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Appetizers ~ Fillo (phyllo) Triangles and Cigars ~

January 28, 2011

Fillo (Phyllo) Appetizers

Fillo (Phyllo) Appetizers

If you like to entertain you know that it is all about the preparation of the event.  It takes a lot of planning and organizing to have a party or guests.  These little phyllo appetizers are a life saver if you ever do decide to plan something.  You can make them in advance and simply place them in the oven for 20 minutes and voila!  There is nothing better than being ahead of the game even if it is by 20 minutes.  It does take a little work to put them together if you choose to have more than one flavor but it is not too time consuming.  These are great for any party, whatever the theme.

To Prepare the Fillings

Ingredients for the fillings

Ingredients for the fillings

Ingredients for the fillings

Ingredients for the fillings

For the Spinach Triangles:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

3/4 cup of frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1/4 cup broccoli, finely chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped (snip with scissors)

2 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons sour cream

To prepare:

In a non-stick fry pan heat the olive oil and add the onion cook until soft then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.  Add the spinach and broccoli and cook until the spinach is dry.  Remove from heat and add the dill, salt and pepper.  Allow to cool.

Once cooled add the feta, sour cream, bread crumbs and egg; stir to combine thoroughly.  Refrigerate while you prepare the other fillings.

For the Chicken and Mushroom Filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 onion, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 cup ground chicken

1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons sour cream

3 tablespoons bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon of both oregano and basil

salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the filling:

In a fry pan over medium heat add the olive oil when hot add the onion and saute for a few minutes then add the garlic.  Cook for about a minute and then add the ground chicken and cook until no longer pink then add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Once cooled add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic

1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped (you may roast your own or you may purchase them already roasted)

1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons of bread crumbs

To Prepare:

In a non-stick fry pan heat the oil when hot add the onion and cook for a minute then add the garlic and cook a minute longer.  Add the roasted red peppers and spinach and cook until most of the juices are gone.  Remove from heat and cool.

Once cooled add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine and then refrigerate until ready for use.

For the Four Cheese Cigars:

1/4 cup each Parmesan, Mozzarella, Feta and Cheddar Cheese, finely shredded

1/4 of an onion, finely chopped

1/2 egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons of dill

To Prepare:

In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

4 Varieties of Fillo (Phyllo) fillings

4 Varieties of Fillo (Phyllo) fillings

To Construct the Cigars and Triangles

you will need one package of Fillo (phyllo) pastry sheets thawed.

How to layer the Fillo (Phyllo) sheets

How to layer the Fillo (Phyllo) sheets

To Prepare the Cheese Cigars:

1. Lay out your phyllo sheets on your work surface and cover with a damp tea towel.  Working with one sheet at a time lay the first sheet down on the surface and cover with olive oil, you may use a pastry brush, your hands covered in oil or spray, all three methods work.  (I like to use my hands).

2. After the first sheet is covered with a thin layer of olive oil place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first one and repeat with the oil.  Lay one more sheet on top of the second do not put oil on the third sheet.

3. Once you have three sheets of phyllo laid out on your surface cut the sheets either into 3’s or 4’s depending on how big you like your appetizers.  I like to mix them up.

4. Spread the cut pastry sheets out slightly so that you have a little more room to work with.

5. For the cigars place a small amount of filling about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of the sheets.

6. Fold the bottom portion of the pastry sheets over the filling.

Working with the pastry sheets

Working with the pastry sheets

1. To continue folding the cigars after folding the bottom portion over the filling, fold in the sides and apply a little water to seal the edges.  You will then have a small pocket or a purse.  Starting from the bottom roll the filling up and then use a little water to seal the edge at the top (see diagram #5)

2. To make triangles you will start with one of your prepared and cut pastry sheets just as above.  Place a tablespoon of filling at the bottom of the pastry sheet and then fold the bottom up and over.

3. Begin by folding the lower left corner diagonally to the right edge do not go past the right edge you want to align the edges (do not worry if there is filling that is still visible, it will be folded in)

4. Fold the lower right corner upwards keeping the sides aligned with the right edge.  Continue to fold until there is about 1-2 inches of pastry left over.  Wet the edge with a little water and make the final fold (see diagram #5).

6. Place the prepared cigars and triangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with butter and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.

These are wonderful for lunch or brunch as well as parties and entertaining.  The key to making the phyllo sheets easy to work with is the damp towel covering the remaining sheets while you work with them.  It keeps the sheets from drying out and will make for a much more enjoyable experience all around.  There are so many different things you can do with phyllo, you can make spinach pies or purses you could fill the phyllo with a variety of different things as well sweet or savory.

From our kitchen to yours,

Sydney Jones

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    January 28, 2011 9:46 am

    Sydney – This was a great bunch of recipes and directions with beautiful photos! I have used phyllo dough exactly one time and still have left overs in the freezer and the fridge. You answered my question, that olive oil is ok to use instead of butter with this dough. Thank you for the incentive to pull out that dough. The chicken and mushroom filling is the one I want to try!

    (Glad I found your blog!!)

    • January 28, 2011 1:23 pm

      Thank you Mary! Glad you found us too! The chicken filling is very tasty, you can also modify and make up your own fillings it is so easy, just whatever tastes good to you.
      Enjoy and have fun playing with the phyllo, just remember the damp towel and you will not get frustrated 🙂

  2. January 28, 2011 11:55 am

    Love your recipes! Thank you.

  3. January 28, 2011 2:47 pm

    Yay for Fillo! Well done. Looks fantastic 🙂

    • January 28, 2011 3:18 pm

      Haha! Thanks Marynika, it’s so much fun 🙂 Your beets with the garlic yogurt look soooo good, those are my two favorites (garlic and beets). Have you been to Greece? I love the Mediterranean diet it’s so simple and tasty.

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