By Tania Cusack, My Kitchen Stories
This is a twist on one of my favourite Greek dishes. Fried cheese with honey. This baked feta in filo with honey and lemon is often called a Tiropita or cheese pie. It is very quick to make, but wow is it good!?
Saganaki- The fried cheese dish everyone loves is what this is based on. It’s not always easy to find the semi hard cheese most often used in Greece to make this dish that I ordered in pretty much every restaurant. Greek cheese here is also quite expensive. But, if you can find some kefalotyri or kefalograviera, graviera or kasseri then you can make classic fried Greek cheese without the filo wrap. You just need to drench the cheese in flour and fry. It’s heavenly. But the cheese is hard to find, so here is my easy to manage version!
Greek Feta wrapped in crispy baked Filo pastry is a really great substitute for Saganaki. This version of a cheesy starter is called Tiropita, tiro meaning cheese and pita meaning pie or a kind of cheese pie. Greeks are crazy about these cheese stuffed pastries. You will find literally dozens of “pies” or pita filled with cheese. As I said before, you can make this toasty package in a smaller version for individuals or you can make larger ones to share. This recipe will make 2 larger ones or 6 small. Whatever size you make them they are more than easy.
I saved some very special honey for this Greek inspired dish. It’s an organic Truffle Honey from Greece, which is perfect as it doesn't have any artificial truffle aromatics, so it doesn't overpower the dish!! I get it online at The Grecian Purveyor. I love reading stories about all their organic producers. Greek truffle honey is more than perfect for this dish!
HOW TO MAKE TIROPITA WITH FETA
Set the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray
Chop the butter into small pieces and melt. Set aside.
Open the feta and drain. Cut into even sized pieces approx 1 cm. (a bit under 1/2 inch) You will get 6 slices from 1 packet. This is enough to make 3 share sized Tiropitas or 6 smaller ones
Open the filo. You will need about 3 pieces of pastry from the packet cut into 2. (approx 25 cm x 6 cm) (10in x 6in). You should have 2 pieces in layers of three.
Line up one of those pieces of pastry on the bench in front of you. Cover the others with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Paint each layer with a light coating of butter and stack them back on top of each other. Place 3 slices of feta beside each other in the middle. (If making smaller ones just use 1 piece)
Fold the pastry around the feta and seal by painting with some butter. Cut off any excess. You can sprinkle them with sesame here before baking or garnish with sesame when you serve them. This is an optional extra
Bake the filo in the oven till golden and crisp. This will take approx 15 to 25 minutes depending on your oven
Serve immediately drizzled with honey. Cut into pieces at the table and add a squeeze of lemon. Heaven!