I ended up with leftover potato filling from August’s Potato & Cottage Cheese Pierogi, and was struck with inspiration: extra potato filling should be wrapped in phyllo and baked as an appetizer!
The easiest phyllo wrapping that I do is the method I use to create my Moroccan Baklava Snake: I use two sheets of phyllo to make a butter-brushed tube filled with tasty filling, then scrunch it together and coil it like a snake. No worries about tears because they all get covered up, and you only deal with a couple of layers of the thin pastry at a time.
To serve, you can slice this like wedges of pie, and plate — or you can do finger nibblies by cutting each log into small pieces either before or after baking.
Potato Phyllo Snake
- 1 potato, cooked & mashed (around 1/2 c. mashed potatoes)
- 1/3 c. pressed low-fat (0.5% milk fat) cottage cheese
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 package (1 lb) frozen phyllo pastry, brought to room temperature
- 1/4 c. butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. nigella seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, combine mashed potato, cottage cheese, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Cover and set aside.
Very carefully lay out one sheet of phyllo, with the long side facing you. Cover the other sheets of phyllo with a layer of plastic wrap, covered with a damp tea towel. Using a pastry brush, brush your working sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then top with a second sheet of phyllo and brush that with butter.
To make each “snake”: take approximately 1/3 c. of the potato filling, and lay it along the long edge of the phyllo closest to you in a long line, leaving about an inch at either end. Roll the phyllo around the filling (away from you), fold the edges over, and continue to roll to the opposite end of the phyllo sheet, brushing with butter a few times along the way. To make a more flexible ‘snake’, and a beautiful finished product, press each end of the snake in towards the centre, you will see it crinkle along the way.
Place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, and roll into a spiral.
Create more snakes, and add to the spiral (working from inside-out) until your dessert is big enough — I usually end up with 7 or 8 snakes total.
Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the sesame & nigella seeds.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and let cool.
Slice into wedges (like a pie), or cut into bite-sized pieces, and eat with delight.