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Please pass the tiropita

When Miriam encounters her old friend, Nathaniel be Ruben, in a café, he asks what brings her there:

To take the time to consider how much to tell him, I spooned the last bite of Zenon’s version of tiropita, a multi-layered pastry made with phyllo dough and feta cheese, supposedly originating with Cato the Elder. I rolled the ball of flakey dough and creamy cheese around on my tongue before letting it slide down my throat. Then I took a long sip of my already tepid elderberry tea and patted my mouth with a napkin.

To taste this timeless treat, follow this easy recipe:

Ingredients List

  • puff pastry sheets or phyllo dough

  • 6 to 8 oz crumbled feta cheese

  • about 1 cup (8 oz) cottage cheese

  • about 1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten


Mix the cheeses and eggs together in a bowl until well-combined. Decide what size appetizer you would like and cut the puff pastry into equal sized pieces (use the phyllo as directed on the package). Place a spoonful of filling onto the pastry, and wet the edges. Fold the pastry over and seal with the tines of a fork. Place onto lined baking sheet and brush with some slightly beaten egg white. Bake in a 400 degree F preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

To find out why Miriam was there (and why she hesitated to tell him), watch for THE DEADLIEST THIEF, the next Miriam bat Isaac mystery, due for publication in 2019.

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