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Savory Cheese Pastries
4 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon saffron powder or turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 pound frozen phyllo dough, thawed
6 tablespoons melted butter
makes 26 to 30 Pastries - Serves 10 to 12
Chop the garlic and lemon zest together until finely minced and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the feta cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, cumin, saffron or turmeric and Tabasco sauce and mix well. Set aside.
Place the phyllo dough on a flat surface and cut through the stack crosswise, making 2 equal stacks. Put the 2 stacks on top of each other and cover with a dampened paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To assemble the pastries, take a sheet of phyllo from the stack and place it in front of you, with the short side closest to you. Lightly brush with the melted butter. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling on the pastry 1 inch from the bottom in the center of the sheet. Fold the right third of the sheet to the center, covering the cheese, then fold the left third over the cheese. Bring the bottom right corner of the roll up and across to the opposite side, forming a triangle. Continue folding in this manner, as if you were folding a flag. The phyllo is fragile, so handle it carefully. Don't worry about small tears that may occur as you begin to fold, they will be folded to the inside as you continue folding. Place the finished triangle on a greased baking sheet and brush the top with the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and filling. You should have 26-30 pastries.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.
Wine Suggestion: Semillion
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions