I could sit and munch on these little parcels all day. In fact when I go out to a Turkish Restaurant in London, I almost always order the feta cheese parcels from the menu. Their ingredients vary only slightly between restaurants with some preferring to keep it simple: frying the filo pastry filled parcels to a crispy golden hue before serving hot. Last night I had some filed with a blend of parsley and feta cheese. They’re perfectly fine filled with the cheese alone, I love the creamy warm texture of the salty cheese. I think I might try adding some mint the next time make them.
But you can experiment with all kinds of combinations here: spinach with pine nuts, mixed herbs and garlic or as pictured here sun dried tomatoes, herbs and capers. I think if I made this recipe again, I would tone down the tomato/ caper paste as it competes too much with the saltiness of the cheese and capers. But if you like strong flavours then this might be the combination for you…enjoy!
Sun dried Tomato Feta Parcels
1 quantity of sun dried tomato, garlic and thyme paste (see below):
80g of sun dried tomatoes (drained of oil)
100ml olive oil
7 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to season
150g capers, drained
25ml olive oil
200g block of feta cheese
1 pack of filo pastry sheets, containing 6 sheets
70g butter, melted
Tomato Thyme Garlic Paste:
- Drain and place in the blender. Add the olive oil and blitz until you have a smooth paste
- Stir through the chopped herbs, season to taste and put aside.
Place the capers, olive oil and garlic in a small hand held blender and blitz or finely minced with a sharp knife/chopping board.
Roughly crumble the feta cheese into small pieces.
Mix the feta cheese with the sun dried tomato paste, cover with cling film and marinade for a a few hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180′C, 350′F, gas mark 4. Remove the filo sheets from their pack and lay out on a flat surface. Cover with some baking parchment and a damp tea towel to stop them drying out while you assemble the parcels.
Take one sheet and lay on another flat surface. Fold in the longest edges so that they both meet in the centre, (halving the filo pastry sheet and creating a long narrow strip)
Brush the surface with some melted butter. Place a tablespoon of the mixture at one end of the pastry strip, leaving a 1/2 inch border all round. Take one of the top corners of the pastry, the one closest to you, and fold diagonally to the other side, encasing the mixture and creating a triangular shape. Keep folding like this, always creating a trianglular shape, until you have run out of pastry. Make sure the edges are tightly sealed as you go along to prevent the mixture popping out while baking. Set aside on a lined baking sheet while you do the rest.
When all of the parcels have been made, brush them with the remaining melted butter and place in the oven and bake for 15- 20 minutes. They will turn crisp and golden brown.