This is an adaptation of a recipe I got long ago from restaurateur Terri Milligan of the Inn at Kristopherís in Door County, Wisconsin. Itís a clever do-ahead preparation and a whimsical presentation. Use a light hand with the oil while layering the dough.
1. Use a rubber spatula to blend cheeses, tomatoes, parsley, tarragon and pepper to taste. Oil two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a dry work surface; brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Top with a second sheet and brush with oil. Top with a third sheet and brush with oil. Cover unused phyllo with a slightly damp, well rung-out cotton towel.
3. Cut layered sheets into 6 squares; spoon a heaping teaspoon of filling into center of each. Bring corners of each square up to meet and lightly twist to form a "purse." (If outer surface of "purse" is dry, brush lightly with oil to prevent pastry from tearing and leaking during cooking.) Flatten bottom gently; place on baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake purses until golden, 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Note: The unbaked purses may be covered and refrigerated up to two days, or frozen. Do not thaw frozen purses; place them directly into heated oven.
Copyright by Terese Allen