Inspired by the popular Greek appetizers, these melt-in-your-mouth delicacies, spruced up with zesty green chiles, are guaranteed to please most everyone. Be prepared to make many! The filo pastry keeps well in the freezer; the appetizers, either baked or unbaked, can be frozen at least 3 months. (To bake frozen pastries, increase baking time by about 15 minutes)

Yield: 4 dozen pastries

Melted unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 pound small-curd cottage cheese (2 cups)

1 pound feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup chopped parsley

Pinch of salt

8 to 12 ounces filo pastry (strudel leaves), thawed if frozen

½ cup parched, peeled, seeded, chopped fresh New Mexico hot green chiles, or ½ cup canned diced green chiles (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Brush baking sheets with melted butter.

2. Beat cheeses, parsley and salt together until well blended. Stack 2 pastry sheets; cut lengthwise into 3-inch-wide strips. Brush each 2-layer strip with melted butter on both sides, then place a spoonful of cheese filling at one end of each strip. Top with a few pieces of green chile.

3. Fold one corner of strip over filling to create a triangular end; then fold triangle over on itself. Continue to fold triangle from side to side until you reach the end of the pastry strip; you should have a triangle-shaped pastry.

4. Pierce top of pastry with a wooden pick and place on buttered baking sheet. Continue making pastries to use remaining filo sheets, cheese filling and chiles.

5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and flaky.


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