Spinach and Feta Borek – Filo Pastries

Yummy! I have never ever rejected anyone offering borek. If you want to find out why, try this recipe. It is perfect for picnics as it is edible hot or cold, any time of the day.

You can call anything cooked with filo pastries “borek” actually, but this dish is cooked happily in the Balkans as burek, in Greece as spanakopita (with spinach and feta), in Israel as burekas (with cheese).

You can fill your borek with anything you want, but usually cheese and spinach is used.  Flat parsley or minced meat are also good options.

Let’s begin:

  • 500g filo pastry
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 5 spoonfuls of olive oil or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • some sunflower seeds or black seeds
  • 250g feta cheese
  • 1 pack of fresh spinach leaves (alternatively a big bunch of parsley)

1. Spread some butter onto your cooking tray, this will stop your borek from sticking the tray.
2. Filo pastry is usually sold in a round shape so leave one sheet aside and cut the rest to fit to your tray.
3. Mix your butter or olive oil, milk, and eggs all together in a bowl.  Stir well.
4. Put the sheet of filo pastry in your tray, leave the corners out, you will close them at the top once you finish layering.
5. Spread the oil-milk-egg mixture with a brush over each sheet, and put each sheet on top of the other.  Use half of the sheets.
6. Soften the spinach in a pan quickly, cool it down and mix with crumbled feta cheese. (if you use parsely, you do not need to cook it.)
7. Pour this mixture onto your filo pastry layers in the tray.
8. Then, carry on putting the filo pastries one by one over this mixture and each time do not forget to spread some butter-milk-egg mixture onto the sheets otherwise they will become dry.
9. When there is no filo pastry left, cover the corners of the first big sheet onto your borek and spread the rest of the butter-milk-egg mixture on top.

10. Sprinkle some seeds over it.

11. Cook it for about 20 minutes in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 200C, until the top and the bottom gets brownish. It is delicious eaten with a spoonful of yoghurt.

Bon appetit!

Bakery pastries

bakery

Hello there,

Finally I have a bit of time to add new recipes, this recipe is extremely good, because the results can be eaten in the morning, at lunchtime or in the evening… It is something you won’t regret trying… Delicious! Also it goes well with any food as a bread if you cook the plain version. I should thank Cenk for cooking it for us last festive season then sending the recipe to all of us.

Now here we go:

What do I need to have?

3 egg whites (keep the yolks separate we will use them later)
5 turkish teacups of warm milk (tricky one I would say 1 pint of warm milk)
2 packs of instant yeast (apprx 10 – 14 g) or 2 packs of fresh yeast (apprx 80 g)
1 1/2 dessert spoons of salt
1 dessert spoon of sugar
1 pack of margarine
white or brown flour (as much as the dough needs – see below)

Do not get scared about how much margarine is needed, as you will see when you prepare the dough!

How do I cook it then?

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until it becomes a dough. The dough should be very very soft, almost like liquid but not totally, slightly softer then your earlobe hehe:)

Then leave the dough in the bowl somewhere warm (next to a radiator) and cover it with a tea-towel but do not cover with a cling film as it needs to grow a bit. It will ferment for about half an hour or an hour – check it occasionally. When it has doubled in size, then it is ready for cooking.

Rub your hands with a bit of oil to make it easy to roll the doughballs. As I said above, a lot of margarine but you get at least 24 doughballs out of it in the end, enough for a party!

dough

I used a muffin base to cook them, but any flat tray would be good, you just have to give a nice shape and it reminds me of Japanese cartoons a lot. Do you remember how delicious looking the breads are in Japanese cartoons?! Anyway may be it is just me:)

Ok, when you are shaping the doughballs you can add any filling you like but pay attention to keep the filling inside, not mixed with the dough. I prefer feta cheese with parsley, or plain cheese cheddar or feta, or boiled and mashed potato with a bit of spice or minced meat. (But cook the minced meat and cool it down before you add it. )

When you lay the doughballs on your tray, leave them to rise a bit more. During that time, brush them with egg yolk, and cover them with seeds (sesame, sunflower, or anything you like).

Then, preheat the oven to 200°C (400F / gas mark 6) and place on a baking tray for about 15 minutes.

pastries with cheese and parsley

poaca

Hello there,

Thanks to friends visiting the new flat I had the chance to cook a lot, so have got a lot of recipes. This one in particular is very good when you have lots of people around and no bread at all. They are very tasty, warm, and could be eaten with all sorts of mezes. Called poğaça in Turkish, but according to wikipedia, it seems to have names like Pogača or Pogacha in the Balkans pogácsa in Hungary and pogatschen in Austria. It says it becomes foccaccia in Italy a more flat version. I feel like it sounds more of a Slavic word pogaca. (pron. may be say it like this in english : po-acher?)

It is definitely not a very healthy food given the amount of oil you use but very comforting and happy food I should say! The loveliest thing with pogaca is it is very good in the mornings or in the afternoons with tea.

Right, let’s begin cooking then.

What do I need to buy?
3 eggs (keep one yolk away as it will be used later)
one cup of plain yoghurt
a pack of butter
a cup of sunflower oil
1 bunch parsley, chopped fınely
3 spoonful of baking powder
a pack of feta cheese, crumbled
flour
sesame seeds or black seeds

How to make the dough?
The easiest way is trying to feel it:) Put the oil, butter, baking powder, yoghurt and 3 eggs (one yolk aside) in a bowl and add the flour slowly. Whilst kneading it will become not too wet not too dry, it should end up feeling like an earlobe as it is said in a Turkish idiom:)

Then mix the feta and parsley in a bowl this will be your stuffing. Do not forget the stuffing can be anything you want like just cheese, potato, or minced meat ( it is better to cook the minced meat before you put in the dough.)

Take several pieces of dough, make them round in your palm by rolling and pressing. They should not too thin or not too thick like 2 – 3 inch wide. After that put some stuffing in each of them and close them as it is showed here.

prep for pastryIt is sort of a half moon shape. Then it is time to place them a on a greased baking sheet. Brush them with egg yolk then sprinkle black seeds or sesame seeds on top.

Put the tray in preheated oven (200 degrees) and cook until the colour of the pastries turn brownish and smelling beautiful.

There is an alternative and easier way of cooking which is when you make the dough you put the feta and parsley in it. And you make your dough a mixture. Then make several little doughs and cook them the same way.

After all these epısodes your pogaca is ready and believe me it is not hard as it sounds, enjoy!