This recipe from Ottawa TV chef Pam Collacott was a big hit at my house this past Christmas morning. It is so good, I wouldn't save it just for Christmas! I made it up the same day but you can prepare it up to the point where it goes into the oven and freeze it until you need it. Just add an extra 20 to 25 minutes to the baking time.
- 1⁄2 cup butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 cup smoked ham, diced
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 2 teaspoons chives, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 sheets phyllo pastry
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the flour, then slowly whisk in the milk.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Add the cheddar, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese melts.
- Chill until needed.
- In a large, non-stick skillet, scramble the eggs with the ham, parsley, chives and thyme, until just firm but still moist.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add the egg mixture to the cheese sauce and mix well.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Melt the remaining butter.
- Keep the unused phyllo under a damp towel until needed.
- Brush 1 sheet of phyllo lightly with melted butter and fold in half, long edges together.
- Brush with butter.
- Spoon 1/8 of the egg mixture onto one short end of the phyllo, leaving a 1" border around the filling.
- Sprinkle 1 slightly rounded teaspoon of the Parmesan on the egg mixture.
- Roll up as a jelly roll, tucking in the sides of the phyllo to completely enclose the egg mixture. Do not roll too tightly or the phyllo will split during baking.
- Place the strudel seam side down on a greased baking sheet and brush the top with butter.
- Repeat, making 7 more strudels.
- Bake in the centre of a preheated 375 degree F oven until puffed and golden, about 13 to 16 minutes.
- Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.