Posts Tagged ‘armenian food’

Cheese Boereg

February 18, 2010

Sometimes, cheese boereg is eaten as part of mezza (appetizers), but my family usually makes a meal out of them. They are crispy and cheesy and delicious. My favorite part is when the cheese oozes out the side and gets crispy on the pan. A little treat for the chef!

1 lb. package phyllo dough

1 stick melted butter

5 cups shredded jack cheese

1/3 cup cottage cheese

1/3 cup cream cheese

1 heaping Tbsp. feta cheese

2 beaten eggs

Get a big bowl and mix together all the cheeses and the eggs with your hands. Squish it all together until the cheese is all broken up and well combined with the egg.

Unroll the phyllo dough and brush the first layer lightly with melted butter. Put a small amount of the cheese filling at the bottom in the center.

Roll just one sheet of phyllo up a few times

Fold one third over toward the center

Roll up a couple more times

Fold the other third over toward the center

and roll up the rest of the way

Repeat until all the phyllo dough or all the cheese is used up. If you have leftover filling, you can freeze it for next time. Or you can spread it on pita bread and stick it under the broiler. Remember, it has raw eggs in it, so it must be cooked!

Place the cheese boeregs on a greased pan, brush the tops with melted butter and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.



September 16, 2009

Boorma is Armenian paklava that is rolled instead of layered. When you bite into it, you will initially get a crunch from the layers of phyllo dough and then you get a burst of butter and just a bit of syrup. This is one of my favorites.

1 package #4 phyllo dough

1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, clarified and kept very hot on the stove

For the filling:

3 cups very finely ground walnuts

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

For the syrup:

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

You will also need a dowel approximately a foot long and 1 inch in diameter and a wet towel.

To make the filling, just combine the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon.

To make the syrup, boil the sugar and water for 10 minutes. Then add the lemon juice. The lemon juice keeps the sugar from re-crystalizing and gives it flavor too.

Preheat your oven to 350 F

Here comes the tricky part – actually making the boorma. It takes trial and error and it can be frustrating but the end result is so very much worth it!

Defrost your phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight and take it out a few hours before you need it. Open it up, unfold it gently and lay it flat on a cutting board or smooth work surface. Cover with a wet towel briefly.

Remove the towel and sprinkle a LITTLE of the filling over the phyllo dough leaving a gap at the top like this: 






Next, take the dowel and roll just ONE layer of phyllo dough onto it very slowly and gently. Some of the walnuts may poke through and tear the dough but just keep rolling. It’ll be fine. Roll all the way up:






Now comes the very, very tricky part. Take your fingers and put them kind of up and under the ends of the roll and scrunch it to make a wrinkly log like this:






Grab with your hand, holding it together and place on a sheet pan (pan must have sides – see below). You should be able to fit two to a row:






Be sure to put the damp towel over the phyllo dough before you add the filling each time so it doesn’t get dry. If the phone rings or something distracts you, get that towel over the phyllo dough or it will dry out and be impossible to work with.

You should fill up 1 1/2 – 2 sheet pans this way. Once they’re all lined up, make sure the clarified butter is extremely hot but not boiling. Take a large spoon and drizzle the boorma generously with the hot butter. It should sizzle audibly. Make sure to get every part of it with butter, including the ends.

Carefully transfer to a 350 F oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. The timing really depends on your oven. Watch it closely because it goes from golden to burnt very quickly!

Take it out of the oven and get a big metal bowl, pot or pan with high sides. Carefully tilt the sheet pan and drain all of the excess butter. Please note, you can re-use this butter for the next sheet pan.

Let the boorma cool completely, then drizzle with just a little syrup to taste. My family likes just a tiny touch of syrup, but other people like a lot. I suggest starting out with just a little bit, tasting and then adding more if it’s not sweet enough.

Lisa Cooks

May 8, 2009

I graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu program in Hollywood, CA in August of 2008. But that’s not why I started this blog.

Just after finishing culinary school, my Grandma and I started cooking together once a week. She is Armenian so most of what we made was her or my great-grandmother’s recipes from the old country. Lots of instructions “to taste” and “a handful” or “until it feels right”. I had been wanting to write down more accurate recipes, but that’s not the only reason I started this blog either.

In 2008, I decided to use my favorite search engine to look up some of these recipes. There’s a huge Armenian population both in Los Angeles, and in the midwest, believe it or not. I figured there had to be tons of recipes for the dishes I grew up on. I was wrong. I found loads of articles on where to buy Armenian food and describing what it was, but very few recipes. The recipes I did find were completely different from my Grandma’s way of doing things.

My great-grandmother was from a small village in Turkey called Hadjin. She fled during the Armenian genocide at the age of 12 on a boat by herself. That’s a whole other story I may tell someday on here. The reason I mention it now is, Hadjin had its own dialect and, as I’m finding out, its own food. The food is similar to other Armenian and even Greek and Lebanese food, but just enough different that I felt it should be documented somewhere.