Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bribery - Not just for Crooks and Thugs

I decided that I will cook a Greek inspired dinner this weekend.  It will include a vat or two of Red Wine, Pitas and Hummus, a Leg of Lamb, Oven Roasted Potatoes,  Tomato Asparagus and Feta Salad and Baklava for dessert.  I decided to serve Bacon Baklava because it is delicious. 
I am using this meal as  bribery and incentive.  The cedar hedge at the front of our property needs trimming.  It has grown out of control and is now over 14 feet tall and spans a length of 120 feet.  I'm sending my husband to the top to do the trimming - I will stand below and offer up encouraging words and much needed advice.  I know he will appreciate this. 

Here's the recipe should any of you need to get a long neglected task completed.

Bacon Baklava  - So Good! – Crisp but Chewy, Sweet but Salty
1 1/2 lbs.  Bacon, cut into 1 inch pces  (no need to measure 1” – like a grenade it can be “close”)
1 cup  Almonds chopped
3/4 cup  Dates chopped
1  pkg Phyllo Dough (about 20 sheets – again no need to count)
10 tbsp Butter, melted - this is for brushing the Phyllo
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Water
2 tbsp Bourbon ( or Grand Marnier)
Finely grated zest of 1/2 Orange ( about 2 tsp)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Fry the bacon until crisp.  Drain well.  Put the bacon, dates and almonds in a food processor and chop fairly finely.
Place a sheet of phyllo into a 9 x 13 pan; brush with butter. Repeat with 4 more phyllo sheets and butter. Spread 1 cup of the filling evenly over the phyllo. Repeat this layering of 5 phyllo sheets and bacon filling two more times. Top with 5 buttered phyllo sheets, brush butter over the top.
Cut the baklava diagonally create diamonds (shapes not gems). Bake for 30 – 35 min. or until golden brown
While the baklava is cooking combine the sugar, maple syrup, water, bourbon (or Grand Marnier) and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava.   Cool completely and refrigerate overnight. 
I’ve frozen this baklava and it is still crisp and delicious but must be thawed at room temperature because thawing in the microwave is disastrous!

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