my papa, shlo-shlo, is an interesting man. he is like the sixth member of the village people: the israeli santa.  he’s jovial and giggles, but is a trained sharp-shooter and fighter pilot. dont mess with the shlo-shlo.

but shlo-shlo has an unexpected eating disorder: extreme pickyness.  no pig, no cow, no fish with faces, bones, or skin. no dark meat chicken, no butternut squash, no pumpkin pie. no oil on bread, but lots and lots of butter.  the one thing shlo-shlo does love? borekas!

similar to the greek spanakopita, or the turkish borek, the boreka is a phyllo-dough pastry most often filled with cheese (both sweet and salty), or potato. at avishai’s, a family favorite boreka-joint in israel, they even started making a pizza flavor!

the following mushroom boreka recipe can be difficult if one isn’t familiar with using phyllo, but is so simple, even shlo-shlo can do it!

recipe: mushroom boreka (adapted from the complete mushroom book via smitten kitchen)

18 sheets phylo pastry
1/2 cup butter,
1 egg, beaten

1 lb mixed, fresh, wild and cultivated mushrooms (1.5 lbs if you omit the stems)
1 medium onion, minced
3 tbs butter
1 tbs dry sherry
1 tbs all-purpose flour
leaves from 1 sprig of thyme
4 to 6 tbs freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
salt and pepper to taste

1.  preheat the oven to 400°f. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. clear a large work surface, and lay out your phylo (cover with a moist paper towel or tea towel), eggwash, graded parmesan, and filling.
2. make the filling: clean the mushrooms gently with a paper towel, and slice. cook the minced onion in the butter until soft, then add the mushrooms and saute. saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until liquid has been released and has partially evaporated (sharoni note: i prefer my mushrooms caramelized. this often takes more than 7 minutes, and requires the addition of a tbs or so of extra butter, and perhaps a spritz of room temperature water). add the sherry and cook over low heat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. take off the heat, and stir in the flour, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. let cool.
3. to prepare the borekas: take one sheet of phyllo at a time (ensuring the remaining phyllo remains covered by the moist towelette). brush one half of the sheet lengthwise with butter, and fold the unbuttered side over the buttered side, carefully, smoothing out any wrinkles.  again, brush one half of this lengthwise with butter, and fold the unbuttered side over the buttered side. dollop a spoonful of the mushroom filling near the end, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. begin folding one bottom corner of the phyllo strip over the filling until it meets the opposite edge, forming a triangle (flag fold).
4.  place the triangle seam side down on a baking sheet, brush lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle with some more parmesan cheese. continue with the remaining phyllo.
5. place in preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden broke. serve warm.
6. eat and enjoy!

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