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Food

Two Recipes Featuring Kataifi to Enjoy

September 12, 2022

Kataifi, the angel hair version of phyllo dough, is perhaps best known as the sweet pastry stuffed with nuts and soaked with syrup, but it is one of those versatile ingredients that can also be enjoyed in savory recipes as well. Try the following sweet and savory recipes featuring kataifi.

 

Traditional Kataifi

 

1 package (1 pound) frozen kataifi

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

For the filling:

2 cups chopped walnuts, a mixture of walnuts and almonds, or pistachios

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of ground cloves, optional

For the syrup:

2 1/2 cups water

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2-inch strip of lemon peel

1 cinnamon stick

 

Thaw the frozen kataifi according to the package instructions. When completely thawed, melt the butter and brush a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with some of the butter. Separate the kataifi into sections for filling and rolling. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel to keep the kataifi from drying out as you fill and roll the sections. To make the filling, stir together the chopped nuts with cinnamon and cloves, if using, and set aside. If preferred, the nuts may be ground more finely in a food processor, though pulse carefully to avoiding making them into a paste. Take a section of the kataifi, place a tablespoon of the filling in the center and roll, tucking the end underneath. Place in the buttered pan and continue with the remaining kataifi sections, placing the rolled and filled kataifi side by side in the pan. Brush with the melted butter and bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Meanwhile, make the syrup by bringing the water, sugar, lemon juice, peel, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a pot or saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon the hot syrup over the baked and cooled kataifi or cooled syrup over hot kataifi. Cool completely before serving. Garnish with additional chopped walnuts or pistachios, if preferred.

 

Savory Kataifi Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie. Photo by Jessica Kantak Bailey, via Unsplash

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, finely sliced

1 large carrot, diced

1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

Freshly ground pepper to taste

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 pound kataifi

1/2 cup butter, melted

 

Thaw the kataifi according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the leeks, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook about 5-6 minutes until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir into the mixture. Add the chicken stock and stir as the mixture comes to a boil. Add the chicken, pepper, parsley, and peas and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Add the chicken mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Shred the strands of kataifi in a bowl and mix with the melted butter to coat all the shreds. Place the buttered kataifi on top of the chicken mixture and bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow the kataifi pie to cool slightly for 10 minutes before serving.

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