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October 1, 2008

Filo: Mankind’s Ticket to the Cosmos


Mankind has been to the top of the world’s tallest mountains, flown in space, cured life threatening disease and explored the bottom of the deepest ocean. Yet there is one thing that eludes him – the ability to unlock the power of food. Mankind will reach the apex of his achievements not when he bends time and space, but when he learns how to harness the power of the sandwich.


When he does, it will propel him into the stars. Let us imagine for a moment what might send him there.


It will start with sheets of Filo. These looks like broad pieces of paper, and you will want three of them.


They also have a secret. They like to be buttered.


Melt some butter, and then brush it onto the Filo. It will be as if you are brushing water onto the back of wallpaper, and like wallpaper, the melted butter will make the Filo somewhat sticky. If you wish to maintain the airy sense of aesthetics, feel free to liken this to painting a great masterpiece on an edible canvas.


What do you lay on top of the Filo? Another layer of Filo. Do this until your stack of Filo is three deep. Cut the stacked sheets into smaller pieces, until they are maybe four inches by four inches. Set them aside.


In a separate bowl, mix together some finely chopped mushrooms, capers, cut parsley, shaved and diced red onion and flaked apart smoked salmon. Fold in some softened cream cheese and mix with garlic powder and ground black pepper until even.


For its weight, this is one of the most powerful combinations of food items. It is like a band that has played together for years and has gotten only better in tune. Place your ear over the bowl. The sound you hear just might be that of tiny, tiny music, turning on the lead of smoked fish.


Form into small logs and lay in the center of the Filo. Again, if it pleases you to regard cooking as an art form, think of this as painting your masterpiece on your buttered canvas.


Roll the Filo sheets, and fold the edges down and under. Brush again with melted butter and place on a baking sheet.


Preheat an oven to 375 degrees, and bake the Filo logs until they turn golden brown. That will take about 20 to 25 minutes. The secret to this is the butter. It makes the Filo not just flaky, but also lends to it a buttery quality.


Allow to stand for about five minutes, and then take a bite. You will understand why food will propel mankind into the stars. It is heavenly. In your ears will be the sound of angels singing.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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