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Recipe: Goat’s Cheese, Bacon and Leek Strudels

November 10, 2013

I always thought the toughest challenge of low-carb eating would be avoiding all the chocolate and desserts.  But far from it.  In fact, once you’ve crossed the two-week mark, and for some even earlier, you lose your sweet tooth and all the associated cravings. No, my friends, pastry is the problem.

For me, pastry does so much for a dish.  It often literally holds ingredients together, such as in a pie or tart.  It provides texture and crunch, which low-carb foods can often lack.  It’s decadent and delicious, crumbly and crisp. But all of this is irrelevant when you remember that it is made with a whole heap of flour and is therefore not a wise choice for a low-carber.

Filo pastry is my compromise for the occasional pastry treat, like these savoury strudels.  Yes, it still contains approximately 25g of carbs per sheet (when your whole daily allowance should really be between 50-100g), but sometimes, just sometimes, needs must.  I had some goat’s cheese in need of using up, but you could use any flavoursome cheese in these parcels; feta would be a great swap.

This recipe makes 4 strudels, which is perfect for 2 for a hearty meal, or 4 for a starter or light lunch.  I served with a handful of dressed rocket and some chutney (also not very low-carb, but the perfect accompaniment!)  It’s a super easy recipe, but it does take a bit of time for the leek mixture to cook off all of its liquid.

4 sheets of filo pastry
approximately 50g butter – but have more to hand, just in case
500g leeks, washed and finely sliced
150g hot chicken stock
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
100g smoked streaky bacon, grilled until crisp and cooled on kitchen towel
100-150g crumbly goat’s cheese
sea salt
black onion seeds

1. Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6.

2. Pop a knob of butter (about 15g) into a large pan and gently melt.  Add the leeks and toss to coat.  Pour in the stock, cover and cooked for 8 minutes.

3.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and replace the lid for a further 3 minutes.  Remove lid, season a little with salt and cook until the liquid has more or less evaporated.  Then add more salt until seasoned to your taste.  Pour the contents on to a large plate or bowl to cool quickly.

4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Take one sheet of pastry at a time.  Brush half the sheet of pastry with butter and fold over onto the half without butter, to double up the sheet. Brush the edges with more butter.  Then spoon a quarter of the leek mixture in a line along the length of one side of the pastry, leaving about an inch each side.  Sprinkle over a quarter of the cheese and then a quarter of the bacon.  Fold the sides of the pastry over the filling to hold it in place and then fold the pastry topped with the mixture once to enclose it.  Brush the remaining piece of unrolled pastry before rollling the parcel up (think of it like a really fat, slightly flat, cigar).  Repeat with the other three sheets of pastry.

Preparing the strudles

5. Place the strudels onto a baking tray and liberally coat with the remaining melted butter, so that all of the pastry exposed is glistening.  Sprinkle with the black onion seeds and then bake in the top of the oven for 25 minutes.  Should come out crisp and golden brown.  Enjoy!

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