Our most recent Culture and Cuisine Club dinner featured the cuisine of Armenia. One of the standouts of the evening was this appetizer. The chef describes her adjustments to the recipe. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS: SERVES 6 − 8
1 box phyllo dough (Frozen Pastry). You will only need one of the rolls of pastry. Thaw and handle the roll according to box directions. You will need 12 sheets plus 3 sheets of phyllo dough the size of the pan you are using (the recipe online does this in a pan to slice.) I did the individual turnovers described below for a party.
1/2 pound butter, melted
1½ lbs. mixed grated cheese of your choice: I used 8oz whole milk ricotta, 8oz Monterey
Jack, 4 oz whole milk mozzarella, and 4 oz feta.
3/4 cup chopped Italian, flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 eggs, beaten well
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper and ¼ teaspoon white pepper
Mix the above ingredients for the filling.
DIRECTIONS: Easy-quick way:
1. Butter your cake pan well and lay a sheet of phyllo. Butter the top. Lay another sheet and butter.
2. Put on a layer of filling.
3. Add another 2 phyllo sheets, buttering each one and add more filling.
4. Do this until 12 sheets of phyllo are used and your filling is used up.
5. You can now add the last three sheets of phyllo making sure to butter each one.
6. Bake in a 450℉ oven for 20 minutes.
7. Lower the heat to 300℉ and bake another 20 minutes. The time is not as important as the color of your phyllo dough. Make sure it is a golden brown.
8. Take out the sou-berag and let cool for 5 minutes.
9. Cut in diagonals or squares and serve warm.
For individual turnovers:
1. You can also make sou-berag by taking long sheets of 4 inch wide phyllo dough, buttering it and adding the filling and folding the strips into triangles, using the whole strip to make the layers. Like folding a flag. This makes nice little individual packets of cheese turnovers. I like these for parties. Cook the same way as the pan, but watch closely.