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- Dish type
- Pies and tarts
- Filo pastry
These delicious packages of crispy filo enclosing warm, melted cheese are the perfect beginning to an elegant meal.
179 people made this
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g onions, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- pinch of sugar
- 25g butter, melted
- 8 sheets filo pastry, about 115g, cut in half
- 50g walnut pieces, chopped into small pieces
- 2 goat's cheeses, about 70g each, cut in half horizontally
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh thyme sprigs to tie purses (optional)
MethodPrep:50min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:1hr5min
- Heat half the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and a pinch of sugar. Stir, cover and cook gently over a low heat for 30 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas 6). Mix the remaining oil and butter together. Take a half sheet of filo and brush with a little of the oil mixture, then place three more pieces on top at angles to each other to form a star shape, lightly oiling each sheet.
- Scatter a quarter of the onions in the centre of the pastry and sprinkle with a quarter of the walnuts. Place one half of a goat's cheese on top. Scatter over 1/2 tsp of the thyme leaves and season with pepper. Gather up the edges of the pastry and pinch tightly together to enclose the filling and make the shape of a purse. Repeat to make three more purses.
- Place the purses on a non-stick baking sheet. Brush lightly with the remaining oil mixture. Bake for 10–15 minutes until golden. If liked, tie each purse with a sprig of thyme. Serve immediately.
If you don't have a non-stick baking sheet, line any baking sheet with grease-proof or baking paper.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(6)
Reviews in English (5)
I couldn't get filo pastry so used pre-rolled puff pastry ... also didn't have fresh thyme so used dried thyme.Took a bit longer to cook than the recipe says but I suspect that that is more than compensated for by the reduced work....Everyone loved this dish...The only change I'd make is that I'll make more of them next time ...-23 Apr 2012
Goats' cheese and thyme ...heaven! I rate this recipe HIGHLY. What I don't rate though, are my skills with filo pastry! But as this is sure to become a favourite I'm sure practice will make perfect. I didn't do bad considering this is my first time working with filo pastry, the shape of my very last "purse" was the best ;oD Thank you for this recipe x-30 Dec 2008
mine were not a neat a those in the picture as i am not great with filo pastry, none the less thee were delicious and made a lovely starter to a romantic meal. thanks!-11 Mar 2012
Baked goat’s cheese with hazelnut crust & balsamic onions
Halve the goat‘s cheeses horizontally and mix the nuts with the crumbs. Coat the cheese in the egg, then the nut mixture. Mark the cut side of the cheese with a large piece of nut to show which side up it should be.
For the onions, heat the oil in a non-stick pan, then add the onions. Stir well and cook for 10 mins until softened and starting to turn golden. Tip in the balsamic vinegar and honey, season and stir over the heat until syrupy. If freezing, open-freeze the cheeses until solid, then wrap individually with cling film and foil. Pack the onions into a freezer bag once cool. To defrost, thaw the onions and warm gently in a pan.
To cook and serve, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the cheese on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins. If you‘re baking from frozen, add another 5 mins.
Arrange the salad leaves on plates and spoon the onions on top. Add the goat‘s cheese, drizzle with any juice from the onions and serve immediately.
WHERE IS FAGOTTINI MADE?
To be clear we are talking about the pasta, not the goat’s milk cheese from Lombardy with the same name. The Italian pasta is most associated with Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. However dumplings are a universal recipe wherever leftovers and frugality meet.
HOW CAN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PASTA CONTAIN SUCH A DARK WORD?
The first five letters of this cut’s name comes from the French “fagot”. In the Middle Ages this basically meant a small bundle of stuff. As definitions go this is a pretty accurate description of fagottini. However, like all things, languages evolve. By the 150o’s, the practice of burning heretics alive was referred to as “frying a fagot.” Since then the term has been consistently used in a derogatory fashion for both men and women. To be fair to this pasta though, the negative version of the word came after the initial innocent version. So don’t hold fagottini’s name against it (anymore then you would with people named Richard who go by “Dick”). However if someone comes up with Mussolini-ttini’s, well then yeah boycott the hell out of that. Anyway N.P.R. has a good article on this, to read more click here!
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH FAGOTTINI?
Being from Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, Grana Padano and Parmesan Reggiano are the two most popular sauce ingredients. Check out our Grana Padano sauce recipe for an example! In terms of stuffing, pretty much anything savory goes though pear is a very popular ingredient. Personally I think a truffle salsa (Italian, not Mexican version) could be a lot of fun as well. Though be careful on not putting too much oil into the stuffing.
We Have A Ton Of Awesome Dumpling Recipes
Did you know that we have a ton of awesome dumpling recipes that need a new home in your kitchen? And we’ve got even more for our shumai and samosa enthusiast friends: handy explainers, crucial techniques, travel stories and in-depth guides about our favorite wrapper-encased and steamed, fried or seared treats. Take a deep dive into our colorful dumpling section for dishes from award-winning chefs and cookbook writers, and freshen up your repertoire from the steamer basket. Here are a few of our recent favorites:
Kitchen Hack: How To Make Dumplings Without A Steamer
You can have fresh, steaming hot pork and scallion dumplings on the table in 45 minutes — even less if someone’s helping you fold them! Dumpling making is a great hands-on activity for a dinner party’s first course that incorporates your guests’ cooking skills at any level.
These creamy goat cheese dumplings, a labor of love, are an elegant first or main course.
Recipe: Goat Cheese Dumplings
One doesn’t usually associate pasta with Middle Eastern cuisine, but noodles and dumplings, in particular, are popular in several countries around the region. Stuffed pasta dumplings, called manti, are a key feature of Turkish cooking, and it’s thought that they date back to the eighth century, when they were introduced to Anatolia from Northern China by the Uyghurs. The very best manti are teeny-tiny, and require a great deal of patience and skill to make. (See our earlier book, Turquoise, if you are interested in learning how to make them.) In this larger form they are much more forgiving, and just as delicious. Manti are usually stuffed with minced lamb and served under a blanket of creamy yoghurt. Our vegetarian version are stuffed with herb-spiked fresh goat’s cheese and dressed in a light and tangy pomegranate vinaigrette.
These sweet potato samosas are a perfect fall party food.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Samosa Purses
We use square spring roll pastry sheets instead of a heavy dough because it makes the samosas lighter and crispier. Also, it’s a lot easier to use. These are wheat-flour- based and made without eggs, so they are vegan. Do not confuse them with egg roll wrappers, which are thicker than spring roll sheets and made with eggs, or with rice paper, which is used for Vietnamese spring rolls.
Fuse Israeli and Eastern European food together to make this colorful, hearty dish.
Recipe: Labneh Kreplach Tortellini
Sometimes Middle Eastern flavors and Ashkenazi flavors are a match made in heaven. Ashkenazi borscht is often quite a meaty soup, but I wanted to give it some magic for all you vegetable lovers. Here it gets a rose petal and cumin twist, and instead of the fermented beet juice customarily used, I’ve added some pomegranate molasses, and the usual sour cream to serve is replaced with my zesty labneh kreplach with Za’atar Spice Mix.
The potstickers royale with crispy crepe at James Beard Award–nominated hot spot Fat Rice is a great introduction to the cuisine of Macau.
Recipe: Potstickers Royale With Crispy Crepe
Adrienne has a strong childhood memory of hand-forming dumplings of various shapes and sizes with her family. Their potstickers contained an ingredient that isn’t often found in dumplings much outside of northern China: dill, added by Adrienne’s grandparents’ caretaker, Li Na. Despite initial skepticism, Adrienne’s grandparents came to appreciate the strange addition, and a taste for dill trickled down to the recipe we use at Fat Rice. Li Na also introduced the light, eggless crepe that adorns our potstickers, one reason people love the potstickers at Fat Rice the extra crispy bits can be the best part.
For the pastry, put the thyme leaves, flour, butter and lard into a food processor and mix on pulse setting until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add enough cold water (about 2-3 tablespoons) to form a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
For the red onion jam, cook all the ingredients over a very low heat in a frying pan, stirring occasionally so that they don't clump together.
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas 6 and place a sturdy baking tray in the oven.
Divide the pastry into four. Using a rolling pin, roll it out and line 4 x 10cm/4in loose-bottomed tart tins. Line the tins with greaseproof paper and baking beans.
Place the tins on the heated baking tray and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and lining paper and return to the oven for five minutes. Leave to cool for few minutes.
For the goats’ cheese, trim away any rind and crumble the cheese into a bowl. Mix with the egg yolk and a splash of cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Divide the red onion jam among the tartlets and spoon the goats’ cheese mixture on top. Return to the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and tinged with brown.
Pour oil and lemon juice into a bowl and season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the leaves and toss gently to coat.
To serve, carefully remove the tarts from their tins and place on a serving plate. Top with the rocket salad and serve.
How to make sweet and savoury tarts with filo pastry
Time to move on from past mistakes – and restore filo pastry to its full, flavoursome potential Credit: Haarala Hamilton
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F ilo pastry is the ingredient that was kidnapped. The fragile, tissue-paper- thin sheets – as lovely to handle as dried leaves – became available here in the 1980s. Filo was regarded, at first, with fear. It looked as if there were a million sheets in every packet. How many did it take to enclose one pie? And did you really have to brush each one with butter?
I nstead of using the pastry to make the dishes for which it was famous – syrup-soaked baklava, or crisp pies filled with wild bitter greens, sweet roast pumpkin and salty feta – once we got to grips with keeping it under a tea towel (otherwise it dries out) and understood just how forgiving it is (layer it, break it, patch it up), we did unspeakable things with it.
Filo is the Lazy Person’s Pastry. Restaurants started to put filo creations (often called ‘beggar’s purses’) on the menu. Squares of filo were buttered and layered and filled with salmon mousse or goat’s cheese and scrunched into little Dick Whittington-style sacks. These could be prepared in advance and sit all day in the fridge before being blasted to a rich gold in a hot oven.
A t home we committed worse crimes. Food pages were full of recipes for purses stuffed with camembert and cranberry sauce or mushroom parcels (from which the liquid of the undercooked fungi leaked). What of the glories of Greece and Turkey? Ignored.
I s it worth making your own filo? I did try. Once. It didn’t sound that complicated. I mean, it’s pastry, right? And it seemed easier than puff (with all the folding and turning and ‘squaring off’ that requires me to keep notes on where I am in the process).
I worked with a pasta rolling pin, covering the entire kitchen table with flour and olive oil for the best part of a day before I got the filo dough even remotely near the real thing. We didn’t eat the pie for which it was destined until 11pm.
I t was, as always (this is my failing as a cook) more important to me to get the dish right than feed my guests before they fell off their chairs. The filling was good, the pie wasn’t quite the rustling mass of buttery gorgeousness it was meant to be.
Like speaking Italian fluently or playing the saxophone well, making filo pastry is not something I am going to master in this lifetime. I would have to get a job in an industrial unit in Istanbul and dedicate years to the task. We must recognise the challenges to which we shouldn’t rise.
Just buy it. But don’t, for God’s sake, let camembert and cranberry sauce anywhere near it.
6 Steps to Make Goat CheeseStrain Your Fresh Warm Goats Milk
Step 1: Milk Preparation
If you milk your own goats, your cheese-making starts with your regular routine of milking your goats and straining the milk. The only difference is you’ll strain your milk into a pot you can use for making cheese instead of a jar. You can also use any other sufficiently large container with a lid.
For good bacteria production goats milk needs to be at about 86°F to promote flavor development. Luckily, straight from the goat with a short walk to the house usually gets you to exactly the right temperature to get started.
If you are using refrigerated milk, you’ll need to warm it first. A lot of people use a double boiler to heat the milk, so it doesn’t stick to the pan. That works great.
Personally, though, I use a heavy bottomed pan and a wooden spoon. I stir gently to keep the milk from sticking to the bottom and to move the heat through the milk. It only takes a few minutes to get your milk up to temperature over full heat using this method.
You can use a thermometer to check your temperature. Or just put a few drops from your spoon on the inside of your wrist (like you would for checking a baby bottle). If it feels warm, but not hot, it’s ready.
Leave the milk in the warm pot to start the steps below. The pot will help maintain the heat while the culture acts on your milk.
Now, with the various milk preparations sorted, let’s get started!
Step 2: Add Mesophilic Culture
Every culture has a different bacterial activity level. So, you’ll need to refer to your culture packet for exact guidelines on how much culture to apply.
Generally though, the bulk packets will set up about 25-50 gallons of milk. When working in small batches, I go a little heavy on the culture.
So, if you look at the quantity in your packet when you open it and try to apply about 1/25th of the amount in the packet per gallon of milk, you’ll be in the ball park. Make note of how much that is for future use since you only get to look at a full packet once.
Sprinkle the culture on top of your milk. Wait 30 seconds for it to rehydrate. Then stir gently to spread the culture through the milk.
Cover and let the milk and culture sit for 1-2 hours in a warm location. The culture will multiply rapidly in the milk infusing it with taste and aroma.
Step 3: Add Rennet
After culturing, add a drop or two of rennet to each quart of milk you used. Every drop is going to be a slightly different size. So there’s not a whole lot of precision possible when it comes to using rennet for small batches. Just try not to go overboard.
Some people will put the drops of rennet into some cool water and then pour the water into the milk. If you are afraid you’ll get wild with the rennet when trying to squeeze out a drop or two, then feel free to do this extra step. Otherwise, you can just put the rennet directly in the milk.
Stir gently to disperse the rennet through the milk for a few seconds. Cover the pot with the lid and let the milk set up. This usually takes between 1-2 hours.
Step 4: Cut the Curds
Within a short time after you add the rennet, you’ll see your milk start to thicken. Soon it will take on a glossy appearance and begin to look a whole lot like tofu.
If you let it go longer, the tofu-like glob of coagulated milk will end up floating in a pool of yellowish liquid called whey. The longer you leave it, the more the curd mass shrinks and the whey mass increases.
For this particular cheese, you want to cut the curds when they first start to look like tofu. If you wait until the whey begins to push out, your cheese won’t be quite so creamy at the end.
When your milk looks like tofu, take a knife and make a cut in the curd mass. If the knife goes through cleanly without breaking or tearing your curd mass, you are ready to cut the curds. If not, let it sit a few more minutes.
To cut the curds, use a blunt knife to make a checkerboard out of your curd mass. Go for squares that are about one inch in size.
Step 5: Dry Your Cheese
After cutting your curds, set up a draining station for separating your curds from your whey. I lay a flour sack towel over a sieve or colander. Then, I set that inside a big bowl so I can collect the whey.
I use a pasta ladle to lift the curds from the pot and set them into the towel. When your curds are all in the towel, turn the towel into a strainer bag. Hang that someplace out of your way, to let the rest of the whey slowly drip out. (No need to squeeze. Gravity will do the work for you.)
Some people use their kitchen sink spout to hang their curds to dry. Personally, I hang it from my cabinets on my counter with the bowl beneath to catch all the whey.
Draining time varies depending on the state of your curds when you cut them. Generally, I tend to let mine hang for about 4 hours. Honestly, though, I’ve even left it overnight and had good results.
Step 6: Salt to Taste
Now, put your cheese in a mixing bowl and work in however much salt you want. I tend to use about a teaspoon of sea salt for half gallon batches. But, the quantity really varies based on the kind (e.g. iodized or sea salt), grind size of the salt, and your taste preferences.
I also find that mixing with my hands distributes the salt a bit better than with a spoon.
Now, you can eat your cheese straight away, or you can do the optional step below to make it pretty.
Note: If you want to use this cheese for dessert with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, then skip the salt entirely.
Lastly: Make Logs
Once your cheese is dry and salted, you can roll them into perfect goat cheese logs like you’ve seen at the supermarket. You can do this using molds, films, or other tools if you want to.
Personally, I use my washed hands to form the cheese just like I would any dough. Then, I like to cut some fresh herbs from the garden as a garnish to make my cheese pretty.
These decorative details only take a few extra minutes. However, they can really enhance your cheese experience and make it feel like you are enjoying a fine chèvre from a fancy fromagerie at home.
Prawn and spring onion filo moneybags
Melt the butter, add the oil. Cut the pastry into 9cm (31/2in) squares cover with clingfilm. Brush three squares with butter. Place one on top of die other to form a 12-point star.
Chop the prawns, spring onions and garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Combine together all the ingredients.
Place a teaspoonful of filling in pastry centre draw up the edges. Pinch and seal into shape.
Deep-fry parcels in batches of 10 for 3min or until golden. Drain and serve with a dip (see Fillings). To prepare ahead Deep-fry the moneybags in the morning. Cool and refrigerate. Reheat, uncovered, on a baking sheet at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 10-15min.
To freeze: Cool, freeze then wrap the cooked moneybags at end of step 3.
To use: Reheat as above for 15-20min.
Try more triple-tested recipes:
To make the chilli dip
Boil 200g vinegar and 6 tablespoons sugar for 2min and stir in the 1 cucumber, 1 onion, 1 pineapple (all finely chopped) and 1 finely chopped red chilli. Set aside and leave to cool.
- 1/4kg puff pastry thawed or fresh and ready to use
- 1 cup mixed mushrooms washed and sliced finely
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or white onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh crumbled thyme
- 6 teaspoons goat cheese or mild feta ((if you are vegan replace this with additional mushrooms)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg beaten (if you are vegan omit)
Chef Barry Wine created this renowned dish in the 1980's at his restaurant Quilted Giraffe. It was a mini crepe stuffed with caviar and creme fraiche and tied with a chive.
These puff pastry pouches can be made savory or sweet. A sweet mincemeat filling, a spinach and feta mixture, chocolate chips and caramel, bacon and potatoes, curried chicken, smoked salmon and dill, the possibilities are endless.
If you have health restrictions please consult your doctor before enjoying this recipe.
La Quercia Guanciale 8oz
Watch your fat back, bacon! There's another cheeky slice making the scene whose sole, plump purpose in your kitchen is to turn sow's ears into silky, succulent purses. Guanciale (Gwan-cha-lay) comes from the pig's jowl and consists of delicate fat and ribbons of earthy meat throughout. It's best used in cooking, particularly traditional Italian favorites like spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta all'amatriciana, and adds an extra-luxurious texture to sauces and stews.
Originally a delicacy in Umbria, La Quercia's Iowa-bred meat is simply seasoned with rosemary, black and white pepper, and sea salt. It's a traditional staple that you'll want to keep on hand once you've tried it. Depending on how you're using guanciale, you may want it sliced thinly or whole to cut into chunks. With that in mind, we'll ship you a 1/2 pound piece whole that you can slice at home with a sharp chef's knife or cut into chunks. Since it's so rich, it pairs well with big red wines that can stand up to the flavors it deepens.
Photos from Our Community
Just the Facts
How did a family in Norwalk, Iowa come to produce some of the best cured meats in the world? It started with tradition: After three and a half years in Parma, Italy, Herb and Kathy Eckhouse brought classic techniques back home to create their signature salumi, something they say “expresses our appreciation for the beauty and bounty of Iowa”. Adding responsible sourcing and sustainability to the recipe means that their products don’t just taste great, they’re also produced with the highest standards and best quality ingredients around. To help more people get a bite of the good stuff, we now offer the full La Quercia line as well as curated selections that will make any meat lover squeal with delight.