Bird's Nests With Cheese

Course : Greek
Serves: 4
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2 large eggs -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup cheese -- parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons cheese -- ricotta
2 teaspoons mint -- fresh, chopped or
1/2 teaspoon mint -- dried
1 dash pepper -- black, ground
-----pastry and garnish-----
8 sheets pastry -- phyllo, sheets
1/2 cup butter -- clarified **
3/4 cup cheese -- kasseri or feta, crumbled
8 medium olives -- calamata (garnish)

Preparation / Directions:

** See "Clarified Butter" recipe. Filling: In mixing bowl, combine eggs, Parmesan, ricotta, mint and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut phyllo pastry sheets in half crosswise and cover with waxed paper and a lightly dampened kitchen towel. Place 2 half sheets of phyllo, one on top of the other, horizontally on a work surface, trim off and discard a 1 inch strip from 1 short edge of sheets. Pull top sheet toward you so that it overlaps bottom sheet by about 1 1/2 inches. Dot exposed surfaces with clarified butter. Place a 1/2 inch diameter dowel or no. 11 knitting needle about 1 1/2 inches from long edge farthest from you. Fold edge over dowel. Spread about 1 teaspoon of filling along edge of folded flap. Fold dowel over filling; then carefully roll up phyllo toward you, leaving 1 1/2 inch strip at bottom edge. Holding edges of the pastry at ends of dowel, gently press them toward center, forming pleats as you would on a curtain rod. (Do not worry if some filling oozes out.) Firmly holding ends of pastry to maintain pleats, carefully pull out dowel. Bring rolled edges of pastry around, forming a circle; the unrolled border will form bottom of each bird's nest. Transfer bird's nest to ungreased baking sheet. Brush all exposed surfaces of pastry generously with clarified butter. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kasseri in center of each nest. Return to oven until cheese is bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Place an olive in center of each nest. Serve ho

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