Sausage Phyllo Triangles

Phyllo-Turnovers-webThese take a little work but you can make them a few days before and put them in the freezer. When you are ready, just pop them in a preheated oven. You’ll make a grand impression and not be rushed.

1 pound sausage (bockwurst or sweet Italian, removed from casing and crumbled)
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine or water
1/2 cup pistachios, lightly toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons fennel seed
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
10 phyllo (filo) pastry sheets
1 cup butter, unsalted, melted

Take out phyllo pastry from freezer and let it come up to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes).

Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onions and wine (or water) sautéing until translucent and caramelized. Set aside.

In a heavy medium skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink and fat is rendered. Strain and press to extract as much moisture as possible. Drain on towels. Wipe out skillet. Return sausage to skillet and mix in onions, basil, fennel seeds, pistachios, cream and mustard. Simmer until sausage absorbs cream and mixture mounds on spoon. Stir frequently. Cool.

To make triangles:  Melt one cup unsalted butter. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and brush entirely with butter. Place another sheet directly on top and butter again. Cut crosswise into five strips with a sharp knife. Be sure to cover unused phyllo dough with a lightly damp cloth to prevent drying.

Place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture at the bottom of the strip in the center. Fold corners across the filling and continue to fold back and forth as if you were folding a flag. Brush with butter after each fold and tuck any excess under. Repeat with remaining strips.

Filled, unbaked triangles can be refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking. Place on buttered baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pastries until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or warm. Yield: 25 appetizers.

WINE: Though wonderful with any red, I prefer to match this with Syrah or our Cabernet Franc.

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