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Bourekas, Cheese or Spinach (D, TNT)
Source: My grandmother
Yield: About 40

8 oz./225g phyllo/filo/fillo pastry
2/3 cup/150g melted butter
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp. water, to glaze
Sesame seeds, to garnish

Cheese Filling:
1/2 cup/110g soft white cheese
1 cup/225g finely grated Gruyere cheese
2 tbsp. cream cheese
1 large or 2 small eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

Spinach Filling:
1 lb/450g fresh spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup/225g finely grated Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper

Remove the phyllo/filo/fillo leaves from the refrigerator 2 hours before you need them.

Make Cheese Filling:
To make the cheese filling, simply mash all the ingredients together with a fork or combine them in a food processor.

Make Spinach Filling:
To make the spinach filling, wash the spinach several times, put the wet leaves into a saucepan without any extra water, cover tightly, and sweat over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Drain in a sieve, pressing out any excess moisture. Chop fine.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Taking one leaf of filo at a time, cut it into a strip about 6"/15cm wide by 12"/30cm long and brush with melted butter. Now fold it in half so that it is the same length but half the width. Brush with butter again.

Place a heaping tbsp. of cheese or spinach filling at one end and fold the end over to make a triangle. Butter the top of the triangle, then fold over again. Continue until the entire strip is folded into a triangle, brushing with butter between each.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

Serve warm or cold, but not hot.

Bourekas can also be made with puff pastry. Just fold the pastry over the fillings and proceed as above.

Poster's Notes:
Although baking is the traditional method of cooking bourekas, many street vendors deep-fry them. The shape of a boureka usually tells you what the filling is: triangles for cheese; squares for potatoes; twists for spinach.

You may want to keep a damp towel on the unused pastry until you are ready for it, to keep it from drying out.

As for all that brushing with butter and folding and brushing, ad infinitum, I'd do it that way only once. Work out how many layers of dough there are after all the folding, then simply take that many sheets of filo, butter them and stack them, then cut into the appropriate shape.

Posted by Pamela Roth

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A