Crunchy and delicious!
I love just about every kind of sushi and even unagi which is freshwater eel. So, what does eel have to do with this recipe? Well, for years of watching cooking shows and hearing the word Umami I’ve been hearing “unagi” and thinking where’s the eel.
Over the last few years I’ve discovered how wrong I was and that the chefs are actually saying “umami” which is the fifth taste. We all know sweet, salty, bitter and sour but did you know there was a fifth taste called “umami” and it wasn’t a recent discovery.
I seems like a hundred years after Escoffier wrote his cookbook (where he identified this new flavor) scientist finally agreed with him on a new flavor “savory” or umami. Read this article called “Sweet,Sour, Salty, bitter and Umami” and you will find out everything you need to know about this new/old taste. There’s an article in The New Yorker you might be interested in reading; I don’t want to just copy what they said so go to their website and have a good read if you’re interested.
So, the umami part of this recipe would be the prosciutto which is a smoked meat and falls into the foods that have a lot of umami flavor. I’ve read also that if you crush up some dried seaweed (chips) into your hamburgers you will get a great tasting burger.
Back to my phyllo rolls. I love baking prosciutto in the oven to make some crispy bits to add to any recipe. I once added it to some champagne risotto and it was delicious and from that moment, any time I get a chance to use it on top of a recipe to add a little crunch I do.
When I made my dipping sauce the first time I just melted the fig preserves and added some lime juice but when I heated up the leftovers for my husband I added some Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and a little cayenne pepper to give it a little zing.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Nutty Coleslaw is a great little slaw to serve with any grilled foods. Here in Texas the weather never keeps us from grillin’ or smokin’.
Toast and finely chop the walnuts.
Remove the stem end of the figs and chop into small pieces.
Mix the goat cheese, figs, toasted walnuts in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the crispy prosciutto and gently stir into cheese mixture.
Unfold the thawed phyllo dough and cut in half. Then cut from the end side 4 sections about 4 1/2″ wide. Cover with damp paper towel so it doesn’t dry out.
Put one piece of the phyllo down on work surface, lightly butter the whole piece and put a piece of fresh thyme on the end. (You can skip this step if you don’t have a fest herb to use.) Top with a second sheet of phyllo and butter it lightly also.
Take about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a long cylinder and place at the end of the strip. Roll up and use a little more butter to seal ends. I pinched the ends together. Brush butter on the top of the finished roll and put on cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat.
Either pinch the ends together or leave open. Put on cookie sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or nice and brown.
After they have baked remove from cookie sheet and drain on paper towel.
Melt the fig jam and add in the juice of 1 1/2 limes. The second time I made the sauce I thinned it with some Thai sweet chili sauce for a little zing.
Enjoy with the dipping sauce.
- 12 oz. goat cheese
- 1/2 c. chopped dried figs
- 1/3-1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts
- 8 very thin slices prosciutto
- fresh thyme sprigs, optional
- 1 pkg. phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 stick butter, melted
- Lay the thin slices of prosciutto on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 350° until crispy. May take 8-10 minutes; check after 5 minutes. Put slices on paper towels to drain and cool. When cooled, crumble and set aside.
- Mix the goat cheese, chopped fig, and walnuts until creamed together. Add in the crumbled prosciutto and gently mix.
- Open the thawed phyllo dough and cut in half across the width. Then cut these two halves into 4 1/2" strips. Cover with a barely damp cloth to prevent phyllo from drying out.
- Take one piece of the phyllo and put short end towards you. At the opposite end put a small stem or leaves of thyme, butter this piece of phyllo lightly and top with another piece of phyllo. I usually butter this with hit and miss strokes across the piece.
- Take about 2 teaspoons of cheese mixture and form into a small roll and put at the end of strip and roll towards the end with the thyme stem. Pinch ends and brush tops of rolls with butter. Put on a cookie sheet to bake. Continue until you have used all your cheese mixture.
- Bake at 355° for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and enjoy with any kind of dipping sauce.