As a novice to the cooking adventures with filo pastry, I constantly look for new challenges involving this wonderful product. Since Katerina’s Spanakopita was my first – and definitely successful – experiment with this Greek pastry, naturally I turned once more to her blog (Culinary Flavors) to search for other ideas. When I found Little Chicken Triangles, I knew I found inspiration for a snack, though I already had a rather bold modification in mind…
The surprisingly easy process of making Spanakopita (my first experiment with phyllo/filo pastry) has emboldened me to consider filo/phyllo pastry in a broader spectrum. In fact, I have been preparing similarly shaped snacks with thin Tunisian brick pastry and spicy beef filling and decided to do the same filling, but with a Greek wrap instead. The result was largely superior. The filo pastry is unrivaled with its delicate crunchiness, flakiness and elegance. (Do not think these snacks are difficult to prepare! It’s my clumsiness and/or lack of patience that make them look so messy.) Thank you so much, Katerina, for one more inspiring idea!
I am unable to take step-by-step photos, so I invite you to visit Katerina’s Culinary Flavors and see her excellent folding explanations. Check also her original Little Chicken Triangles, browsing through her other inspiring recipes and do not miss her fascinating stories about Greek culture, cuisine and history.
TIPS: I always add spices at random and adjust them throughout the frying process, so treat the below amounts as approximate.
My snacks are bigger than Katerina’s original triangles. If you want to make them smaller, cut the pastry into four strips (instead of three) and put only one tablespoon of filling per triangle.
I have brushed the triangles only with oil, but you can do as Katerina advises, i.e. brush them with a beaten egg just before baking.
Preparation: about one hour
500 g (about 1 lb) ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 – 3 teaspoons of the mixture of powdered garlic, turmeric and chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander in powder
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 250 g (about 1/2 lb) package filo pastry
Prepare the filling.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the fresh garlic and after 30 seconds, add the ground meat, the ginger and all the spices.
Stir-fry until the meat is well cooked.
Taste and adjust the spices or salt amounts if needed.
Let the filling cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (about 390°F).
Put one sheet of phyllo pastry on the counter.
Brush it slightly with oil.
Put another sheet at the top and cut thus obtained “double” sheet horizontally into three strips (depending on how big you want your triangles).
Place two heaped tablespoons of the filling and wrap it into several layers of pastry, folding each strip into a triangle (see Katerina’s step-by-step photos here).
Repeat until you run out of pastry.
Place the triangles on baking paper.
Brush each triangle with oil.
Bake until golden (about 15 minutes).