Chef Walter’s Flavors & Knowledge: Swiss Chard & Chutney Strudel

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalProv Food Expert

Swiss chard, also known simply as chard, is a beet that is grown for its deep green leaves instead of its root. Swiss chard is highly nutritious and is a good source of several vitamins. It also contains more minerals than most other greens and is very high in fiber. And if it's prepared and cooked the right way, it's absolutely delicious. You may also replace it with greens of choice for this recipe.

Serves 6

Ingredients

18 ounces frozen puff pastry

Flour for the board

1-1/4 pounds Swiss chard, washed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra

Salt to taste

10 ounces cranberry chutney 

5 ounces Swiss cheese, cut into strips

1 egg beaten

Directions

Defrost puff pastry, and roll out slightly thinner on a floured work surface. Chop and saute the Swiss chard in butter for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat; add salt. Spread chutney on the dough. Arrange greens on top, and sprinkle with the cheese strips. Roll up the strudel evenly, and pinch ends to close.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place the strudel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper lightly oiled. Brush the egg over the entire surface of the strudel. Bake for 30 minutes, cut into even slices and serve warm.

Note on Strudel. Strudel is a type of sweet or savory layered pastry with a filling inside. The history of strudel dates back for hundreds of years, it was made as an easy yet satisfying meal by the poor. The name Strudel comes from the German word for "whirlpool" or "eddy". The rolled version of the pastry looks like the inside of a whirlpool. Strudel is most often associated with Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Strudel gained popularity in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire (1278-1780). In these countries, apple strudel is the most widely known. Apple strudel is considered to be the national dish of Austria, and is the official state pastry of Texas. The Viennese are the ones who made this dish famous with their delicate, thin layers of dough and sweet, tart apple filling. It was the Turkish Baklava pastry, introduced into Austria in 1453 that laid the foundation for strudel. Gradually strudels with different fillings were created. The oldest strudel recipe is for a milk-cream strudel. It was handwritten in 1696 and the original can be found at the Viennese City Library. From 1800 onwards many types of strudels were created. These include apple strudel, almond strudel, semolina strudel, rice strudel, quark strudel, milk-cream-strudel, grape strudel, poppy strudel, nut strudel, cabbage strudel, meat strudel, damson strudel, cherry strudel, pear strudel, apricot strudel, ham strudel, coffee strudel, Parmesan strudel, roll strudel, mushroom strudel, herb strudel, and cinnamon strudel.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well."  Check out the Chef's website and blog. 

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