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Three-Cheese Filo Triangles

Three-Cheese Filo Triangles
Filo is a paper-thin pastry of Greek origin, similar to other pastries used throughout the eastern Mediterranean. It is available in the freezer section of many well-stocked food stores and in Greek and Middle Eastern markets. Most 1-lb. boxes contain about 20 sheets, each one measuring 14 by 18 inches. For best results, let the pastry thaw very slowly, in the refrigerator if time allows. When working with filo, be sure to keep the unused sheets covered with a barely damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-
      inch cubes
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Generous 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 7 sheets frozen filo dough, thawed
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, feta, mozzarella, shallots, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Using 2 forks or your hands, toss thoroughly until all the filling ingredients are uniformly combined.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking sheets.

Cut the whole stack of thawed filo lengthwise into quarters. Each strip will be about 3 1/2 inches wide. Working with 1 filo strip at a time and keeping the others covered with a barely damp towel, place the filo strip on a dry work surface. Brush it lightly but thoroughly with the melted butter.

Place about 1 Tbs. of the filling 1 inch from the bottom edge. Fold the lower right corner of the pastry up and over the filling, forming a triangle. Roll the triangle straight forward, then again on a diagonal. Continue folding, forming a triangle each time, until you reach the end of the strip. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and brush the top of the triangle with a little more butter. Use the remaining filo and filling to make the remaining triangles, placing them on the baking sheet(s).

Bake the triangles until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (the filling will be very hot), then serve. Makes 28 warm bites.

Make-Ahead Tip: The unbaked triangles can be frozen for up to 1 week in airtight containers, separated by layers of parchment or waxed paper. When you are ready to serve them, bake them straight from the freezer, adding 5 minutes or so to the baking time.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Hors d'Oeuvre, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2001).