I wait all month for this day to come! Kitchen Improv!
Thanks once again to Kristen from The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for being the fabulous host of Kitchen Improv! This is my absolute favorite group to participate in. Kristen challenges us with 2 ingredients each month. Sometimes the ways these ingredients can work together is obvious, and other times….not so much. This month was pretty easy. Potatoes and cheese! So where do I go to get inspiration to bake for my favorite group? To my favorite market…..Trader Joe’s!
And when I walked to the produce section, these purple potatoes were just waiting for me! Beckoning me, if you will, to scoop them up and hurry on over to get the cheese! Trader Joe’s always has such a great selection of cheese. And wow, did I find an interesting one……
These pretty purple phyllo pies are topped with a combination of Asiago cheese and an Italian Truffle cheese! Add some pancetta, shallots, and fresh thyme and you have something special!
Just think of the many ways you can adapt this! Pizza dough or puff pastry. Red potatoes or fingerlings. Bacon or proscuitto. Red or spring onions. Rosemary, thyme or basil. And any kind of veggie or cheese imaginable! Here’s what I used for these…..
6 small purple potatoes
4 oz cooked pancetta
2 Tablespoons of diced shallots
3 teaspoons of chopped, fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Italian Truffle cheese
8 oz phyllo dough, thawed
1 stick salted butter, melted
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
I first wanted to note here that the pancetta I used was not very salty. So I decided to used salted butter and even then I ended up sprinkling the pizzas with some sea salt in the end. But if you decide to use bacon or a salty meat, you may wish to use unsalted butter for the phyllo. Play it by ear depending on your ingredients!
You may wish to cook the potatoes in advance. But simply put them in a pan so that they are just covered with water. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the thawed phyllo from the package and carefully unroll. Place the stack on a work surface. Use a 5-6 inch plate or bowl as your guide. Place it on top of the dough and use a sharp knife to cut around it. You should have enough room on the sheet of phyllo to make 2 circles. Stack the circles together and discard your scraps. You may lay a damp kitchen towel over the phyllo to keep them moist. But I found that I worked fast enough that I didn’t need to do this.
Place 3 phyllo circles on each of the 2 baking sheets. Lightly brush all the circles with melted butter. Place another circle of dough on top of each of these. Brush each, again, with melted butter. Repeat this process until you have stacked 6 circles of dough on all 6 of the pizza circles. Place 4 slices of potato on each of the circles. Sprinkle with thyme, onions and pancetta. Divide the 2 cheeses and top each circle lightly with sprinkles of cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake until the centers and bottoms are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Serve right away.
These were so delicious! See….even the photographer stopped for lunch!
Enjoy these! And don’t forget to check out what my fellow improvers did with their ingredients!