Kasseri Hand Pies with Cucumber Dip

handpies

by Wisconsin cheese

handpies

Inspired by Greek flavors, these Kasseri Hand Pies with Cucumber Dip are a flavorful way to start a meal. This delicious new appetizer showcases kasseri baked in a flaky phyllo crust. Working with phyllo dough is a delicate process, but such care is rewarded with shattering layers separated by warm butter.

handpies-ingredients

The keys to working with phyllo are to make sure the dough doesn’t dry out and to be gentle in working with the paper-thin sheets. Keep a damp cloth nearby to cover the dough that isn’t being used, and handle with care!

kasseri

Adding a generous amount of Wisconsin kasseri gives the hand pies a creamy decadence with a mild saltiness. The filling can be made up to three days in advance; just be sure to cover and refrigerate it until it’s ready to use.

handpies-with-pita

Kasseri Hand Pies with Cucumber Dip

By Ashley of Not Without Salt

Servings: 12 hand pies, 1 1/2 cups dip

Ingredients: 

For Hand Pies:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 leek, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt, to taste

8 ounces spinach, washed with tough stems removed

1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) Wisconsin kasseri cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pepper, to taste

1 egg

2 packages (36 sheets) phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup (1 4-ounce stick) butter, melted

 

For Cucumber Dip:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut in 3­-inch pieces

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh dill

Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon

1 garlic clove

Salt, to taste

 

Cooking Directions:

 

For Hand Pies:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

 

Add tomatoes, oregano and pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes have released their juice and are reduced slightly to concentrate flavors, about 5–7 minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in kasseri, olives, nutmeg, additional salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in egg and set aside.

 

Carefully lay one sheet of phyllo dough on clean work surface and brush with melted butter. Place another layer of phyllo over and brush with butter. Add third layer of phyllo. Slice layered phyllo dough down center lengthwise, creating 2 long rectangles.

 

Add approximately 3 tablespoons of kasseri mixture to top right corner, leaving 1/2-­inch space around edges. Fold phyllo over filling to form a point. Continue until triangle packet is formed. Brush with butter and set on parchment-lined sheet tray.

 

Continue assembling hand pies until all sheets are used. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.

 

Let cool on baking tray.

 

Serve warm or at room temperature with cucumber dip.

 

For Cucumber Dip:

Combine yogurt, cucumber, mint, dill, lemon and garlic in blender. Combine until smooth. Taste and add salt to taste.

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