Spring inevitable get me thinking about Greek food. Whether it's the focus on fresh foods, the centrality of citrus flavors, or just a warm climate cuisine, I just get to thinking about Greece and Greek food when May rolls around. And for me, that means pampering myself by giving into my cravings for tangy cheese in buttery phyllo dough.
Chèvre is a creamy goat cheese with a very soft consistency - think cream cheese or marscarpone - and is definitely a requirement for this filling. I like to pair it with roasted garlic from Penzeys, a bit of dried thyme, plus salt and pepper. Then it's just a matter of tucking it into a 5 layer stack of buttered phyllo sheets rolled to make a little packet. Repeat with another before baking, cooling slightly, and slicing across the diagonal. Drizzle with a little of the hot honey we talked about last week and you have a great appetizer, snack, side dish, etc. to enjoy.
I like to include one of these packets on a plate featuring fresh salad, sautéed asparagus, and sizzling salmon. Of course, they are great on any snack tray or atop a clever main dish salad too. And, I'll admit, sometimes I will just make them and dip them in a little hot honey as a snack. Usually in May.
- 4 ounces chèvre, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder or, if you have it, roasted garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 sheets 9×14-inch frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Add the goat cheese, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well until fully combined; set aside.
Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Lay one sheet or phyllo dough on a clean work surface; lightly but thoroughly brush the sheet with the melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first and brush it with butter. Repeat with a third sheet of phyllo and brush it with butter. Repeat until you have a 5 sheet buttered stack of phyllo dough.
Place ¼ cup of the filling in the middle of one of the shorter edges of the phyllo dough (give it about an inch of dough on one side to make folding easier. Fold both sides of the phyllo dough on the short edge up and over the filling, pressing it a little flat as you do. You should completely cover the filling. Carefully roll the filling "packet" along the long dimension, forming a square packet as you go, until you reach the end of the dough and you have a pudgy square of phyllo dough.
Transfer the packet to the lined baking sheet and lightly brush the triangle on top with a little more butter. Use the remaining phyllo sheets and filling to make another packet, placing it on the baking sheet with the first. Bake the phyllo packets until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing in half to make 2 triangles and serving with hot honey.
- Yields: 2-4 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes