Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mini Cheese Boureg

Boureg is puff pastry that has been filled with middle eastern cheeses and baked in the oven. There are so many ways of making boureg, from the type of dough used and how it's shaped, to the mixture of cheeses you decide to put inside. This version of boureg is perfect for entertaining because it's quick and easy. Whenever my family has guests over, my grandmother and mom always make these bite sized bundles of yumminess! No Armenian party is complete without Boureg! Stay tuned for my favorite version of boureg which we will be making in the upcoming weeks - Sou Boureg!


Recipe makes 40 bouregs

Most of these ingredients can be found at your local middle eastern market
  • 1 Pack of puff pastry dough squares (if you can't find the squares then just purchase the sheets)
  • 1 Pack of feta cheese (preferred French feta)
  • 1 Pack of Ackawi Cheese 
  • Italian Parsley
  • Red Pepper Powder (Armenian: Garmeer Beuber)
  • 1 Egg 

Thaw the Puff Pastry:
  • Before preparing the cheese mixture, remove your pastry dough from the packaging and place each square on your work surface to thaw

Prepare the Cheese Mixture:

  • Shred 3 cups of the Ackawi cheese and add it to a mixing bowl
  • Crumble 3/4 of a cup of feta and add it to the mixing bowl
  • Fine Chop about 1 tablespoon of Italian parsley and add it to the mixing bowl
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper powder to the mixing bowl 
  • Mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl 

Prepare the Puff Pastry:

    • After the puff pastry has thawed, cut each square into 4 pieces to create 2.5X2.5 inch squares. If you purchased puff pastry sheets then go ahead and cut as needed to achieve 2.5X2.5 inch squares

    Assemble the Boureg:

      • Take one of your squares and add the cheese mixture to the center
      • Take all 4 corners of the square and squeeze them together at the top. Then again take each of the 4 corners and bring them to the middle and press them down. Make sure you squeeze the dough well or else the cheese will explode during cooking. Continue to do this for all your squares. See video below on how to assemble: 

      Bake the Boureg:
      • Add non-stick spray to a baking sheet and assemble the bouregs. The bouregs will puff up so make sure to space them out
      • Crack an egg in a bowl and whisk with a fork. Brush the egg mixture on each boureg
      • Cook them in a 350 degree oven in the middle rack until they have puffed up and are golden brown. Enjoy!
      • (Tip: you can make the bouregs ahead of time and put them in your freezer. To avoid them sticking to one another, put the entire pan in the freezer and once each boureg has froze you can transfer them to a zip lock bag)

        Wednesday, November 19, 2014


        Mantee (pronounced mahn-tee) are little dumplings of baked dough that are stuffed with seasoned ground beef. They are served with tomato broth and topped with a garlic yogurt sauce. 

        This has to be one of my favorite Armenian dishes that my grandmother makes. It's always a treat when she makes this for the family as it is quite a long process to roll out your own dough and assemble the Mantee one by one into the pan. There's a lot of love that goes into making this dish and you can taste it through the amazing flavors.

        • 1 lb Ground Beef (5% Fat Preferable)
        • 1 Yellow Onion 
        • Black Pepper
        • Salt
        • Red Pepper Powder
        • Light Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
        • All Purpose Flour
        • 1 14.5oz Can Chicken Broth
        • Small Can Tomato Paste
        • Plain Yogurt

        Prepare the Meat:
        • Place the ground beef into a mixing bowl
        • Mince half the yellow onion into very small pieces and add to bowl
        • Add 1 teaspoon salt to bowl
        • Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper to bowl
        • Add 2 teaspoons red pepper powder to bowl
        • Mix all the ingredients with the ground beef until they are fully incorporated

         Prepare the Dough:
        • Add 4 cups of all purpose flour to a mixing bowl 
        • Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the bowl
        • Add 2 tablespoon of light oil to the bowl
        • Mix these ingredients together
        • Add about 1.5 cups water to the bowl and start mixing and kneading the dough until it comes together. You might have to add a bit more if needed. The dough should be dry and not too sticky or else it will stick when you roll out the dough
        • Once you have formed the dough cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the bowl for 10 minutes
        • After the dough has rested for 10 minutes place it on a working surface that you have dusted lightly with flour
        • Cut the dough into 4 pieces and then round them with your hands to make a ball
        • Take one piece and keep the rest of them covered so they don't dry out
        • Flour your working surface as well as the rolling pin so that the dough doesn't stick. If you find that its sticking just add more flour
        • Roll out the dough until it's thin enough that you start to see your finger through it (Tip: keep rotating the dough when you're rolling it out to keep the thickness consistent)
        • Cut the dough into 2 inch squares
          • Easiest way to do this is to fold the dough over a few times and cut into 2 inches pieces. Those then will become strips which you can lay on top of eachother and cut again in 2 inch pieces to form little squares
        • Repeat this process for the other 3 pieces of dough 
        Form the Mantee Pieces:
        • Take a pinch of the ground beef that you had seasoned and add it to the middle of the 2 inch square
        •  Lift up the sides and pinch them together to create a little pocket
        •  Repeat the process until you are done with all your pieces (Tip: lay out all the dough pieces and add the pinch of ground beef to all of them before pinching the dough together. Your fingers will stick to the dough and make it difficult to pinch it together if you go back and forth between the ground beef and the dough)
          Assemble the Mantee Pieces in the Pan:
        • Use a round pan that is about 16 inches in diameter (make sure it fits in your oven)
        • Add non-stick spray to the bottom of the pan (this will help with clean up later)
        • Then add a thin surface of light oil to coat the bottom of the pan 
        • Start assembling your Mantee in the pan by starting on the outside and placing them next to each other. Go around and around until the pan is complete
        • Brush light oil on top of the Mantee until each piece is coated, this will help crisp up the Mantee in the oven
        • Stick the Mantee pan in a 400 degree oven for about 50min-1hour until they are nicely browned
          Prepare the Broth:
        • While the Mantee is cooking you can now prepare the Broth and Yogurt Sauce
        • Add 1 can of chicken broth and 2 cups of water to a pan and bring to a light boil
        • Then Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
        • Mix until the tomato paste has dissolved and let it simmer
        Prepare the Yogurt:
        • Add 1.5 cups of plain yogurt to a bowl 
        • use a mortar and pestle to smash up 1 clove of garlic until it's smooth (Tip: add a drip of water to help create the smooth texture)
        • Add the garlic to the bowl of yogurt and mix well
        Serving the Mantee:
        • To serve the Mantee put as much as you want in a bowl and add the broth to cover some of the Mantee
        • Add a spoon of the yogurt on top and voila!