Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tiropita - Greek Cheese Phyllo Triangles

Another fabulous Christmas in Austin, Texas!!  My mother in law is a fantastic cook and kindly shared with us her family recipe for tiropites, which are buttery, chesse filled filo triangles. You may have heard of the more popular Spanakopita, which is basically the same thing, but with chopped spinach added. But we prefer plain old cheese filling and have jazzed it up before with ground greek meatballs, lump crab meat, leeks. It's now become an annual holiday tradition for us to roll up the sleeves and make dozens of these terrific little treats. they freeze great for up to 4 months and make super holiday gifts.

Happy New Year!!

Let's start with the ingredients...
We typically prefer using only organic ingredients except for the phyllo dough. The organic dough is dry and not flaky enough. We prefer Fillo Factory brand phyllo dough or Athens brand. And always buy a few extra packs as sometimes they are dry and crackly and a nightmare to work with. Thaw them in the fridge for 24 hours before assembly.

6 eggs
1 large white onion
1 bunch green onions, ends of bulbs snipped off
1 bunch of Italian parsley (about 1.5 cups)
12 oz Cottage Cheese
12 oz crumbled Feta
8 oz whipped cream cheese (My husband Michael added this - makes it super creamy and rich)
4 sticks of clarified melted salted butter in a double boiler
4 packs phyllo dough, thawed.
pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the cheeses and blend until finely minced.

Then in a large bowl combine cheeses and crack some fresh pepper...

 Add the onion and egg mixture...

Since we're dealing with highly perishable ingredients here, be sure to place the filling bowl in another bowl filled with ice. And if you need to take a break or want to go to bed and continue the next day, be sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

On a clean work surface, cut phyllo dough into 3 inch strips. Keep a slightly damp towel on the remainder of the phyllo pack to keep it from drying out.

Place a strip of dough on the surface and with a pastry brush dipped in butter, paint the strip. Cover it with another strip of dough and paint that with butter too.

Then place a tablespoon of filling at the bottom of the strip...

Fold the bottom corner over the filling...

 Then fold it over again, just like a flag! Man, Michael sure has some nice looking hands! He should have been a hand model like George Costanza!

And because butter is so fabulous (and makes great hand cream), butter the rolled triangle to seal the edges...

We "cure" the tiropites in a large tupperware in a single file, with layers of wax paper in between. Then once they are frozen we place them in sous vide ziploc freezer bags for later use and to keep them fresh.

To cook them, preheat an oven to 350 degrees, place the tiropites in a single layer and bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. your house is going to smell AMAZING!!!!  These will be smoking hot, so be sure to let them have a little rest for about 10 minutes before devouring.

flaky, buttery goodness!!

We enjoyed them for Christmas dinner with some fresh Wagyu beef filet from Morgan Ranch and veal demi glace we made from our Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook. This awesome blogger shows how it's done HERE. Oh and we made sinfully delicious butter poached Australian lobster tails as an hommage to my birthplace. And then promptly passed out from gluttony (and champagne) by the fire...

The pugs also enjoyed the beef bones we roasted for them for their Christmas present :-)

Here's to a Fabulous 2012!! Happy Cooking!!


  1. Wow! Great recipe and love the comments:)

  2. This looks great. Is that cook time for frozen or thawed? Thanks

  3. This look great! Is the bake time for frozen or fresh? Thanks!

    1. Thanks! The cook time if for frozen. Fresh about 15 minutes.


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