The Easy Way

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I feel a little embarrassed posting this recipe.

Please forgive me, and do not think I have gone all Sandra Lee on you all… The fact is that while we are staying in Jerusalem this summer, in an apartment the size of our living room back home, with a just-barely-equipped kitchen, and while I spend nearly every waking moment trying to occupy my extremely precocious little peanut, the likely hood that I will be making puff pastry from scratch is… slim. I know I went to pastry school and all that, but we did not have a class on How To Make a 36 Hour Dough Under Extenuating Circumstances, so I did the unthinkable and purchased the dough pre-made.

Okay enough excuses! Onto the recipe.

This recipe is for olive and goat cheese bourekas and was inspired by a sweet version that used goat cheese and nectarines in this month’s issue of Al HaShulchan. Al HaShulchan is the mainstream Israeli food magazine, and its editor in chief is the lovely Janna Gur, whom I first became aware of when she published her cookbook on new Israeli cuisine. In this past issue she dedicated her entire ‘Letter From the Editor’ (as well as much of July’s pages) to the virtues of cilantro. My kind of woman.

Ari’s Easiest Goat Cheese and Olive Bourekas

makes about 2 dozen

One Package frozen puff pastry

6-8 ounces spreadable goat cheese (I used something called shamenet, wihch is a very thick, yogurt like substance)

1/4-1/3 cup good quality green olives, pitted

flour, for dusting your work surface

egg (optional, for brushing the tops)

Leave your puff pastry out on the counter to thaw a bit (an hour should be plenty), or you can leave it in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 375 F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Chop up the pitted olives into very small pieces and mix them into the cheese.

Dust your work surface with flour and unroll the puff dough (you may want to work with just half at a time, and keep the other half covered). Using a 2 1/2- 3 inch round cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut circles out of the dough (I recommend rolling the dough out with a rolling pin, just a little bit, so your finished product will not be so ridiculously puffy that you cannot fit them in your mouth!!). Put a small spoonful (teaspoon) of cheese/olive mixture in the center of half the round and gently cover them with the other dough circles.

Gently press the edges down to seal. Place the filled rounds on the prepared baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg, mixed with a tablespoon of water (optional). Bake until very puffy ad golden brown ~ 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese filling.

Note: you can re-roll the leftover scraps of dough,  just be aware that the pastry will puff less the more it is rolled — not to worry, the bourekas will still be delicious.


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