Feta in Phyllo Packages

I first had this clever and simple version of feta package in Eumelia, the Organic Agrotourism Farm in southern Peloponnese. Marilena, the owner, cook, and instructor, served us a large, home-rolled phyllo and feta package, which, as she explained, she prepares in advance, freezes it, and then briefly fries in a hot oil skillet whenever she needs to present a quick snack or meze. Her twist on the common phyllo triangles served at most taverns, is that the thin slices of feta inside the frozen phyllo are adequately heated through as the package is briefly fried, becoming particularly delicious. The soft cheese does not disintegrate inside the crunchy phyllo, as in most versions of the appetizer.

 

Chef Uri Eshet at Kea Retreat serves the packages with sliced figs; you can pair them with other fresh, seasonal fruit and/or with fruit preserves. Drizzle with honey or any syrup, and sprinkled with sesame seeds or nigella, if you like.

 

I bet that this easy, convenient, and delicious morsel, whipped up with commercial phyllo, will become your next favorite appetizer.  The pieces are quite filling, so one per person is enough.

 

To make 9 feta-phyllo packages

 

 

About 1 pound feta, or more, cut into somewhat less than 1 cm (about 1/3-inch) slices –no need for perfect slices, it doesn’t matter if fata breaks into smaller pieces

 

6 sheets phyllo dough, preferably thick

 

1/3 cup or more Olive Oil, as needed, to brush the phyllo

 

Honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup for drizzling

 

1/3 cup Sesame or Nigella seeds to sprinkle (optional)

 

Fresh mint leaves, for serving

 

Spread a piece of parchment paper on a light a cutting board that can be transferred to the freezer.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush with olive oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first, brushing with olive oil as before.

 

Cut the sheets crosswise in two and then cut each half lengthwise into three equal strips.

 

You now have 6 strips, each about 3 inches wide. (Note: When working with phyllo, keep the sheets covered and moist. To do so, stack the phyllo sheets on a work surface and cover with plastic wrap and then a damp kitchen towel.)

 

Place 1 or more pieces of feta, to make about a 7 cm (3-inch) square on one end of a phyllo strip. Gently roll it over to wrap the cheese in phyllo. The wrapped piece will have two exposed sides. Now place it on a second strip of phyllo and roll up to completely encase the feta in phyllo.

 

Repeat with the remaining feta slices and phyllo. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil and transfer to the freezer. After 24 hours you can transfer the frozen, hard phyllo packages to a zip log bag. They keep for up to 4 months.

 

Just when you want to serve, brush a nonstick skillet with olive oil, heat it and fry the packages about 3 minutes on each side, until well browned. Serve immediately drizzled with honey or any syrup, and sprinkled with seeds, if you like, and fresh mint leaves.  

 

 

 

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