September 04, 2004

There, I Posted. Happy Now?

Hmmmm....well, as I've done before when inspiration faltered, I turn now to usefulness. Here's a recipe for cheesy appetizer things that I made up when lacking an appetizer and presented with an array of leftover ingredients.

They don't have good name, though. Anyone reading this and inspired with an apropos eponym is encouraged to comment.

Herby-Cheesy Thingies
Makes, oh, I dunno, twenty or thirty or so. Depends how much filling you use.

1 Box filo dough, thoroughly defrosted.
1/2 stick of butter (4 tbls)
1 pryramidical cube goat cheese (about 6 oz.)
1 box cream cheese (8 oz.)
Fresh rosemary
Fresh thyme
Fresh cilantro
Salt, pepper

And a pastry brush.

For the filling:

Take thy pyramidical cube of goat cheese and thy cream cheese, and, well, cream them. You can do it by hand, but you'll probably want to use an electric beater, since we're talking about two white ingredients here and it can be hard to tell if they're thoroughly mixed. Which is important, because you don't want there to be big streaks of pure goat cheese or cream cheese in there. Don't go nuts with it, though we're not after fluffage (that is, we're not trying to beat a lot of air in there. It ain't a meringue.)

Next, take your herbs and chop finely a fair amount of each, say about an 1/8 of a cup. (2-3 tblsp.) I'm sorry I can't be more precise, but I'm one of those slap-dash, "Yeah, that looks like enough," type of cooks. I will say that, for me, enough is about

10 sprigs of fresh thyme (Strip the leaves off the stems)

2-3 sprigs of the big rosemary with the woody stems, or 3-4 of the younger, green-stemmed sort you often find in the fresh herbs containers in the supermarket. (Strip the leaves off the rosemary and mince 'em up a bit; you want them to be about the same size as the leaves of thyme. Oh, alright. A little bigger's okay. But you don't want people chomping down on a rosemary leaf the size of toothpick, here.)

A small, um, clump, of cilantro. Cilantro generally comes in big bunches; you're only going to need like, a twelfth of that. Just grab a smallish clump and mince so it's about the same size as the rosemary leaves; cilantro stems are quite tender, so you can just mince 'em up and leave them in.

At the end of all this --- which is taking about ten times longer to describe than it does to do --- you should have fairly equal amounts of each herb. Toss 'em in with the cheese, lightly season with a little salt and pepper, and mix through.

Important Note: Season to taste, of course, but be forewarned, baking really brings out the flavors of the herbs. If the filling seems a little bland while undone that's okay; adding a few more pinches of rosemary at this juncture can result in a filling that tastes like Pine Sol after baking. Trust me, I've done it.

For the wrappers:

Melt about a half a stick of butter.

Take your filo dough and unroll onto a baking sheet, making sure to cover with a damp cloth; that stuff dries out faster than a roof shingle in July.

Cut the filo dough in half, broadwise.

Now then, how many of y'all have made a fortuneteller? Guys, get your girlfriends to show you what I'm talking about if you were too busy playing paper football during your formative years to pick up this necessary skill. Actually, now that I think about it, making a paper football is the necessary skill.

Take one of the half-sheets of filo dough and fold it over along the diagonal, as if starting to make a fortuneteller. Since the sheets are rectagles, you'll be left with a little excess along one side. You can trim this off, or if lazy like myself can just fold this over onto the pretty little triangle you've made. Take this first triangle and brush melted butter on one half of it; fold the dry side onto the buttered side and you've got triangle two. Take your pastry brush and sweep butter halfway along the long edge of triangle two and all along one short side; in the center of the butter-edged dough place a spoonful of filling. Fold up the dry side of the triangle and seal. Viola, triangle three. Dab a little butter into the center of this third triangle and fold in the outer corners; it saves then from burning. Place the filo purse you've made corner side down on a lightly greased baking tray. Bake for 14-20 minutes at 375 Fareheit (210 Celcius), or until golden brown. (You could do an eggwash if you wanted. )

That's it.

Well, then you eat them. But after that that's it.

Posted by Diablevert at September 4, 2004 01:47 AM | TrackBack

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