Almost a month ago I mentioned one of my new year’s resolutions, to waste less and to be more inspired by what I have on hand. And thankfully, it’s been working pretty well. While my approach to menu planning is not vastly different, I have tweaked it slightly. My usual routine was to spend a lazy afternoon on the couch flipping through cookbooks and bookmarked recipes. Now when I think about what I will make for a week I try to start by choosing a couple of star ingredients from my pantry or freezer that I want to use up and then use this as a filter when looking for recipes.
This recipe was entirely made of things I had on hand. It made me realize that as much as I whine at times that I have nothing to make (which we all know is a thinly veiled excuse so I can call in an order for Thai food) it is rarely, if ever true. These Bratwurst Phyllo Rolls prove it.
What I love about this recipe is that it falls into the easy but impressive camp. Phyllo itself can be notoriously finicky, but once you’ve mastered how to work with it, everything else is simple. Inside the roll is a simple filling of crumbled bratwurst, mascarpone, cheddar cheese and onion. I used some fresh apple bratwurst that I picked up forever ago when apple picking in Indiana, but you could easily substitute an apple chicken sausage or something similar. Just go for a fresh sausage as you’ll be crumbling it and using it like ground meat.
I served these recently at my book club and they were well received, though I think they would be equally at home at a Super Bowl party. (In fact, my intent had been to post them well in advance and then life got in the way.) The combination of crunch, cheese, and sausage is something that is an easy crowd pleaser. I’ve not known many people to turn it down, unless they are vegetarian.
Adapted from Food Network
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 yellow onion, finely chopped
-3/4 pound fresh apple bratwurst, or similar fresh sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
-1 8-ounce container Mascarpone cheese
-1 cup shredded Cheddar
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
-16 sheets phyllo dough
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until it is just becoming translucent. Add the sausage to the pan and continue cooking until sausage is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow the meat mixture to cool slightly. Stir in the cheeses until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo with the short side facing you on a work surface. (Cover remaining phyllo with plastic wrap to keep from drying out.) Spray the phyllo sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Then fold it in half lengthwise and spray again. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in the center of the bottom end of the phyllo. Fold in the sides, then roll up from the bottom to completely enclose the filling (it should look like an egg roll). Place the roll, seam side down, on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, nonstick cooking spray, and filling to make a total of 16 rolls.
Spray the rolls generously with nonstick cooking spray and bake until the rolls until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.