Saturday, November 12, 2005

GREEK FETA ROLLS (BOUREKAKIA APO TIRI)

The Greeks (like the Turks) are renowned for their big variety of "mezethakia" (the Greek equivalent of mezze) which are generally accompanied by ouzo (sweet anise-flavored liqueur) or retsina (traditional Greek white wine treated with pine-tree resin).

Greek specialities are the testimony of an archaic, but highly developped gastronomical tradition old of 25 centuries that has crossed the ages thanks to the women who perpetuated their art through their daughter and over many generations...

These delicious "FETA ROLLS" will ravish any gourmet whether they are served as a starter or as a main dish. You'll simply love them as they are easy to prepare and are very satisfying taste-wise!

I've adapted many different recipes according to my taste and what I believe is genuinely Greek in order to end up with this personal recipe which I hope you'll find interesting...

Serves 6 people when presented as a starter or 3-4 people when eaten as the main dish.
Ingredients:
200g Feta cheese
100g Kefalotiri* or parmesan cheese, grated
200g Quark (full or half fat cream cheese)
2 Eggs (~50g)
2 Tbs Cornstarch
2X 100g Unsalted butter, melted

A pinch dry or fresh oregano
A pinch nutmeg
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
3 Tbs Fresh parsley, chopped
12 Pieces brick pastry (or enough phyllo pastry to make 12 rolls)

Method:
1. Preheat oven at 200°C (or 400°F).
2. In a bowl, crumble up the feta cheese.

3. Add the grated kefaltori or parmesan cheese and the quark.
4. Break in eggs, incorporate the cornstarch, the oregano, nutmeg, pepper, salt, one part of the melted butter and chopped parsley. Mix well.
5. Place about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture on a corner end of the brick pastry. Fold bottom brick pastry over filling, fold in sides, brush the end part with a thick mixture of water and flour and roll over to enclose it’s contents.

6. Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter.
7. Place rolls on a baking tray and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Once they are cooked, slightly cool them and serve warm.


Remarks:
Note that I have decided to use brick pastry (a thin North-Africam wheat pastry very similar to phyllo pastry) instead of Greek phyllo pastry.
If using phyllo pastry, follow the same rolling instructions eventhough the sheets might be rectangular. Remember that phyllo pastry is very delicate and has a tendency to dry very fastly, so I recommend that you pile the rolls up and cover them with a humid cloth.
You can freeze those rolls if you wish.

Serving suggestions:
Serve alone or with a salad.
Best made just before serving.

Eat while still warm.

* Kefalotiri:
A very hard cheese from Greece which has small irregular holes and is pale yellow. It’s made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. It’s got a strong, very salty, piquant and sharp aroma which makes it similar to parmesan cheese (kefalotiri is milder, but saltier). Kefalotiri is generally used grated on top of cooked dishes, salads or pastas. Being shaped like a head, it’s name is therefore derived from it’s shape (Kefal=head).


(Phyllo Rolls -Pic by www.dinnermates.co.za.jpg)
(Sparta -Pic by Nikolaos Sotirios Koumaris www.trekearth.com)

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