Last week Allen at Eating Out Loud featured a recipe for Sigara Boregi with Minced Meat. As I read the recipe I realized that it sounded a lot like the phyllo rolls that I used to get at La Mediterranee in San Francisco. They were always a favorite of mine so I knew I had to try my hand at making them.
La Mediterranee served the rolls with a choice of three fillings, beef, chicken or cheese. My favorites were always the beef & chicken rolls both flavored with cinnamon. The beef is left savory while the chicken is sweetened with golden raisins & powdered sugar. I thought Allen's recipe for the beef sounded spot on so that left me to play with the chicken.
These were so good! I love the flavor of the cinnamon with the meat. Matt & I both really liked the chicken with the sweetness from the raisins & the powdered sugar. It was like being back in San Francisco & eating at La Mediterranee again. I don't usually cook with phyllo because I think its fussy but once I got the technique down (& ripped the first two rolls) these came together really easily.
Chicken Filling for Phyllo Rolls
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
4 T pine nuts
12 oz cooked chicken, chopped
4 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground coriander
1 t dried oregano
4 T golden raisins
salt & pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until beginning to soften. Add the garlic & pine nuts & cook another 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from the heat & allow to cool. Stir all remaining ingredients together with the onion mixture.
Enough filling for 10 rolls
Since both the beef & chicken filling start with the sautéed onions, garlic & pinenuts, I made that then split it in half. That way I was able to make a half batch of the chicken filling & a half batch of the beef filling.
How to make the Phyllo Rolls
Mix together in a small bowl
2 T milk
1/4 c oil (Allen called for 1/2 c but I decided to try a little less & it worked just fine)
Lay a piece of phyllo dough out with the long side facing you. (Make sure to keep a damp cloth over the phyllo dough you aren't working with.)
Lightly brush one half of the dough with the egg mixture. Fold the dry side over the wet.
Brush egg mixture down the two long sides & the bottom short side. I tried brushing the whole square with it but then the rolls ripped when I tried to roll them. (If you do have a roll that rips like I did, just wrap another piece of phyllo around it that has been brushed with the egg mixture. I tried taking a broken roll apart & it just made a mess. Adding another sheet of phyllo just made for a little crustier finished roll.)
Put 1/4 cup of filling in the middle of the dough leaving about 2 inches on each side.
Fold the top long sides over the filling.
Fold the bottom up & begin rolling filling up like a cigarette.
Brush the top 2 inches with egg mixture & finish the roll.
Place on a baking sheet with the seam side down. Brush the rolls on the tops & sides with the egg mixture. Sprinkle the beef rolls with sesame seeds.
Bake at 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. Sprinkle the chicken rolls with powdered sugar (Don't skip the powdered sugar, it really makes these rolls) before serving.