Sigara Börek (Spinach & Feta Cigars)
Today I bring you part two of my Turkish family recipes handed down to me by my new aunty and grandmother. This recipe is for another dish that Yaprak (my partners aunty) made for us in Turkey on that very first night we arrived, and then many times later throughout our trip. These little mouthfuls are absolutely beautiful. The thin pastry is crunchy and the inside is perfectly salted and soft. You can change up the filling to however you like, whether it be to include mushrooms, halloumi, nuts, use only spinach or kale for vegans or even made sweet with a honeyed ricotta. These morsels aren't exactly the healthiest thing in the world but having a treat like this every now and then is definitely not forbidden in my eyes.
You can cook these in the oven or deep fry them - it's completely up to the individual which you choose to use. In both cases they end up crispy and totally delicious so you're not at a loss however you decide to make it.
These pastries are absolutely beautiful to make if you have family or friends coming over as a delicious snack, or even served up before dinner as an entree. After you make them you can keep them in a container in the fridge or freezer and pull them out when you're ready to cook them. They last a while and are perfect heated the first time and even when reheated!
The most important thing about Turkish cooking is to put love in to it. Put as much love into the food as you can and there is no way it can taste bad. The food in Turkey is simple and easy to make, and more often than not uses very few ingredients. So it all comes down to the person making the food. If you're stressed or unhappy - your food will show it. If you're happy, take your time and really appreciate the ingredients and the dish then it will turn out perfect. Make food to share, make food with the help of others and just enjoy it. This is what food is for, to bring people together and to nourish our bodies. Don't resent food, and don't stress about putting something which isn't 100% "clean" into your bodies as it just causes a weird relationship with food which can only turn out bad! Enjoy food! Treat yourself on occasion and just appreciate it. Appreciate every last bit and don't waste a thing. If I learnt anything from the people of Turkey it is that, love and appreciate every mouthful.
Have a perfect day everyone!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20minutes
500g feta cheese (crumbled)
1 cup spinach
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper pinch salt
1/2 cup chopped parsley
turkish börek/filo pastry
rice bran or olive oil for frying
Place all ingredients except the pastry and olive oil into a bowl and mix to combine.
Fold the turkish pastry (large round sheets), one sheet at a time into half. then quarters. Cut each quarter into even thirds and place your newly cut long triangles aside.
Grabbing one piece of cut pastry at a time, place 1 heaped tsp of mixture near the bottom of the triangle. Fold in the sides and then roll the pastry up into a cigar.
Brush the final piece of the pastry with water and close. Set aside your cigar and repeat until all mixture has been used up.
Fill the bottom of a fry pan or saucepan with oil and heat until boiling point. Gently place in a few cigars at a time and let shallow fry for a few minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Remove and place onto some kitchen towel to remove any access oil.
Enjoy immediately or if consuming later, store in an air tight container in the fridge and reheat in the oven.