Filo Merguez Rolls

Greek food is always a favorite to cook, serve and eat.  I always find Greek menus to touch on fresh ingredients and are packed with flavor.  Growing up I would watch the women in the family tossing around buttered sheets of filo dough like a pizza maker spinning a pie.  Traditionally the men were responsible for the grilling and the women were responsible for all of the more intricate dishes.  They were very happy to have the men out by the grill leaving them to the peace of the kitchen to do their masterful cooking.

This was always a great appetizer that everyone would quickly grab up and something that I make a lot around the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of lamb merguez sausage, casing removed and finely crumbled
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 12 cups of fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chimichurri rub
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1cup of feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 1 package of filo dough, defrosted 
  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

Making It

  • Set the over to 400 degrees
  • Put a sauté pan over a medium flame and add the sausage meat, onion and sauté until the meat is just pink then add spinach, garlic and chimichurri.  Stir until spinach has wilted, salt and pepper to taste and put in a colander to let drain by putting pressure on the top to squeeze out as much liquid and grease as possible
  • In a food processor fitted with a steal blade, add the feta and cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pulse until fully mixed together
  • Fold the spinach and meat into the cheese mix until fully incorporated 
  • Melt the butter and lay out the defrosted filo dough with a damp kitchen towel covering the stack so they do not dry out.  Always have the towel on top or the sheets become impossible to work with
  • Take two sheets of filo,  lay on the countertop and brush with butter, do so again, fold the sheet over then spoon the filling against the edge, then roll like a cigar, but loosely as you want the filling to be able to expand and not break through the filo dough.   Keep doing this until you are out of the dough or the filling
  • Put each ‘cigar’ on a baking sheet, preferably with a silpat or tinfoil ( you do not need to grease these at all)
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes then rotate each one and cook for another 6-8 minutes to make sure they are cooked evenly.  Let rest for 8-10 minutes, cut and serve

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