Sunday, December 26, 2010

Faux Farmer's Cheese and Caramelized Onion in Phyllo Cups

I saw this hors d'oueuvre listed in a VegNews article about perfect vegan wedding menus and thought I'd try creating the recipe myself since I couldn't find one on short notice.  The original called for puff pastry, but when I went shopping in the frozen foods section of my local independent grocer, all I found was the Fillo Factory phyllo dough, so I decided to make phyllo cups instead.  I figured I've made vegan spanikopita many times before, so how tough could this be?  I think the results went far beyond expectations.

Faux Farmers Cheese and Caremelized Onion in Phyllo Cups
(makes 1 dozen)
8 sheets of phyllo
¼ cup melted Earth Balance

8 oz. extra firm tofu
4 oz. Tofutti cream cheese
4 oz. Daiya mozzarella
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp sea salt
fresh black pepper
1 cup caramelized onion
olive oil

Start by laying 4 sheets of phyllo on a cloth towel that's on top of a wet paper towel.  Since the sheets are long, cut them in half, then make a stack of 8.  With a pastry brush, spread melted Earth Balance margarine evenly over the first sheet.  Lay a second sheet on top and brush with margarine, then repeat this process until all 8 sheets have been "buttered."  Cut the stack into 6 even squares and tuck them into the cups of a nonstick muffin pan.  You will need to do this process again in order to make a dozen phyllo cups.

Once the phyllo is in the muffin cups, get out your food processor to make the faux farmer's cheese filling.  Pulse together tofu, cream cheese, Daiya mozzarella, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, oregano, sea salt and pepper until it resembles the consistency of dry ricotta or goat's cheese.  Place about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each phyllo cup, then bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, caramelize an onion in a nonstick skillet.  When phyllo cups are done, remove from oven and top with onion, then return to oven to heat another 2-3 minutes, or until filling begins to bubble and phyllo has browned.

These are best served warm straight from the oven, but if you cook them ahead of time, they can be reheated covered for 10 minutes, then uncovered for 3-5 more minutes to get them crispy again.


Eric said...

I bet these taste as great as they look! Bravo chefie!
Many people who came to our restaurant would be super surprised that vegetarian and vegan foods could also be very gourmet too. Hey, why not? And when vegan, we can usually say far more guilt-free since no violence was used to procure the foods. This should add to the gustatory experience by making it consistent with a peaceful frame of mind in the context for living a pacifist lifestyle.

Mary Lawrence said...

Thanks for your comment, Eric. Yes, it definitely helps the cause when you have a repertoire of a few incredible recipes that omnivorous gourmands will swoon over. I think these qualify!

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing the recipe for the Faux Farmer's Cheese and Caramelized Onion in Phyllo Cups. They look fantastic. I can't wait to try the recipe.

Mary Lawrence said...

Thank you for your comments! This is a recipe that really tastes as amazing as it looks. Definitely give it a try, and don't let the phyllo dough intimidate you!

Anonymous said...

I prepared the Faux Farmers Cheese and Onion in Phyllo Cups as an appetizer for New Year's Eve. I made them without the mozzarella but they were delicious and everyone enjoyed them.

Mary Lawrence said...

I'm glad to hear they went over well for your New Year's Eve celebration. This is definitely one of my top picks for party foods!