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2 tablespoons olive oil
8 loin lamb chops
18 Sheets commercial phyllo
6 tablespoons butter hot and melted
2 cup peas cooked and drained
16 potato balls parboiled
16 cherry tomatoes peeled
1/2 pound Kasseri cheese in 8 pieces
salt & freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pinch dried oregano


*Note: 3/4-inch slices leg of lamb may be used instead of lamb chops. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil or butter and fry the lamb over high heat, turning frequently. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, unroll the filo sheets and cover with a damp towel. In a small pan over low heat, have the butter hot without letting it brown.

Remove two sheets of filo, brush with hot butter over the first, then cover with the second sheet and brush it with butter. In the center of the buttered filo place 1 lamb chop, 2 table spoons peas, 2 potato balls, 2 cherry tomatoes, and a slice of kasseri. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, a heaping tablespoon of parsley, and a pinch of oregano. Fold the filo around the lamb and vegetables like a sealed parcel.

Place, seam side down, on a buttered baking pan (approximately 11 x 15 x 3 inches) and set aside while you repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients to make 8 "parcels". Brush hot butter on the tops, then bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden in color. Remove from the oven and arrange on a warm platter or on individual dishes. Serve warm, with a fresh-cooked or raw vegetable salad.

Note: The vegetables and herbs may be varied. Substitute green beans or lima beans for peas, use thyme or basil instead of oregano. Arni Exohiko is frequently prepared using buttered waxed paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil rather than with filo.

Makes 8 servings

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