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posted: 10/16/2013 6:01 AM

Crispy Phyllo Strips with Braised Celery Dipping Sauce

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  • Dan Rich of Elgin used Twizzlers, almond butter, celery and phyllo sheets to create a spread of unique party foods.

      Dan Rich of Elgin used Twizzlers, almond butter, celery and phyllo sheets to create a spread of unique party foods.
    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker


6 sheets phyllo dough

2-3 tablespoons melted butter

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Kosher salt


4 ribs celery

1 tablespoon butter

cup water

teaspoon salt

Several good grinds of black pepper

Splash of port

2 green onions, chopped

cup almond butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter cookie sheet.

Layer 6 full sheets of phyllo, buttering between the sheets. Lightly salt the top sheet. Cut into 1-inch strips. and transfer to baking sheet. Bake until strips are crunchy and golden brown. Remove from baking sheet, allow to cool.

For the sauce: Place butter in a heated pan. Add celery, cook 5 minutes. Add water, cover pan. Add salt and pepper, cover and reduce to a simmer; cook 12-15 minutes or until celery is soft. Remove celery, reserve liquid. Place braised celery in a food processor with 2 teaspoons of the reserved cooking liquid and splash of port wine; blend until smooth. Add chopped scallions and almond butter. Blend until nicely mixed. If the dip is too stiff, add a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen. The final consistency should be smooth and creamy. Place in a bowl, garnish with a bit of scallion tops.

To finish: Garnish entire plate with finely diced scallions, celery tops and diced Twizzlers.

Serves eight.

Dan Rich

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