Spinach and Cheese Boreg Muffins‏

 

Spinach and cheese boreg boureg muffins

A week ago I wrote in my one month milestone post how I would probably look back at my old posts one day and laugh at how foolish I was.

Well, what I’m about to share with you is one thing that I hope and pray won’t change but I certainly won’t be holding my breath. Ok, here goes:

 My toddler loves vegetables.

 Yes, seriously! I don’t have to secretly puree vegetables into sauce, add grated beetroot to her brownies or zucchini to cake. She genuinely loves her veggies.

It helps having a vegetable patch where she is welcome to explore, pick and eat her ‘nee-neech’ aka spinach straight off the plant.

 Here’s a lovely recipe that makes a great starter, appetiser or the perfect picnic food. Kids (and adults alike) love the crunchy Filo and it’s a great and delicious way of adding spinach to diets without a fuss.

Spinach and cheese ‘Boreg’ Muffins.

  • 4 cups loose leaf baby spinach chopped or 1 packet frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 200 grams ricotta
  • 100 grams feta (I used Bulgarian)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Small bunch Dill, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 packet Filo/Phyllo pastry
  • 75 grams butter, melted

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and thoroughly butter a muffin tray

Unwrapping your Filo pastry and buttering each layer. Place 4 layers of buttered pastry in one pile. Cut the 4 layers piles into 13cm squares.

 Spinach and cheese boreg boureg muffins

In the meantime combine the spinach, ricotta, feta, lemon zest, eggs and chopped dill leaves in a bowl and combine well. Season with salt if you’re using Danish feta or a cheese that isn’t very salty. I taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt, lemon tang or dill. I do not recommend this to pregnant ladies who do not wish to consume raw egg.

Place the Filo square over the muffin tray and add a heaped tablespoon of the spinach and cheese mixture to the centre of the square. Gently push the mixture down so that the Filo pastry lines the muffin tray hole nicely. If there is any overlay of Filo pastry, scrunch these into the centre of the mixture. Brush the Filo pastry edges with some more melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Spinach and cheese boreg boureg muffins

I love these straight out of the oven with a balsamic rocket and tomato salad on the side. They are equally as good cold, and can be stored in a air tight container at room temperature for 3 days. Makes 12 muffins

Spinach and cheese boreg muffins

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Easy Peasy Gozleme!

Gozleme Spinach Feta Beef Mince
Up until a year ago I was scared of the words ‘yeast’ and ‘baking powder’ or ‘bicarbonate of soda’ when it came to anything that worked with flour, kneading or baking. When I heard about Gozleme dough, it looked like the simplest dough I’d ever heard of and I had to give it a try. I’ve since made this dough a dozen times and it seems to be fool-proof!

So what’s Gozleme? It’s simply a savoury flatbread dough filled with a savoury fillings and pan-fried till crispy and golden brown. The filling can consist of spiced minced beef, spinach and cheese, sujuk/chorizo and cheese, sautéed mushrooms or really whatever you want to use up in your fridge. Gozleme is traditionally from Turkey and is often sold as street food and at fairs and markets.

So here it is, the easiest of doughs. Feel free to use any filling you wish and be sure to experiment!

Gourmet Wog’s Gozleme! Serves 4

  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • Olive Oil spray or extra oil to brush the pan

Beef Filling:

  • 400 grams beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach and Cheese Filling:

  • 150 grams Danish Feta or ricotta
  • 150 grams baby spinach
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Gozleme Spinach Feta Beef Mince

Make the dough by sifting the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and oil and mix to combine. Lift out the dough onto your  bench top and knead for 10 minutes until silky smooth. Transfer the dough back into the bowl, cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make your filling of choice. For the beef, I sautéed the onion till soft and slightly caramalised, add beef and brown for 5 minutes. Add your spices and season well. Add a tablespoon of water, mix and take it off the heat. Allow the meat mixture to cool down completely.

The spinach and cheese mixture is very simple! Add chopped spinach to a bowl, crumble in the feta and add the egg. Mix well to combine. Season well if your feta isn’t already salty.

Once the dough has rested, divide it into 4 equal pieces and roll out each ball as thin as possible. The dough should be silky and easily rolled. I roll out each ball to the diameter of my rolling-pin (30 cm). Add the cooled topping to two of the rolled out balls and use the other two rolled out balls to place on top and cover.

Heat your frying pan on a medium to high heat and grease well with olive oil spray or brush. Gently lift the Gozleme off your bench top and place onto the stove, cooking it for 5-6 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp. Spray/brush your pan with more oil between sides. I used two frying pans to cook the two Gozleme’s at the same time.

Serve your sliced up Gozleme with plenty of fresh lemon. Enjoy while hot and crispy!

Gozleme Spinach Feta Beef Mince

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Smelly, flavoursome Shanklish

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Ever walked around your fancy delicatessen and seen something you have no idea what to do with?

I love deli’s. There is a smoky, salty smell that hovers over the counters and isles from the pork laden meat cuts to the mouldy creamy cheeses.

One of my favourite varieties of cheese is Shanklish.
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Shank What?!! I hear you say

Shanklish is a salty pasteurised Cow or Sheep’s milk based cheese, similar to feta in consistency that is rolled into balls and covered in dried herbs, (usually Zaatar or thyme) smokey paprika and chilli that is then left to age and dry. It is very common in Middle Eastern cuisine and is served in Restaurants as a mezze or antipasto option.

So what do you do with Shanklish? I like to unwrap the ball and smash it with my fork into little pieces until its flaky. Add some diced ripe tomatoes and shallots and drizzle it with lots of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is traditionally mopped up with soft delicious Lebanese Bread
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So tell me dear reader, what deli item would you like to brave and buy one day, but you’re not quite sure how you should use it?