For the whole week, my mind was flooded with all the devastation and aftermath images from Japan. There is simply no adequate nor appropriate words to describe on how I feel at times. I stayed for a brief time in Kyoto once and Hubby worked there for a period of 3 years. During our times there, we have come to know a number of friends and appreciated the Japanese people's way of life which is highly focused on civic conscience and their dedication in all aspects of life taught me much about focus in my life's choices. And now seeing their resiliance in this very hardtime, especially those who survived to mourn the death and having to go through a very uncertain future amidst the fear of nuclear radiation exposure, their stoic faces simply cannot hide their sorrows. I respect the Japanese people for their calmness and despite in time of uncertainties, they are still able to uphold their core values of consideration for others without news of looting or disorder which I find both strange and believable. All our friends and my cousin are alright but I cannot say all is fine until the nuclear crisis has settle down and all we can do at the moment is donate for rescue funds. I hope everyone reading this will donate to a reliable fund for Japan.
Taking a break from all the TV coverage, I made up these Fillo pastries to use up some leftover Fillo in my freezer. Despite all the over concern about working with Fillo, I find it not that daunting to use when all my other ingredients, oven and tools are ready. Covering extra Fillo sheets with a damp wet towel is a must as you work with one sheet at a time and the applying of melted butter is to keep the Fillo from turning brittle and dried up while you are finishing up. I like using Ricotta cheese for its slight sweetness which pairs well with vegetables like bell peppers. I used 5 sheets of the rectangular Fillo sheets to yield 10 of these triangle pastries. You can substitute the bacon and vegetable fillings with anything as long as the ingredients are not greasy and wet. And if meat is included, it must first be cooked prior to wrapping into the Fillo. I pan fried the Bacon without any additional cooking oil as its own fat will ooze out and this is done so that during the baking of the Fillo pastries, no liquid will ooze out from the fillings.
5 to 6 sheets of Fillo (rectangle large)
1/2 Red or Orange Bell Pepper, about 1 cup (julienned and cut to smaller cubes)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 cup Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
3 streaks of Bacon, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp butter, melted
1) Heat a pan, pan fry the bacon pieces for 2 mins. Add in the frozen peas and stir fry for 2 mins.
2) Lastly add in the bell pepper and stir to mix, let the contents cook for a further 3 mins.
3) Let the contents cool. Preheat the oven to 350F.
4) Take 1 sheet of the Fillo, unfold into a rectangle. Brush melted butter on half of the rectangle, take the other half and fold onto the brushed half to fold like a towel. Cut this into half to yield 2 strips. Lightly brush butter on both of these half strips.
5) Take 1 tsp of the Ricotta cheese, put and flatten it out on the bottom right hand corner of 1 strip. Spoon 1heap teaspoon of the bacon & vegetable filling onto the Ricotta Cheese. Lift up the bottom left hand corner of the strip and bring it upwards to enclose the filling forming a preliminary triangle. Use your fingers to push and tuck in the filling if they ooze out a little.
6) Then, take the bottom tip (previously the bottom right hand corner) and fold it up (180 degrees fold). And then take the bottom tip and fold along the lines and continue to fold following the lines till you finish up enclosing the filling. Lightly brush the edges to seal in. Place this on a non stick pan. Continue with the next strip in the same way and then with the remaining 4 sheets of the Fillo in the same way.
7) Lightly brush butter on the surface of each triangle and bake for 25 mins till lightly browned.
8) Serve hot.
Yields : 10 pastry triangles