Recipe and Photography by Meredith Steele
These flaky little pastry pillows—stuffed with a sweet and savory mix of curry-spiced ground lamb, dried apricots and diced red pepper—are easy-to-hold appetizers packed with flavor.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound ground lamb
½ cup dried apricots, sliced thin
2 ½ teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup water
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 box (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Melted butter or cooking oil spray (See note)
Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, garlic and shallot and sauté until the shallot is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add lamb and sauté until browned. Add apricots, curry powder, tomato paste, salt and pepper; cook stirring constantly for about 1 minute until paste is incorporated. Add water, stir and simmer until liquid is reduced and lamb mixture is almost a wet paste consistency, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and parsley, stir. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Place one phyllo sheet on work surface (cover remaining phyllo with towel to keep from drying). Coat phyllo with melted butter or cooking spray. Lay another phyllo sheet over the first phyllo sheet and coat with butter or cooking spray. Cut phyllo stack lengthwise into 3 (3-inch-wide) strips.
Spoon about 1 large tablespoon of lamb mixture onto 1 end of each strip. Fold 1 corner of phyllo dough over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with more phyllo sheets until all of the lamb mixture is used.
Place pastries seam side down on a baking sheet and lightly brush tops with butter. Bake pastries for 18 to 20 minutes until golden. Serve warm.
Notes: Melted butter, although tastier, can make handling the phyllo difficult. An easier alternative is a quality cooking oil spray.
Unbaked pastries can be frozen and kept for up to one month. When frozen, bake 5 to 10 minutes longer until heated through and golden.
MEREDITH STEELE is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and author of InSockMonkeySlippers.com, an award winning family food blog celebrating creative and fresh foods. Her recipe development and photography company, MBS Recipe Development specializes in multimedia recipe development for commercial and small business who’s clients include everyone from Ziploc® to small wineries. Meredith’s work has been published online, in various print media, and has been nominated for the SAVEUR awards. She can also be found across the pond writing a monthly column for JamieOliver.com. When Meredith is not in the kitchen, she’s roaming Dallas, Texas with her husband, curly-headed pixie of a daughter, and big floppy-eared dog.