When I was in college cooking was not my forte so, to save me from eating junk food, my mother would load my freezer with dozens of small homemade cheese pies (tyropitákia) for my meals. I would fry them for a few minutes straight from the freezer and immediately had a delicious, crunchy and flavorful snack, - a snack that I have not stopped loving ever since.
They are great with a glass of beer as a meze, or with some salad for a filling and fast meal, or as a handy snack at work or school. We serve them at the restaurant as a first course or for meze dishes.
Makes about 30 mini cheese pies
6 phyllo sheets (thawed)
300gr Feta cheese
2 eggs beaten
Ground pepper to taste
Olive oil, to brush the phyllo sheets
In bowl place the feta and crumble it with a fork. Add the beaten eggs and pepper and mix until you get a firm batter.
Cut each phyllo sheet lengthwise into five strips, about 7cm each ( store bought phyllo sheets in Greece are usually 35cm long). Cover the phyllo sheets with a damp kitchen towel, because they dry easily and then crumble.
Take a strip on your working area and brush with oil. Place a teaspoonful of batter at one end of the strip and fold the bottom edge of the strip over it to form a triangle. Then fold this triangle back on the strip and keep folding along the strip till the end. (see photo with instructions) Do the same with the rest of the strips.
(If you think that folding them is a bit boring, you can cut each phyllo sheet in three bigger strips instead of five the recipes calls for and add more cheese batter each time. This is faster and makes for bigger pies.)
At this stage if you want, you can place the tyropitákia on baking paper and freeze them for future use.
For a quick snack, the tyropitákia can be fried in olive or vegetable oil until golden on both sides. Or you can bake them in preheated oven at 180 C for about 15minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Note: I took only 6 phyllo sheets from the package to make a batch, and used the remaining phyllo sheets for another recipe. If you want to use all the phyllo sheets of the package, just double the batter’s ingredients.