Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Greek-Turkish Fusion


Our two countries may not be on a friendly footing at the moment, but the two cuisines blend together as befits a shared environment and history.  A favourite in Turkey for the home cook is a pie made with thin pastry and herbs - ditto in Greece.  I find Greek phyllo more difficult to work with than Turkish yufka, being much thinner and more easily broken but it gives a crispier finish and can elevate a simple borek into a dinner party dish.


This pie is cooked in a frying pan so chose one that can go in the oven. My filling varies depending on what is to hand but an onion, a couple of leeks, a few sticks of celery, three or four garlic cloves and a handfull of parsley all chopped into a fine dice, is a good place to start.  This one also has the leaves and stalks of a bunch of beetroot. When this has softened in a glug of olive oil, add three cups of frozen spinach or half a kilo of well washed fresh and carry on cooking until most of the moisture has evaporated. Just to be sure, tip the contents into a sieve and leave to drain for 30 mins. Which ever country I'm in,  I always find too much pastry and too little filling so my pies are made with just one layer of yufka or two sheets of phyllo. Turn on the oven to heat up to 200 degrees C. Wash and dry your frying pan and brush with olive oil and lay the sheets so the edges overlap the pan.


Tip the filling into a bowl and add two whisked eggs and crumble 200g of feta or white cheese into the mixture and stir well.  Then tip into your frying pan and fold up the edges of the pastry to cover.  You may need a little extra phyllo/yufka if the filling isn't completely covered.  Brush the top with a little egg mixed with oil and place the pan on a low burner.  As it begins to cook, keep moving the pan so the bottom of the pie doesn't stick and when you see the sides are beginning to cook transfer the pan to the hot oven. 15 to 20 minutes is usually enough to crisp up the top and cook the filling, but just check with a finger that the centre is solid, not runny.  If your frying pan has sloping sides you should be able to slide the pie/borek/kopita on to a serving plate. I needed a little help from palette knife. 
Anglo/Turkish cooking from Greece.

8 comments:

  1. I like the sound of this, and will certainly give it a try - thank you.

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    1. It is very simple and can be varied to include anything veggie

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  2. and delicious any time.

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    1. I was told so - I didn't get to eat it

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  3. I agree about the too much pastry and not enough filling - your version sounds delicious.

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  4. Dear Annie, this sounds absolutely delicious! I've never worked with phyllo, but I'm willing to give it a try! Peace.

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    1. Just un roll it, brush with me;ted butter or olive oil and drape in the dish - it's quite easy

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