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All kinds of stuffed pastries are made in the countries that border the eastern and southern Mediterranean. In Morocco they are called briouats. The phyllo pastry dough filled with fresh scallops, shrimp, and tomatoes is so light these first courses almost melt in your mouth.
Makes 30 pastries to serve 6
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1/4 pound fresh sea or bay scallops1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled2 cloves garlic, mincedSalt and freshly ground black pepper1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or coriander leaves3/4 teaspoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon sweet paprikaLarge pinch of cayenneLarge pinch of saffron threads, revived1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs1/2 pound phyllo dough1/2 cup unsalted butter, meltedLemon wedges
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the scallops, shrimp, and half the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the seafood from the pan, chop coarsely, and reserve in a bowl. In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and tomato and simmer 10 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika, cayenne, saffron, salt, and pepper. Continue to simmer slowly until the moisture has evaporated, 10 minutes. Add the seafood and bread crumbs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the phyllo on the short side into 4 equal strips, 4 inches wide. Cover with a slightly dampened towel until ready to use. Brush 1 strip lightly with melted butter and place another strip on top. Brush lightly with butter. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling along the short end. Fold the sides in and roll, forming a cigar shape. Brush lightly with butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and filling. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake until golden, 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges.
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