The joy of cooking with children, for them, is the apothecary of mixing, the mess, the getting your fingers sticky and creating from a few ingredients something incredibly delicious that will disappear from the plate as soon as it's been presented. This recipe* ticks all the boxes and once you realise how easy and thrown together it is you'll be adding it to your repertoire of yummy recipes. You can adapt the ingredients to suit your taste and your whats-left-in-the-fridge-availabilty. You can make them sweet with frozen fruit (easily available at most supermarkets) and dip them into yoghurt. Sophia suggested we use some mince meat, the kind you use for making Christmas mince pies, and others with apples and cinnamon. As well as the recipe below we've been experimenting with other flavours too.
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 250g filo pastry
- 100g feta cheese
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- bunch of basil, parsley or chives
- plain flour for dusting
- Take a sheet of baking paper / greaseproof paper and let the mess begin by getting your child to smear a few drops of oil onto it.
- Chop the feta and tomatoes into small piece.
- Chop your chosen herbs and mix together in a bowl with the cheese and tomatoes.
- Sprinkle a little plain flour onto your table and peel off two sheets of filo pastry and place one on top of the other. Using a knife or a pizza cutter cut into 12cm squares.
- Brush the squares with a little oil. A small cup makes a 'paint pot'. Stack one square on the other making an 8 pointed star (the recipe we used for this suggested using 3 squares but I think this is a little too much).
- Spoon a little of your feta and tomato mix into the middle.
- This next step is a little tricky for little hands at first but once you've shown them how to do it they'll be able to do it. Perfection is in the practise!
- Place each parcel onto your greased baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes or until crisp and golden.
- Let them cool on the baking sheet enough that little hands will be able to hold them.
- Devour! Nom Nom.
We're now trying different fillings and a minced beef version 'burek' has been added to our list of favourites now. The girls love to dip these into a dish of plain yoghurt whilst my husband loves his with yoghurt/ sauce (similar to raita or tzatziki ) I make which has finely chopped cucumber, lots of chopped fresh mint, crushed garlic and a few pinches of salt. This dip goes amazingly well with homemade beef burgers too; one of our favourite summer barbeque faves.
I love how versatile this money bag trick is. I shall now always keep a stash of filo in the freezer.
*this recipe was discovered in 'Baking with tiny tots' by Becky Johnson