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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Filo Pastry - Three ways - Lamb, Spinach or Chicken

written by : Bel

These little filo fingers are great. You can make them in a big batch and then freeze them till needed they take up no room in the freezer and little time to bake.

You'll need a pack of Filo Pastry, Oil spray and the ingredients below to which ones you want to make. Read the instructions on your pastry well before you want to make these. the pastry needs a lot of time to thaw and rest.

Your filling must be made ahead of time.  It must be cold when wrapping in the pastry.

Preheat your oven 200 degrees Celsius fan forced.

Lamb (30+fingers)
1 kg Lamb Mince
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Brown onions chopped fine
2 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Cardamon
1 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Fennel seeds slightly crushed
2 Tbsp Fennel seeds whole (to sprinkle on the tops)

In fry pan or large saucepan. Heat your oil then add your onions. Once they have softened add your mince till almost cooked through. Turn off the heat and mix your spices in well.  transfer to bowl and refrigerate till cold.

Spinach, Ricotta and Basil (30+fingers)
2 box of  frozen Spinach
1 kg Ricotta
1/4 cup crushed pine nuts or almonds
(you can toast prior. i put mine in the mixer)
1/4 cup grated Prima Donna Cheese
(or shaved Parmesan)
1/3 cup finely chopped Basil. (i use scissors)
Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Defrost your spinach. Instruction options are usually on the pack i defrost mine on the stove top. drain really well, squeeze all the moisture out. Leave to cool or put in fridge to cool before going further. Then once cooled in large bowl mix your Spinach with the Ricotta, Cheese, Nuts and Basil.

Chicken and Zucchini  (18-20 fingers)
500gm Chicken Mince
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cup Grated Raw Zucchini
2 Tbsp Almond Meal
1 cup chopped spring onions
salt & pepper

Grate your Zucchini and leave 1/2 hr to drain. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  In a fry pan or saucepan heat your oil and add the garlic.  Add Chicken mince and stir until nearly cooked add the zucchini stir through well until chicken is definitely cooked.  Take off heat and stir through Almond Meal and spring onions. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate till cold. Season and before you use give it all another squeeze to get rid of any moisture it should be a dry crumbly mixture. 


Filo is one of those avoided by many pastries.  Its OK, give it a go.  
Be gentle and follow the instructions on the pack and it should be OK.  

The pastry does dry fast and this is a little fiddly if you haven't done them before - wait till the kids are in bed.  I always make them late at night so I'm interruption free.

Use two sheets at a time.  lay them out flat and slice once down the middle and then into thirds.  
Start with the two rectangles closest to you.

 Add some filling leaving a space either side. 
Roll one rectangle by taking the two corner folding them toward the middle and then roll the middle bit and fold it over.  try and tuck it in tight.  

Continue to roll and fold in the sides as you go.
 When you get to the end. Move it to a clear part of your bench or plate - not where you are rolling and folding and give it a spray with your cooking oil. Turn it over so the end is on the bottom.

Give the whole thing a spray and put it on a baking paper lined tray.

If I'm making more than one flavour i coat the top so i can distinguish easily which ones are which. After you've sprayed them turn them top down into a bowl of herb. For my Chicken ones i top with Almond Meal and dried Tarragon, Spinach & Ricotta i use dried Basil leave or Fennel seeds and Lamb i use Fennel seeds and Paprika.

If you are going to freeze pop them in an airtight container with a layer of baking paper between the layers for easy removal.

Cook on baking paper lined tray at 200 degrees Celsius for approx 20 mins till they are nice and golden.


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