Holiday Packages–Tyropita

by Sarah on December 7, 2009

Wondering what to make for your holiday get-together?  Look no further, friends, I’ve got the solution.  Little pastry packages filled with spinach, herbs and cheese–otherwise known as Tyropita.  They take a bit of prep work, but they’re worth it.  Warm, crunchy, cheesy….what’s not to like?
Let’s get to work.   Saute one onion, chopped and 1 clove of garlic, minced, in 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Add 1 bag of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and liquid squeezed out) and chopped herbs–mint, parsley and a bit of tarragon if you have it.
Saute until all of the liquid is cooked off.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.
In a large bowl, combine feta cheese, ricotta cheese, and an egg.  Mix in the spinach mixture.
Season again with salt and pepper and add another couple of Tbsp of olive oil.
Unwrap the thawed filo dough.  Lay it out in front of you, vertically, and cut into 4 equal strips.  Put one strip in front of you and brush it with olive oil.
Then lay another strip on top and brush it again.
Here’s where you could’ve really used the photo but my camera ate it.  You can go here if you want to see pictures on how to roll them.  Basically, you put about a tablespoon on the bottom of the strip.  Then, beginning from the bottom, fold into triangles, like folding a flag.
Brush the tops of the triangles with olive oil and bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 350* for about 15 minutes.
You can make the pastries ahead of time, then pop them in the oven as needed.
Undercover Tyropita

1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bag of frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1-1/2 cups feta, crumbled
1 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 box filo sheets, thawed and at room temperature
olive oil
salt and pepper
cayenne (optional)
Preheat oven to 350*.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add onion and garlic and saute until soft.  Add the spinach and herbs and let cook until all the liquid is cooked out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cheese and egg.  Add the spinach mixture and mix through.  Season again with a pinch of nutmeg, salt, pepper and a smidge of cayenne, if you like.
Lay the filo in front of you vertically on a cutting board.  Cut the filo into 4 equal strips.  Set aside.  You may want to put a dampened paper towel on top so they don’t get all dried out.  Take one strip and brush it lightly with olive oil.  Place another strip of filo on top and brush it lightly with olive oil.  Place a tablespoon of the cheese and spinach mixture on the bottom of the strip.  Fold over to make a triangle, and continue folding, as if you were folding a flag.  You should finish with a small triangle.  (You can do this ahead of time.  Stack in layers with parchment or wax paper between them)
Place tyropita on a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Brush the tops with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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