“While the tsoureki is in the oven I will show you how to make tiropita.” Sophia instructed her daughter on forming perfect triangles of phyllo dough stuffed with a feta cheese mixture.
“Can I do the next one myself?”
“Sure.” Sophia watched her daughter as she placed a dollop of cheese mixture onto a strip of phyllo and folded it just as she showed her. “That’s it. I couldn’t have done it better myself. My yiayia in Greece taught Yiayia how to cook. Yiayia taught me and now I am teaching you. Someday you will teach your children to cook these foods and pass on the traditions of our family.”
I remember doing this with my mom, although she gave me the prep jobs. I never got to do what I called “the fun stuff.” I aways had to squeeze oranges, or run back and forth to the pantry. It wasn’t until I was much older that she trusted me to shape the koulourakia or fold the tiropita into triangles. But thanks to her, I have her love of cooking and baking. She always told me to hug and kiss my food – love it – never rush it. Thanks to her recipes, a part of her is always with us, as well as the heritage we are proud of.
Tiropita has to be the easiest appetizer or meze to make. I prepare and freeze them to have on hand when unexpected company comes, or when we have a spur of the moment gathering.
2 pounds Feta
2 egg yolks
Parsley or dill (optional)
1 cup of melted butter
Cut the filo into 2 – 3 inch wide strips.
Mix feta, egg yolks, nutmeg and herbs in a bowl until smooth. Using 3 sheets of filo strips, place 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture at one end and fold into triangles. Brush the triangles with a butter using a pastry brush and place on a parchment lined baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
* To freeze for future use, store before brushing with butter. There is no need to thaw, simply place them in the oven as directed.