Phyllo Cigars

By now you're probably beginning to think that all we eat around here are hor d'oeuvres.  And now that you mention it, we do seem to eat them quite often.  Most of our parties begin with an appetizer or two and sometimes we just make several different hor d'oeurves and and call it dinner. 

But with New Years coming up this week, I thought I'd throw in just one more appetizer in case you were thinking of serving hor d'oeuvres for New Years or needed some ideas for something to make for a football party. 

And I have to say that these little cigars are really really good.  I got the idea from a Rachael Ray recipe, which actually wasn't very good.  She called them chicken cigars and made them with ground chicken breast, but they were dry and fairly flavorless.  But I liked the idea and began experimenting with ingredients and adding the feta cheese and artichoke hearts turned them from bland to delectable!  But it's important to use a creamy feta cheese here.  If you can't find one, you can substitute another cheese, like Gouda might be good.

One more thing...these really aren't hard to make.  If you've never worked with phyllo dough, just follow the directions on the package for thawing.  There are usually like 25 sheets or something rolled up in there.  I just take off what I need and re-freeze the rest.  But phyllo sheets dry out quickly, so keep them covered when you're not using them.

Then just take a third of the filling and form a log on the long edge of the layered sheets...

Roll up tightly.

Cut into cigars.


and serve.

Eat.  Go back for more.

Phyllo Cigars

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

Printable Recipe

If you've not worked with phyllo dough before, it really is easy as long as you don't let it dry out.  I let a roll of phyllo thaw on the counter for about 2 hours and then remove 12 sheets.  Re-wrap the remaining sheets tightly and place back in the freezer.  Keep the phyllo sheets that you're working with covered with plastic wrap as you go to prevent drying out.  If you're not going to eat these right away, place them on a rack to cool completely and then place on parchment on a baking sheet to freeze.  When frozen, place in a container or ziploc bag and return to the freezer.  

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

Makes about 36 "cigars"

1 lb ground turkey (not turkey breast)
1 small onion (or ½ large), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
1 can of artichoke hearts, pureed in a food processor
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, 
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (from a block of feta)
12 sheets phyllo dough
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place ground turkey in a bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients except for the butter and phyllo dough.

Lay out a sheet of phyllo dough, brush on a little butter and top with a second sheet. Repeat with a third sheet of phyllo.  

Divide the meat mixture into quarters and place 1/4 onto the long edge of the phyllo sheets, forming a 1-inch thick log the length of the long side of the phyllo dough. Roll the log in phyllo tightly. Brush with a little more butter and cut into 2-inch “cigars".

Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and filling.

Place the cut cigars on the prepared baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden.  Serve warm.