Monday, September 13, 2010

Tiropites (Greek cheese filled triangles)

(Greek cheese filled triangles)
Tiropites are classic Greek appetizers that are loved by kids and adults alike.
 makes about 75 pieces.

1 pound feta cheese
12 ounces of very well drain Greek yogart
1/2 cup Parmesan 
3 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley or dill
2 sticks of butter half margarine can be used
1 pound filo pastry*

1.  Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Crumble feta cheese into small pieces in a bowl, add the yogurt and Parmesan  and blend well. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Mix in parsley or dill.

Prepare cheese triangles as follows:

3. Unroll the filo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't dry out and become brittle*. Using a sharp knife, cut the filo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the waxed paper and damp towel. Remove 1 strip of 3 individual strips (one sandwich on the other) and using a pastry brush to brush the group of filo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of cheese filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.

4.  Place triangles on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Brush tops with melted butter.  Bake triangles for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool about five minutes before serving.  Tiropites can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, unbaked.   When ready to use, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake without prior thawing for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve warm.  

* One of the difficulties of working with filo is that it tends to dry out very quickly once exposed to air. Once you have unrolled the filo, work with one set of sheets (3 or 4 individuals sheets sandwiched one on top of the other) or a portion of sheets at a time. Keep the remainder covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper over which you've placed a damp cloth. (wax paper is easier to handle.) This will prevent the sheets from drying out. Use a feather or other pastry brush to spread an ample amount of butter on the sheet you're working with, beginning at the edges and working inward. Use broad strokes and work fast to prevent the sheets from drying out. The object is not to saturate the sheet, but lightly dab it all over

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