Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spanakopita Triangles

Last Sunday it was my brother's birthday and we had the whole family over for dinner to celebrate. Along with making dessert in the form of a cheesecake and those delicious Blueberry and Nectarine Cream Cheese Braids, I also made several of the appetizers for the evening's festivities. After previously making the Sun Dried Tomato Wonton Cups and seeing how popular they were, I decided to make them again but this time using phyllo sheets instead of wonton wrappers.

Last time, some people felt that the wonton wrappers were a little too crunchy and the corners were too sharp to eat comfortably. This time, I stacked four phyllo sheets on top of one another, using Pam between each sheet to make sure they stuck together, and then cut the rectangle into 12 squares. I then proceeded exactly the same way I did last time, first by seasoning the phyllo squares, baking them in the tart forms, and then filling them. The result turned out much more to people's liking because the phyllo squares were crisp but were not as difficult to eat as they sort of melted in your mouth once you took a bite.

After I made the revised appetizer, I still had extra phyllo sheets left over and decided to try to make a second appetizer with them. Previously I had intended on making a braided pesto bread, but I ran out of time to make the dough. However, I still had all of the ingredients for the pesto and thought to make a filling of it instead. I carefully read on the box from the phyllo sheets how to properly fold it into triangles and decided it didn't look too difficult. The truth of the matter is that it was actually one of the easiest, hassle-free appetizers I have ever made. I will definitely be repeating the process with new fillings and different shapes. Overall, this experience has taught me that phyllo dough is actually a very versatile ingredient and extremely easy to work with so long as you have a bottle of Pam on hand, as well as a little imagination.

Spanakopita Triangles
Makes 28 triangles
  1. Place one sheet of phyllo on a flat surface and spray with Pam or some other cooking spray. Alternatively, you can melt some butter and brush it on but I find the Pam to be much easier.
  2. Place another sheet of phyllo directly on top any use your hands to press down evenly across.
  3. While working with the phyllo, place a damp paper towel over the unused sheets to keep them from drying out.
  4. Cut the two stuck together phyllo sheets into four rectangular strips. 
  5. Place one tablespoon of filling at the bottom of a strip and then fold the bottom right hand corner over.
  6. Next, fold over the bottom left hand corner, and then fold the bottom over to the top. Continue to fold in a back and forth manner until the whole strip is used up and a triangle is formed. 
  7. Place the triangle with the folded side down on a greased cookie sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray or brush with melted butter and bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit.

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