Suppose your friends are coming over and you want to prepare something that you can store in the freezer and pop in the oven on the day of your dinner party?
These muhammara/cheese cigars are light, crispy, cheesy (yet not too much) and have the addictive taste of muhammara or red pepper and walnut dip.
These are not spicy, just flavorful.
- 1 pound of mozzarella, shredded
- 200 g of feta cheese desalted (a large chunk, soaked in several changes of water for a day or so)
- 1/3 cup of muhammara
- 1/2 white onion
- 3 egg whites (large eggs)
- white pepper, a few tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
- 30 yufka leaves (pre-cut triangles of paper-thin bread)
- clarified butter to brush on the leaves (or oil or a combination)
- To whip up a batch of muhammara: Place in the bowl of a food processor the following ingredients: 2 cups of walnuts, 1/2 medium white onion, a teaspoon of cumin, a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup of hot red pepper paste, 1/3 cup of olive oil. Process till smooth but still chunky, taste and adjust seasonings.
- Take about 1/3 cup of this batch to use for this recipe and save the rest for another day as a dip with kebabs or toasted pita triangles or raw veggies.
- Place in the food processor bowl the cheeses, egg whites,muhammara, white pepper and half an onion. Pulse till combined.
- Lay a long piece of aluminum foil on the work surface. Drizzle a teaspoon of clarified butter on the foil; lay a triangle of dough on it and rub it in a circular motion for a couple of seconds over the butter to coat the outside layer (and save time!); another method is to brush the triangle with butter and flip it over.
- Place a generous tablespoon of filling on the edge of the wide side of the triangle. Roll it up like a little cigar and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or baking paper (not wax paper, as it will burn at high temperatures).
- Place all the cigars side by side, sprinkle some lightly toasted sesame seeds on them and bake in a preheated 375F (200 C) oven for about 20 to 25 minutes; serve immediately if possible.
NOTE: It is possible to make these in advance and freeze them unbaked for 2 weeks.
If you cannot find these pre-cut pastry leaves, you can use phyllo dough and cut into triangles. I would double-wrap them (use two or three layers of phyllo).
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