Nothing like cheese to get us smiling :). These cheese cigars with leek and bacon are AMAZING, we couldn’t stop eating them. They’re easy to make and really really tasty. They are perfect to complement a cheese board or served on their own.
I love love Christmas, as soon as December arrives I get butterflies in my stomach. This year it’s going to be weird because I’m not travelling to spend Christmas with my family in Perú which is a FIRST, but I’m comforted by the fact that I’ll be cooking for my family here in Chile. Nothing like pampering the people we love and make us feel loved! Another one of my favourite appetizers for the holidays is my cheese log with cranberries, pistachios, bacon and honey.
If you want to get some of the work done beforehand for these cheese cigars, you can make the filling up to 3 days before. You can roll them up and paint them with butter on the baking tray the morning of the big event :). The idea is that you can get organized so you can enjoy the occasion as well <3. Oh, another note for you is that if you like savoury and sweet combos, you can drizzle a bit of honey on these right before serving ;).
When you work with phyllo pastry, there are a few things that you need to have in mind. You need to prevent that it dries out at all costs, which happens pretty quickly. Whenever you have leftover pastry, you want to wrap it back up and store it in its package. And the pastry you are working with you want to keep under a moist cloth. It sounds complicated but it’s pretty simple :).
For the filling
- 90 g bacon slices finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped only the white and light green portion
- 200 ml cream cheese
- 125 g brie cheese finely chopped
- Fresh thyme leaves from 2 sprigs optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cigars
- 150 g phyllo pastry 6 sheets
- 30 g melted butter
For the filling
- Add the bacon to a preheated pan over medium heat. Cook it, mixing every once in a while, until it's golden.
- Add the leek and sautée until very golden.
- Remove the bacon and leek from the pan and reserve until it cools down completely.
- Mix all the ingredients. Taste it and adjust the level of salt and pepper to taste. Fill up a pastry bag fitted with a 1cm / ⅓in diameter tip with the filling.
For the cigars
- Using a pair of scissors, cut the phyllo pastry into strips of 26x12cm. Quickly put back in its bag whatever you have left of pastry so that it doesn't dry up. The strips you can cover with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying up as you assemble the cigars.
- Lightly brush melted butter on the phyllo pastry strip. Using the pastry bag, pipe a line of filling along the short side, leaving 1cm / ⅓in empty on each side.
- Roll up the cigar all the way to the end of the strip and pinch it at the empty sides to seal them. They will still open up in the oven but this makes that happen more slowly so that it doesn't all come out.
- Place the cigars on a baking tray lined with silpat or baking paper and lightly paint them with butter. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
- Serve immediately.