, or continue with the amalgamation when all the mushrooms are done.
- Amalgamate. Mix the finished peas with the finished mushrooms, be it in the big bowl or the in big pan you've been using. Add all the garlic, half the parsley, half the mint, and half the chives. Mix thoroughly. Taste. Mix in salt and pepper as needed.
- Let the filling cool to room temperature. In the meantime, clean up. Have a drink. Have a snack.
- While you're relaxing, time to contemplate yields. Nutritionists tend to relate "a serving" to the size and shape of a deck of cards. That's fair. After "a deck" of protein, "a deck" of veg, and "a deck" of starch, I'm usually satisfied. For this recipe of four "generous main course" parcels, the filling is equivalent to two decks of cards. That's just filling; the phyllo shell and the tomato sauce are extra.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Build the parcels. Unwrap and unroll your phyllo sheets, and cover the stack with a damp cloth towel. Have your cutting board clear, the fat for the phyllo ready, as well as a pastry brush for painting the fat onto each layer of phyllo. Bear in mind that you should have enough fat to paint each layer, and also to paint any dry phyllo surface after the parcels are built.
- Uncover the stack, peel off a sheet of phyllo and place it on your cutting board. Cover the stack to preserve the moisture. Use the pastry brush to evenly paint the entire surface of the phyllo sheet with fat. Sprinkle half the remaining parsley, mint, and chives evenly over the lubed sheet.
- If the phyllo tears during the process of movement or brushing, simply push and arrange the tear closed. You can't bind the sheet back together, but it won't matter in the long run.
- Uncover the stack again, peel off the second sheet of phyllo and place it squarely on top of the first sheet of phyllo. Cover the stack again. Paint the second with fat. Sprinkle the remaining parsley, mint, and chives evenly over the second lubed sheet.
- Repeat with the third sheet, but with no herbs.
- Uncover the stack of unused phyllo, roll it back up, wrap it back up, and store it in the fridge. Use what's left soon or it will dry out in the fridge. Or, throw it back in the freezer, and maybe it will defrost into separate sheets again next time.
- Back to the lubed and herbed stack of phyllo. Use a knife and slice the stack down the center like a book so you two even halves. Then slice across both halves so you now have four rectangles.
PER SERVING *
|Calories560Calories from Fat330|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat330|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.