We Turks love boreks (savory filled pastries). You see dozens of pastry shops and street stalls with mouth watering pastries, sweet and savory; the smells and looks so inviting that they drag you to the store. Most common savory filling would be cheese and parsley, and cheese and spinach though some are with cheese and potato; onion and ground meat; olives; cheese and zucchini; and many more. We love indulging ourselves to these lovely boreks straight from oven with a glass of cay (tea), at breakfast, tea time or just anytime.
I tried the borek with puff pastry this time and it worked really well. You can serve these delicious treats as a starter or you can enjoy them for lunch with salad or with a cup of cay (tea) as we Turks do. You can also make them smaller and serve as finger food at dinner parties. These tasty treats can be made ahead of time.
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking (baking) time: 25 minutes
For the filling:
260gr/9oz potatoes boiled and skin peeled
15ml/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
110gr/4oz grated mozzarella or cheddar (or combination)
15ml/1tablespoon olive oil
30ml/2 tablespoons milk
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 packs of 370gr/13oz puff pastry, thawed
15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil
5ml/1 teaspoon nigella seeds to decorate
5ml/1 teaspoon sesame seeds to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F
The puff pastry in the UK comes fresh and is kept in the fridge. So it needs to be taken out 20 minutes before using. The puff pastry in the US comes frozen and it needs to be thawed 2 hours before using at room temperature.
For the filling; first cut the potatoes into small quarters and boil in plenty of hot water, for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, peel off the skin (it is easer to peel the potato skin once the potatoes are cooked). In a bowl, mash the potatoes and stir in the cheese, olive oil, milk and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and check if more seasoning is needed. Add the egg and mix well. The filling is ready.
Place the puff pastry sheet (about 350mmx225mm) on a flat surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Place the filling in the middle of the piece and bring the edges together and seal in both ends. Repeat this with the rest of the pastry.
Place the filled pastries into a greased baking tray. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon olive oil with one egg and brush each pastry with this mixture. Sprinkle nigella and sesame seeds over the pastries. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden at the top.
Serve warm with a green salad by the side and if preferred, with a glass of cay (tea).