It finally feels like Spring is around the corner. The days are getting longer and the sun is shining a little brighter. I can’t wait until we’re basking in the sun of summer and eating al fresco and drinking some refreshing mint lemonade. I felt winter was long and brutal this year. Not much exciting went on in my kitchen. Just cranking out dishes for the daily grind – a few moments of deliciousness, but overall I can’t recall anything very special.
Sometimes you feel the same way about life, you get in the doldrums. I’ve felt this way this winter so I am very excited about the onslaught of spring. By doldrums I mean that I felt stagnant – not going anywhere – in the same place. That is not always a bad thing, but I wanted more. I started a new job, which is fun and interesting. I’ve also stepped back in the kitchen a bit more. I’m glad about that because I’m always so inspired by cooking, recipes and food.
Additionally, there are times I wish my sister lived close-by. We are quite similar and love to cook together. I always say “if” we lived close we “could” do something together, a business or catering or anything…I need that push and support from her. We always talk about what-ifs and never follow-through. Sometimes you have to just take that leap. Sometimes you weren’t meant to succeed and that’s the scary part.
But at the end of the day what’s important is that you have a passion for something and you can share it with your loved ones. I consider my blog readers my loved ones and I really enjoy sharing recipes with you. Sometimes I need a little push to get myself posting, but at the end of the day I always feel satisfied sharing a little of my kitchen with you all. I wish we could have one long table dinner party and eat, talk and celebrate for no reason. :)
I want to share this phyllo cigar appetizer with you all because it is really tasty! I find it quite easy to make as well. Phyllo can be annoying to work with, but I just keep it covered with a damp cloth and fudge any mistakes I make and it all comes together alright in the end. It’s just food, it doesn’t have to be perfect! I’ve made these a few times now and people always enjoy them. I love them hot out of the oven – flakey, crunchy and savory. If you’re bored on a weekend, make a bunch and freeze them for later. You’ll be glad to have them on hand when a sudden hunger pang comes upon you!
Feta, Dill and Red Chili Phyllo Cigars
Makes about 8 rolls
1/4 cup olive oil, for brushing the phyllo and 1 tablespoon for the feta mixture
1/2 a 16 ounce package of phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
6 ounces of feta cheese
2 long red chilies, chopped, seeds removed
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 scallion, white and light green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon nigella seeds
salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a food processor, add the feta cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red chilies, dill, scallions, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse a few times until everything is combined.
Each roll will require 6 sheets of phyllo, so layer 12 sheets of phyllo and brush each sheet with olive oil. Keep the sheets stacked on top of each other and cut the sheet into four equal-sized pieces.
Next, take about a tablespoon of the feta mixture and drop it into the quartered 6 phyllo sheets. Roll the phyllo like a thin burrito, fold the long ends over the feta mixture and roll the rest like a cigar.. Repeat with the rest of the feta mixture and the remaining 7 quarters of phyllo dough.
Place the cigars onto a cookie sheet seam side down and top brush with a little extra olive oil and top with the lemon zest and nigella seeds. Place in the hot oven and back for about 15 minutes, or until the cigars are golden. Serve hot.