Monday, March 11, 2013

A Delicious Tradition Packaged in Phyllo Dough

Yes, that is hot cheese oozing out of the crsipy phyllo dough triangle.  Cheese Boereg are a traditional Armenian delicacy.  A few simple ingredients and some tricks in "phyllo dough maintenance" and you can serve these at your next dinner party with rave reviews.  I haven't met a soul who doesn't like them.

A box of Phyllo dough and a mixture of three cheeses a couple of eggs and a sprinkling of parsley and some willing family members to help you assemble is all you need to create a fun and very impressive appetizer.  Double the batch if you've got the time and fill your freezer.  The boereg freeze so well and then you can pull them out for last minute hot out of the oven treat.

Armenian Cheese Boereg

2 lbs. cheese (combination of feta, cottage cheese and monterey jack cheeses)
2 large eggs
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 lb box (#4 is good)
1 stick (or more) melted unsalted butter

Mix the cheeses, eggs and parsley in a bowl.

Open the box of phyllo dough, unfold carefully.  Here is the "Phyllo dough maintenance" part.  Cover the dough ever so lightly with a slightly damp dish towel.  I found using a baking tray with a lip works well to hold the dough so the towel never lays directly on the dough.  (it will get too wet and then get sticky)

Here's comes the fun.  You need to have your station ready with the dough, cheese mixture, melted butter and a pastry brush.

Take one piece of phyllo dough, brush lightly with butter.

Put a dollop (about two Tbsp) of the cheese mixture in the center at one end of the dough.  Fold the top half over the cheese and bring the bottom half up to meet.

Brush this long rectangle with another bit of butter.  Now you will fold the dough into it's triangle shape in the same way you would fold a flag.

Store them in a parchment paper or plastic wrap covered in foil if you freeze them before baking.

Bake in a 375 degree oven about 25 minutes until golden brown and flaky.

Serve with wine or your favorite cocktail and enjoy your guests praise.

Last winter during a  "snow day"in Minnesota we had fun folding the boereg together. My kids made this video.  Peek into our kitchen to see the folding technique and a little of our craziness.

What is your family tradition?  Leave your legacy by passing on family recipes.  They strike emotion and memories that are priceless.  The smells, the tastes, never to be forgotten.
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