Friday, February 10, 2012

For the love of cheese! (A tutorial)

As most of my friends know, I LOVE food! I also LOVE cooking and LOVE gourmet food! One of my very favorite foods of all time is a lovely snack which I have always referred to as, "Feta Cheese Puffs". Oh my. Just a minute, I am salivating. Okay, back to business. Would you like to see a picture so you can salivate as well?
Beneath the flaky crust made of phyllo dough is a creamy, cheesy center. I can hardly think about it without craving them! What is phyllo dough, you may ask? You may read about it's yumminess here on Wikipedia. Since we are educating ourselves on the food we are making, here is a link to the all-fabulous feta cheese. Yep. Wipe your chin, you are now drooling. Oops...that's me. Sorry! Shall we begin?

Gather your ingredients!
Phyllo Dough (found in the freezer section of your favorite grocer. They don't carry it? Find a new favorite.)
Feta cheese (found in the gourmet cheese section, often near the deli. Don't look where you buy shredded cheddar. It's not there.)
1 egg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parsley flakes

Gather your supplies!
A knife or pizza cutter
Pastry brush
Bowl for mixing filling
Fork (for stirring ;) )
Baking sheet (I prefer Pamperd Chef's stoneware, but any old sheet/pan will do)
Preheat your oven to 350*F

First, you will need to crumble your feta cheese if it came in a block. I prefer to buy mine in a solid block, rather than pre-crumbled, because it comes out cheaper per ounce. Crumble half of the block into a bowl, making sure that your crumbles are nice and small. Add some salt, pepper, and parsley flakes, I have no idea how much, I do mine by taste. Stir in your egg. Your filling is done! Doesn't that sound delicious, not to mention healthy?!

Next, you will work on your dough. It is basically edible tissue paper and is very fragile. Make sure you let it defrost completely (but don't put it in the microwave!) before unrolling, or you will get a broken mess like I did.

Yep. I was too impatient/hungry to wait and ended up with a mess this time around. Does it look like I care, though? Nope. They were tooooo tasty! ;)

Put some olive oil in a little dish and whip out your pastry brush. Brush your olive oil onto the dough so it is covered evenly, but don't soak it. You can use melted butter too, but olive oil goes on better since it doesn't need to be hot. PLUS, it is healthier. It honestly tastes the same. Believe me. I would bathe in butter if I could.

You need a total of three sheets of phyllo and you are ready to cut! The rectangle shape will make four strips, as you can see in the above photo. Make sure you cut from the middle and divide into four pieces that way so they are more even. Unlike mine. You can now drop a SMALL forkful of the cheese mixture onto the end of one and get ready to fold. Make sure it is about a teaspoon worth, or your puffs will not get nice and crunchy outside. Begin to fold them like one would fold an American flag...
See? Pretty. :) When they are all folded up, line these little beauties up on your pan and bake for about 8 minutes until they are a golden brown color and the dough is light and flaky like the first photo. Let cool for a few minutes--if you can bear the wait!--and EAT! I was in too raptureous of a state to remember to take a picture of one with a bite out of it. I mean, come on--it's CHEESE!!! So you will just have to find out for yourself. ;)

In conclusion, I hope anyone reading this enjoys this recipe as much as I do! If you do, leave me some love! <3

No comments:

Post a Comment