The Quick Cook

By Baker, Andrew | Sunset, May 1998 | Go to article overview

The Quick Cook


Baker, Andrew, Sunset


MEALS IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS

Getting a feel for filo

In the rush of wrapping up a busy day, it's comforting to know that you can also wrap up a meal presentable enough for guests in about half an hour.

This savory filo strudel gets a head start with cooked ham and cooked rice (from a deli or Chinese take-out counter-or use instant rice). While the strudel bakes, stir together a simple mustard sauce and season watercress with rice vinegar to serve as salad.

Hungarian Ham Strudel with Watercress Salad

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes NOTES: Frozen filo handles best if thawed in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight. If sheets tear, just piece them together. For a zippier flavor, use a hot paprika.

MAKES: 4 servings

6 green onions 1 1/2 cups cooked rice 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese 2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon caraway seed 2 tablespoons drained capers 6 sheets filo dough (about 12 by 18 in.)

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 1/2 pound thin-sliced cooked ham 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 to 3 tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard 1/2 pound watercress, rinsed and crisped

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1. Trim and discard ends of green onions. Chop onions and mix with rice, cheese, paprika, caraway, and capers.

2. Lay 1 filo sheet flat (cover remaining filo with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and brush lightly with butter. Top with another filo sheet and brush lightly with more butter. Repeat to stack remaining filo.

3. Starting about 1 inch from a narrow edge, lay ham slices over filo (overlapping as needed) to cover about 1/3 of dough, leaving a 1- to 2-inch margin on the sides. Evenly pat rice mixture over ham. Roll filo from ham end to enclose filling. With seam down, gently transfer strudel roll to a buttered baking sheet (at least 11 by 14 in., without side rims). Lightly brush strudel with butter. …

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