Spicy Lamb Sausage and Walnuts

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Main Ingredient: Game
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 6

Enticing aromas emanate from these lamb sausage appetizers. The flaky phyllo dough is a perfect wrapper for the delectable sausage mixture within.

Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil
1⁄4 cup diced onion
1⁄4 cup diced fennel
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1⁄2 lb. lamb sausage
1 tsp. paprika
1⁄2 tsp. ground cardamom
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
1⁄4 tsp. cumin
Coarse salt, as needed
Ground black pepper, as needed
1⁄2 cup California walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 egg
2 tbsp. water
1⁄2 lb. (approx. 12 sheets) phyllo dough
1⁄2 -3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Steps

1. Heat oil in skillet over med. heat. Add onion, fennel, and garlic and sauté about 4 min., until softened. Add sausage and cook for 5 min.,` breaking up sausage with a spatula. Add paprika, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and cumin and cook 5 min. more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in walnuts and chives and remove from heat. You will have about 3 1⁄2 cups sausage mixture. Set aside.

2. Whisk egg and water together. Set aside.

3. To form phyllo pastry triangles, cut 1 sheet of phyllo in half lengthwise. Fold each half in half lengthwise, making 2 strips each about 3 in. wide. (Keep any phyllo you are not using covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.) Brush each strip lightly with melted butter. Place about 3 tbsp. sausage mixture to the left of each strip. Working with one strip at a time, fold corner of phyllo over filling on a diagonal, so left edge of strip is flush with bottom edge. Continue folding, as you would fold a flag, forming a triangular packet. Repeat buttering, filling, and folding with remaining phyllo sheets. Brush tops of finished pastries with egg mixture and set aside.

4. Per Order: Place four phyllo triangles on parchment- covered sheet pan and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 15 min., until crisp and golden. Serve hot.