Turkey—Pastry Cheese "Cigars"

 

Turkish Appetizertky_cigar

Pastry Cigars
Sigara Boregi
(Makes 16 pieces)

No smoke, no odor. Only thing cigar-like about these slender pastry-cheese roll-ups is their shape.


4 sheets filo dough (see sidebar)
1 C feta cheese (crumbled)
1 egg (beaten)
1/3 C fresh parsley (chopped)
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 T vegetable oil

Filo: stack 4 filo sheets vertically in front of you and cut them (all together) in half lengthwise so you have two long halves. Then cut each half diagonally so that you have 4 long triangles out of each sheet, for a total of 16. (They'll look like school pennants). As you work with one, keep others covered with a plastic sheet or a slightly damp towel to keep them from drying out.

Assembly: mix together feta, egg, parsley and pepper. Place 1 T of the feta mix on the wide end of the filo triangle. Fold the sides in toward the middle (you want the roll-ups to be about 3” wide) and begin to roll up toward the point at the top. Put a little water on your index finger and smooth the final flap down to close up the cigar (or brush with a little melted butter).

Deep fry: heat the oil till hot. Fry the roll-ups, being careful not to burn them. If you need to, add more oil so that you’re almost deep-frying them. When they’re crispy and golden brown, drain them on a paper towel and serve immediately.

| See more Turkish recipes |

Tips & Glossary

You may not have all the ingredients used in Turkish cooking on your spice shelf, but you'll find them at Middle-East food stores. To avoid frustration, make a list of items you need before trying out the recipes.

Cumin: an aromatic, kin to parsley and carrots; an important ingredient in chili powder. Used especially in Indian curries, as well as in Mid-Eastern, Mexican, and Asian dishes. It has an earthy, peppery flavor.

Filo: aka phyllo, paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough. Buy frozen in any grocery store and follow directions on package for thawing. When working with one sheet, keep others covered with a damp towel to prevent drying out.

Peeled Tomatoes: choose 1 of 2 methods: 1) hold tomatoes one-at-a-time over gas flame till skin bubbles and becomes charred; 2) drop all tomatoes into pot of boiling water for 45 seconds. After either method, run tomatoes under running water; skins will slip off easily.

Roasted peppers: buy them prepared. Or make your own: place peppers under a broiler, or hold over a gas flame, till skin chars and blisters. Place them in a closed paper bag for 15-20 minutes (to steam them). When cool enough to handle, the skins slip off under running water.

Rosewater: distilled from rose petals and used to flavor Mid-Eastern and Asian cooking. You can make your own—but why? Purchase it at Mid-East or Asian or food stores.

Saffron: the most expensive spice in the world, from the crocus plant, and cultivated in Iran and Spain. Along with its unusual taste, it adds a deep rich yellow color to food. Use a strand or two at a time and soak in warm water before using.

Skewers: use metal or wooden skewers for kabobs. If wooden, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before using to prevent them from catching on fire.

 

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