Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B = Bees and Bourekas

b
Last year I wrote about bees on the B day. Like many people I was very concerned about the loss of millions of bees every year and the fact that it was an unsolved mystery for so long. The loss of bees is a major threat to Bumble Beeour food supplies, without pollination, plants will not grow and thrive – we are talking crops as well as flowers in the back yard or tree blossoms. However, it appears scientists are pretty sure they have identified the problem and figure the incredible disappearances were linked to a widely used pesticides known as neonicotinoids which people are now trying to ban. From what I read, not very successfully. Maybe people should become active in getting their governments to ban these chemicals. The EU is planning to ban them, but I gather Britain is not following suit at the moment, Canada is re-evaluating, if governments dither enough, I guess bees will completely disappear. HELP THE BEES.

I have eaten Bourekas in several places in the Mediterranean, Malta had their own version as does Greece where spinach is frequently added to the cheese mixture. I love them. We have made the Greek variety at home. The following are from a Jewish Cookbook. They make great snacks or can be used for appetisers.

Bourekas: Savory Cheese-Filled Pastries

By Faye Levy from Jewish Cooking For Dummies

These cheese-filled pastries are relatively easy to make — if you purchase the dough to make your feta-filled bourekas. Flaky filo dough makes the best bourekas, but you can also use puff pastry and pie dough. For the filling, pair a pungent cheese such as feta or Parmesan with a mild one such as cottage cheese.


BourekasYield: 15 to 20 small pastries

1/2 pound filo dough (about 10 sheets)
1/4 cup farmers’ cheese or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup grated cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Small pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup melted butter, for brushing dough
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  1. If the filo dough is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove it from the refrigerator 2 hours before using it, leaving it wrapped.
  3. Mash the farmers’ cheese with the feta cheese in a medium bowl until blended.
  4. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat it lightly.
  5. Add the egg, cheddar cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, then mix until combined.
  6. Butter two baking sheets.
  7. Remove the filo sheets from their package and unroll them on a dry towel.
  8. With a sharp knife, cut the stack in half lengthwise, to make 2 stacks of 16-x-7-inch sheets.
  9. Cover them immediately with waxed paper and then with a slightly damp towel.
    Work with only one sheet at a time, keeping the remaining sheets covered with the waxed paper and towel so they don’t dry out.
  10. Remove 1 filo sheet and brush it lightly with melted butter.
  11. Fold it in half lengthwise, to make a 16-x-3-1/2-inch strip.
  12. Dab it lightly with butter.
  13. Spoon 2 teaspoons cheese filling at one end of the strip.
  14. Fold the end of the strip diagonally over the filling to form a triangle and dab it lightly with butter.
  15. Continue folding it over, keeping it in a neat triangle after each fold, until you reach the strip’s end.
  16. Set the triangular pastry on a buttered baking sheet.
  17. Brush the pastry lightly with butter.
  18. Follow Steps 10 through 17 with the remaining filo sheets and filling.
  19. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  20. Brush the pastries again lightly with melted butter and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
  21. Bake them for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Serve them warm, not hot, or at room temperature.
Have a great day
Jo_thumb[2]

40 comments:

  1. I completely agree- if we've found what is killing the bees, it should be banned instantly - without question!
    Lx

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    Replies
    1. Many people just don't realise how serious it is.

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  2. I read Douglas Coupland's apocalyptic Generation A novel about a world post-bees, absolutely terrifying!

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    1. Haven't read that, not sure I want to by the sound of it. It would be terrifying.

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  3. The bee situation is a worry but I think that people's awareness is being raised about the problem now so hopefully things will get better... hopefully.

    I had bourekas when we went to Jerusalem last year but I'd never think of making them! Easy you say... hmmmm.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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    1. They really are easy to make. We have done so. You could always by pre-made pastry.

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  4. A very sad thing to read about the bees !

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    1. Yes, its worrying. I cannot imagine why they don't ban the chemicals right away.

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  5. Hi Jo .. bees are essential aren't they - beekeepers are in great demand here for the orchards ...

    I love bourekas or similar tasty snacks! Cheers Hilary

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    1. A friend in SSA had bees in her back garden/yard for a while, beekeepers rented her space, but eventually they had to take them away for some legal reason. I thought it was a good idea.

      I love bourekas too. Delicious. Particularly popular in Malta which is where I first had them. Not the same name, but the same thing anyway.

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  6. I miss the beekeeper who used to live just up the road. My flowers don't seem to thrive as much as they used to. Of course, I also miss the farms that were here 40 years ago.

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    1. Bees humming in the garden/yard on a summer day were part of my childhood. So sad when they are so scarce nowadays. Asimov wrote a series of books called Foundation. One of them began with a world which was totally built over with only parks as open places. Horrid concept but seems likely to happen one day.

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  7. Oh my dear! You had my mouth watering with the description of those bourekas. I love cheese and we make something similar here in Mexico. Now I'm really hungry!
    Thanks for visiting my site and your nice words!! You win a dragon with food of course and you've got it here hahaha. :D

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    1. Thanks so much Al Diaz and thank you for becoming my 100th follower. I am excited.

      Mexico eh? Didn't know there were dragons in Mexico. I always have recipes so I hope they will appeal to your dragon taste buds.

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  8. That's scary about the bees. They are scarce here in NC right now, too.

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    1. I know Diane and its worldwide. Very serious.

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  9. Good post! I agree. Bees have never bothered me. Well, maybe once: in second grade a bee stung me on the eyelid during recess. Yea. My eye swelled as big as my head, LoL. But really, if you ignore them or gently brush them away, they move on and find a flower. I do not understand why we still use such nasty chemicals in nature. It ruins the environment and is dangerous. Good post on bringing attention to this issue!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Not sure what you refer to when you say a bee, so many people in North America call yellow jackets bees when they are actually wasps. If a bee stings you it leaves its stinger behind and then dies. Not so with a wasp, it can go on to sting again another day.

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  10. Mmmm, these look so delicious. I think I will copy and paste this recipe to my folder. Can't wait to try them!

    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

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    1. They are delicious and there are so many things you can fill them with.

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  11. Thanks for sharing this important info. on the bees with us, as well as the yummy-sounding recipe.

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    1. You are welcome. Tried to find your blog, are you doing the A to Z, if so where?

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  12. Replies
    1. We sure do. Its getting serious.

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  13. Anything with cheese sounds delicious to me!
    Have seen more wasp around me than bees lately. Truth be told, I'm not sure when was the last time I saw one.

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    1. Me too.

      I kind of think I saw bees around last summer, but I couldn't swear to it.

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  14. The Bourekas look seriously yummy! Might just try the recipe.

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    1. You should, warning, they are very moreish.

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  15. Yummy!! That recipe looks absolutely amazing!!! Thank you for sharing...I think..... ;)

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    1. They are not so difficult when you get going.

      I have tried to find you blog with no success. You need a hyperlink of some way of people finding you.

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  16. Hoping they can save the bees! Those pastries look so good! Blessings and thanks for sharing!

    Shannon @I Survived & Now I Run

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    1. I hope soo too. They are good.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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  17. That looks delicious! And I know a couple of beekeepers who are concerned about the hive illness that is wiping out whole colonies. Our local university has an entire department dedicated to research on that issue. Great post!

    Hi from Nagzilla bloghopping A to Z

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    1. I am so glad to hear that about your local university. So many people don't realise how serious a problem it really is.

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  18. Jo, I can never get enough of your recipes!
    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. Well there's 26 of them coming up this month.

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  19. My hubby and I LOVE börek/burek/bourekas! He had some in Serbia a few years back and then we got to have some in Slovenia a couple of years ago again. So tasty! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. So are you going to try making them? The Indians too have a similar food as do many countries.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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