Round Pistachio Baklava

Recipes in this PostRound Pistachio Baklava

A Little History of Round Pistachio Baklava

When I was a little girl, my mother brought me a special dessert.  It was baklava, and I loved it. It wasn’t until I was a lot older and moved to a community that had a large Armenian population that I learned that there were a lot of varieties of the venerable dessert. The history of this pastry is long and contested – some say it originated in Ancient Rome citing a recipe from Cato the Elder in 160 BC, some say the Romans stole the recipe from the Greeks, and Byzantine Turks say it was already theirs – Wikipedia Baklava.

I had no idea how the dessert was made, and when I found out it was made with Filo dough, I thought it being so gossamer that I would never be able to handle it. Of course, I was also convinced that I was unable to make decent rice, and frying completely perplexed me.

I have lately been watching YouTube and found the Heghineh Cooking Show. She demonstrates all kinds of good Armenian food, and one day, it was a round baklava with pistachios.  The way she did it, and explained it, I thought, you know what, I can do that!  I have already conquered rice and mastered frying, so why not Filo, too?  I decided to make it for a small dinner party because I was getting kind of tired of cakes or fruit.

Round Pistachio Baklava

Completed Baklava Taste Test

Working with Filo

If you have already worked with filo dough, then this recipe should be a breeze for you.  If not, and you need to see the method of making these luscious pastries, then head on over to the YouTube video by Heghineh. Please note that you will probably not use the entire roll of dough, some might stick together too much, or get too torn to work with.  I would say I lost about 6 sheets.

There are a couple of things I did differently.  I used Cortas Rose Syrup that I buy at Armenian stores or at Amazon (it makes a fine cocktail with vodka over ice), and I used True Orange that you can also get at Amazon.  I also messed up with the first baklava and forgot to squeeze them together, so I ate those.
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Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Recipes in this Post
Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

This was a dish that Chef John Farion made for me a long, long time ago. He was the chef at Bird’s restaurant in Hollywood, and had gotten the recipe from a chef he was working under.

I have made this several times. I consider it a real treat, something I make for company, or I make for people I really care about. It isn’t really that time consuming, but it is a little expensive.

The recipe calls for Gorgonzola, which is a blue veined Italian cheese. If you cannot find Gorgonzola, or do not want to pay the steep price for it, you can substitute a good blue cheese. Luckily, I live in Glendale, California, which has a high Armenian population, and Armenian grocery stores always have low cost, good quality blue cheese available by the pound. Don’t try to use the already crumbled blue cheese, it is dried out, has no flavor, and is usually expensive.

It goes best with the wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Noodles, as the sauce coats each noodle delicately and the noodles hug the pieces of chicken. Yum!

If you are afraid that your guests will not like the blue cheese – yes, there really are some people who find it too strong and strange – you can add the cheese as a garnish for the people who do want the blue cheese flavor.

I made this tonight with broccoli and served it with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My friend, Amber, and her husband Stevie, just loved it. Spane has had it many times, and even Amber’s persnickety son wanted some.

Recipe: Chicken with Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts Boned
  • 1 cup Sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Gogonzola Cheese
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Pistachio Nuts
  • Cracked Black Peppercorns
  • Wide Noodles – Pennsylvania Dutch Edd Noodles are best

Instructions

  1. Shell the pistachio nuts. Heat a pan and toast the nuts in it, stirring often to prevent burning. Chop into a course chop and set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into one inch pieces and set aside. Put butter into a saute pan, melt, then add garlic. Saute until translucent, then add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms and add about a tablespoon of white wine. Cook the mushrooms until they brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Boil a large pot of water and add salt. Add pasta.
  4. Put more butter into the saute pan, then add chicken pieces. Saute on high heat until they are browned nicely on all sides. Remove from the pan, and deglaze with wine. Cook the wine down, then put the chicken back. Add the cream, and cook down until the cream has thickened. Add half of the nuts, leaving the rest for garnish. If you do not have anyone that is adverse to blue cheese, add the cheese at this point. Then add the mushrooms. Just before serving, crack black peppercorns over.
  5. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. If it reaches that stage before the chicken is done, turn the heat off. Drain the pasta in a colander and start to plate-up.
  6. Put pasta, then serve chicken and sauce over the pasta. Top with cheese if you have not added it to the sauce, then garnish with remaining nuts and chopped Italian parsley.

Variations

If you can’t get Gorgonzola, you can substitute a good Danish Blue Cheese instead.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

Calories: 611

Fat: 125

Protein: 111.7

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.


This recipe is available for download at BigOven.

Enjoy!