What do cream cheese, caramelized onions and roasted duck all have in common???… They make a delectable Beggar’s Purse!…”What is a Beggar’s Purse?” you ask…well, let me tell you… it’s a mixture of warm melted cream cheese mixed with caramelized onions, garlic, fresh chives topped off with roasted duck wrapped up in phyllo dough and then baked! I mean.. C’mon.. What more could anyone want in an appetizer!!!
Let’s explore these little diddies more closely. There are really a million options you can stuff these with, but since I am having so many “fall feels” right now I went for a more fall/holiday flavor. I’m personally obsessed with raspberries and can never get enough of them whether it’s breakfast a snack, dessert or, like here I use them to counter all the salt in the form of a puree. This was my first time making a puree ever, (which is weird because I LOVE to bake and create dessert dishes) and first time making a beggar’s purse.. Needless to say I learned A LOT!
For starters, duck takes quite some time to roast, I seared the legs in a cast iron skillet and then roasted them in the oven (in the skillet). The whole process takes about an hour. Once the duck is in the oven, start on the mixture… YUM!
Secondly, I learned or maybe rediscovered is a better word, my love love LOVE of cream cheese! Literally – I look for things in the kitchen that I can use to dip into it (don’t judge me). I let the cream cheese get to room temp while I caramelized the onions and garlic with a little red wine and butter. Then I mixed it all together with some heavy cream, fresh chives, salt and pepper. Now already this appetizer is winning.. I could get a row of Ritz Crackers and just eat this mixture and call it good… BUT, I’m going to keep going because I know the end result is going to be amazing. So after much temptation I put the crackers down and stick it out.
The duck should be close to done, but you should have just enough time to make the puree. With that being said I reluctantly put cheese mix aside and make the puree.
Make sure to simmer long enough, suggested time doesn’t mean it’s the right time. Simmer until puree reaches a good viscosity.
By now the duck should be done, so you can just pull that out and let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting up into bits. I decided to use the skin of the duck for extra flavor.. Not all of it though. I took some aside (that golden crispy goodness) and chopped it up finely and mixed in with the chopped duck leg. The texture of the crispy skin with the decadent dark meat was perfection.
Lastly, I learned that butter is not necessarily your friend… While each sheet of phyllo dough needs to be buttered to help adhesion to the next, light butter is best. The bottoms will open up if you “love” them too much with butter (I also love butter, ha!) I took 2 sheets of dough cut them down the middle so I had 4 square-ish sheets. Very important here – be very generous with the filling.
Should be close to the size of a golf ball, heap that ball of cheese mix onto the middle of the sheets and top with duck mixture. Now, it took me a couple of these to get the hang of wrapping them up, but I figured out that after I bring all the corners up to meet, it helps if I gently twist and cup the bottom of the beggar’s purse to shape them a little. Also, make sure to dip the chives in warm water, this makes them more pliable. I wrapped them around several times until short enough to tie and lightly brush the purse with butter and voila – ready to bake! When they turn golden brown, you know a little piece of heaven is waiting for you!
These little diddies are so good and will have your guests BEGGING for more! … All pun intended!
- 1 – Box of Phyllo dough (16 oz. 9”x14” sheets)
- 1 – Package of cream cheese
- 3 – Tbsp heavy cream
- 3 – Cloves of garlic
- ½ – Med. red onion
- 4 – Tbsp of butter
- 2 – Tbsp of red wine
- ½ – 1 – Oz of fresh chives (finely chopped)
- 2-3 – Duck legs
- 2 – Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 – Oz. of pecan halves (See directions at the end)
- ⅛-¼ – Cup of brown sugar
- Cinnamon to taste
- Parchment paper
- 2-3 Bottles of FCD (One for the chef while cooking, one or two for dinner!)
Cheese Mix Directions:
- Pre-heat oven to 420 degrees F. Heat a heavy duty skillet (cast iron or oven proof) over high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic to skillet with salt and pepper to taste, until garlic is aromatic. Place the legs in the skillet and sear skin down until skin gets brown (about 10 minutes).
- Place the skillet with duck skin up, in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes. You want that outside skin to be crispy. (Sip some wine!) Remove when fully cooked, let cool and chop into small bits. Once duck is done turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- While the duck is roasting, in a medium size skillet melt 1 Tbsp. of butter over medium to high heat. Add the onions and 2 cloves of garlic and cook until soft and aromatic. Pour in the wine and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until well browned and caramelized. (It’s always a good time for a sip of wine!) Set aside to cool, once cooled, chop into fine bits.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together room temperature cream cheese, heavy cream, chives, onion/garlic mix, salt and pepper to taste. (Don’t taste too much though.. This stuff is delicious!) Set aside for stuffing.
- Lay out a roll of phyllo dough, it’s best to cover the stack with a very lightly damp paper towel. I stress lightly wet, if the paper towel is too wet, the top sheet will stick and rip. Take 2 sheets and tear down the middle, and lay out the 4 sheets separately.
- Lightly brush butter onto each sheet. Note: if you butter too much, the bottoms will open up in the oven. (They’ll still be delicious, but not as pretty) Stack the sheets on top of each other.
- Scoop a generous amount of cheese mix (golf ball sized, not joking) onto center of buttered phyllo dough sheets. Place a pinch of the chopped duck and skin bits on top of the cheese mix.
- Gather all four corners of sheets, gently twist, turn and pinch together. Helpful Hint: Use your hand to cup the bottom of the beggar’s purse and sort of form into ball shape. Take the softened chive (dip them in warm water to soften) wrap around a couple times and tie. Place the purse onto a lined baking sheet. Repeat until out of mixture is gone.
- Bake until tops are crispy brown and whole beggar’s purse is golden.
- While they are baking you can make the raspberry puree. I used the recipe and directions from AllRecipes.com, you can find here Raspberry Puree Recipe
- Once done, smear puree onto plate and place roasted beggar’s purse on top of puree. Garnish with a couple of candied pecans, take a sip of wine and admire this delicious creation!
Simple Candied Pecans
- Heat skillet over medium heat until warm, add the pecans to skillet to roast them for about 5 minutes.
- Once pecans start to brown add 1 Tbsp. of butter, melt and coat the pecans
- Add the brown sugar, let melt into butter and coat the pecans
- Add cinnamon to taste. Once all pecans are coated and sugar and butter are thickened, remove from skillet. Place onto glass baking dish or ceramic plate and place in the freezer to harden.