If you’ve ever traveled between the Twin Cities and Iowa along I-35, you may have noticed the Faribault Cheese Cave billboard. One thing that you should know before you run to the Cave O’ Cheese, is that there isn’t a cave made of cheese and you can’t actually go into the cave. It does exist, though.
Even bad pizza is good pizza. Fortunately, the pizzas I am about to tell you about are very good pizzas.
St. Louis is known for a special, cracker-thin pizza topped with Provel cheese. St. Louis-style pizza is everywhere. Provel is everywhere, too.
Jake and I have never encountered St. Louis-style pizza or Provel anywhere else during our moves or travels. When we first visited our local grocery stores, we were surprised that about half of the frozen pizza options were St. Louis-style. And if you visit an Italian restaurant, you may find that dishes you’re used to seeing topped with mozzarella are topped with Provel. Those that dislike Provel will want to read menu descriptions carefully when ordering chicken parmesan, manicotti, and, even fish! Side salads might also arrive covered in shredded Provel, sometimes up to a 50/50 ratio of lettuce to Provel.
I love little savory pies.
They’re the perfect food to grab on my way to work because they’re easy to transport and don’t make a mess. Plus, I can eat them hot at my desk or cold. I think I’m on a mission to make a new type of little savory pie each week.
A long time ago my friend gave me the cookbook Baking: A Commonsense Guide. At first glance, it appeared to be a typical baking book but then I noticed recipes for friands, beef pie in a double crust, passionfruit and coconut cheese slice (bars) and digestive biscuits. The ingredient measurements are also listed in both grams and cups.
The book is actually published in Australia and I was excited to unearth it last week from a pile of boxes in our garage. Oh, the joys joys of moving.
Most of the recipes in this book are sweet, but it doesn’t neglect the savory. The recipe for phyllo pies stuffed with parsley and feta (borek) caught my eye because it called for minimal ingredients and looked like an easy Sunday afternoon baking project.
This was my first time working with phyllo dough. You can find it in the frozen or refrigerated sections at the grocery store. I bought a box of Athens brand for a few dollars at Target. The sheets of dough are as thin as gift wrap and packed in the box as two rolls.
Overall, I found phyllo very easy to work with and still have half the box to use. What would you make with an extra roll of phyllo? I’m dreaming about making baklava or Lebanese meat pies.
Adapted from the recipe for Borek in Baking: A Commonsense Guide, page 260. This recipe makes 24 little pies. You’ll have an extra pack of phyllo so you could easily double the recipe or save it for later.
Feta cheese, crumbled, about 14 ounces.
2 eggs, beaten lightly
Nearly a whole head of parsley leaves, chopped (I used flat, but I thin any type would do)
Black pepper, to taste
Phyllo, one roll
Olive oil, melted butter, or both
- Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
- Combine the crumbled feta, eggs and parsley. Season with black pepper and nutmeg.
- Unwrap the phyllo and remove one sheet at a time. Cover the rest of the sheets with a damp towel.
- Lightly brush the first sheet with oil or butter. It might tear or crack which is OK because you’ll cover it with another sheet.
- Repeat this three more times so you have a stack of four, oiled sheets.
- Make sure the sheets are facing you the long way. Cut the stacked phyllo sheets into four even strips.
- Place a couple small spoonfuls of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the phyllo strip. Fold the bottom corner over diagonally and continue folding like a triangle. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make sure the edges get covered so the filling doesn’t leak. If you overfill, the triangles might burst at the seams.
- Place on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. I flipped halfway through.
- Cool on a cooling rack if you have one so the bottoms don’t get soggy.