To ensure snacks that are beautifully golden and have a crispy exterior and soft interior, the oil needs to be at the correct temperature. Heat the oil at medium heat and use a cooking thermometer to monitor it. When it reaches the desired temperature of 180-190°C, cook a few treats at a time so you do not lower the oil's temperature. This can lead to them becoming soggy rather than crispy as they are more likely to absorb the oil if it is not warm enough.
Sambousek is a fried pastry with a savoury filling of cheese, meat, or vegetables. Similarly to the South Asian samosa and the Greek spanakopita, it may be shaped in different ways including triangular cones or packages and half-moon shapes. Usually enjoyed as a starter, snack, or side dish, they are often served with a dipping sauce of some kind. They are perhaps one of the most popular snacks for Ramadan.
Sambousek with cheese make for deliciously crispy treats. To make them, mix crumbled halloumi cheese with cream cheese and season the filling with herbs, pepper, and fennel seeds. Cut the filo pastry sheets into rectangular pieces to get ready to assemble them. Place 1-2 tbsp cheese filling in one corner, fold over this corner so you get a triangle, and repeat this process. Close them and brush the exterior with a beaten egg. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry a few cheese sambousek at a time once it is warm enough. Cook them until they are perfectly golden and crispy and enjoy them while they are still warm.
Even though folding cheese sambousek can be a bit tricky, the prospect of doing so does not have to be daunting. After cutting the filo pastry into rectangles, place a small amount of filling (about 1-2 tbsp) in the corner of them. Fold this corner down so you get a triangle shape with filling in it. Now keep folding this filling-stuffed triangle down the length of the rectangle to create more layers of filo pastry. Use a beaten egg to close it and brush the exterior.
Cheese sambousek should be enjoyed while they are still warm. This way, you get the best contrast between the savoury halloumi and cream cheese filling and the crispy filo pastry. Serve these delightful filo triangles as a starter to kick off your iftar meal, as a side dish to soups and salads, or enjoy them as a crispy treat. No matter how you serve them, they are great with a creamy dipping sauce like labneh flavoured with pungent garlic, hot chilli, or za'atar.
Cheese sambousek are a favourite with many and it is no wonder why. The combination of soft, savoury filling and fried filo pastry is scrumptious. The snack-sized triangles are beautifully golden and when served warm, the contrast between the crisp exterior and the gooey centre truly shines. Fold them in advance and cook them right as you are about to begin your iftar meal to enjoy them at their very best; warm and crispy with melted cheese inside.
The soft, warm filling of these crispy halloumi sambousek is incredibly flavourful. The halloumi has a fresh, tangy taste with plenty of saltiness and umami. The combination of this and the mild-tasting, fresh cream cheese serves to give the filling a crumbly and creamy texture. Flavoured with fennel seeds, parsley, and mint, the filling is enriched with sweet, peppery, citrussy, and herbaceous notes that make its flavour profile quite complex.
Cheese sambousek make for a delicious addition to any iftar meal. The golden triangles may be served as a starter, snack, or side to soups like broccoli soup with cream or creamy tomato and vegetable soup to offer a bit of crunch, or fresh salads such as roasted vegetable and feta quinoa salad and traditional rocca salad to make them more filling.
The best sambousek dough is a nutty filo pastry. This pastry, which is used in sweet and savoury dishes alike, is rolled very thin and has an incredible ability to become deliciously crispy and flaky when fried or baked. This makes it perfect for treats like these where you have a soft and creamy filling that pairs well with an exterior that is the opposite.
Mixing up this cheese sambousek recipe is incredibly easy as the two kinds of cheese taste great with a vast array of different ingredients. Some tasty options include mixing halloumi and cream cheese with alliums like leek, onion, garlic, or raw spinach. Leek, onion, and garlic will give the filling even more depth as they provide a lovely, sweet savouriness, while spinach will brighten the rich, cheesy filling through its sharp, tasty bitterness.
Adding chopped walnuts and a pinch of nutmeg is also a delicious idea. The warmth of the spice and the buttery nuttiness of the walnuts pair beautifully with the savoury, spiced cheese filling. The nuts also add a bit of crunch to create a wonderful textural contrast.