Bacon, cheese, and crispy dough? Count me in!
Everyone loves a pita pocket and everyone loves bacon. But what if we could bring them together? With two types of cheese, clarified butter, and several types of herbs, these sweet and salty filo cakes are sure to bring a new kick to your family dinner!
Special Equipment: pastry brush, 3.5 inch mini cast irons
Pro Tip: This recipe makes a lot of mini pita rolls. The filling will keep but you can cut the recipe down if you don’t want the full amount.
Ricotta Pita Rolls
For the Filling:
- 1 pound ricotta, full-fat/dry packed or liquid pressed out (must be free of excess moisture)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 4 oz ‘nduja
- 1 whole egg
- ½ ounce microplaned parmesan cheese, plus more for bottom of cast irons
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fine salt
For the Pita Rolls:
- 1 package filo (1.5 sheets per mini cast iron)
- 1 cup clarified butter or ghee
- ½ cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz)
- Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
For the Garnish:
- Fennel pollen
- Maldon sea salt
- Fresh dill
- Small basil leaves
- Small parsley leaves
- Quenelle of Bacon Jam
- 8 oz thick-cut bacon, cut into large cubes
- 3 medium shallots, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 8 oz sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hot sauce, preferably Frank’s, to taste
Make the Ricotta Pita Rolls:
Mix the filling ingredients all together and set aside.
Make the pita rolls: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the butter/ghee and chicken fat. Take one sheet of filo pastry on your board and brush gently with the fat mixture. Place another sheet on top. Brush with fat and season with a bit of salt.
Trim filo into a square, all sides equal. Sporadically dot 4 to 6 tablespoons of the ricotta filling over two-thirds of the filo. Roll from the bottom up, brushing with more fat if filo is too dry to roll.
Once you have it rolled into a medium tight roll, you are going to curl one end in, curling all the way into a snail circle shape. Gently tuck the end under the roll so it stays in shape. If the edges break through and the filling shows, use scrap filo to patch it. You will have to gently maneuver this into the snail shape, as the filo is very delicate.
Brush cast irons with a little fat, sprinkle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of microplaned parmesan cheese and place the filo roll on top. The shape should fill the mini cast irons. Press down on the top gently to secure into the pan. Brush the top with the fat. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds; repeat with more filo and filling.
Place cast irons on a sheet tray and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fennel pollen and Maldon sea salt immediately and allow to cool slightly in the cast irons before trying to remove them. The parm cheese needs to cool in order for the crust on the bottom to be crunchy. Once cool, using a small offset spatula, remove the pita.
To serve, garnish top with dill plushes and place a quenelle of bacon jam on the plate; stick the whole parsley and basil leaves around, covering the jam. Place the pita to the side and enjoy warm!
Make the Bacon Jam:
Cook bacon in a large pan over medium heat until crisp. Add diced shallots and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, then add sugar, sundried tomato, raisins, both vinegars, and water.
Bring to a boil. Add herbs and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until liquid turns into a syrupy consistency. Remove herb stems and bay leaves and allow to cool.
Place cooled mixture into your food processor, and blend until it’s a chunky puree. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Serve at room temperature. If the jam becomes too thick once refrigerated, just add water to loosen as necessary.