Month of July: “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume” Recipe: Creamy Feta and Caramelized Leek Borek

I have to get organized at this new kitchen. It’s taking more time than I had planned to get it stocked and outfitted, shuttling food processors, mixers and utensils back and forth between two kitchens. I am not complaining! I love this space and I love being all alone with no one to disturb me. No loving husband, no grumpy teenage stepchildren, no needy thirteen year old pug. Just me and my thoughts. Can I just say this feels like heaven? On my way to get fresh oregano for these absolutely delicious pastries I realized at the end of the street a sign reads “NO TURN ON RED.” and I did (twice!) And there is a camera I somehow missed until now. What a fool! Why do I always learn things the hard way? I thought about patience while driving and wondered why I have been such an impatient person all my life. Then later when I was making these filo boreks I noticed how forgiving they were, allowing any imperfections to be covered with each twist and turn. Why is it so hard to forgive myself? It was an insightful moment, me alone with these triangular pastries revealing tiny wordless glimmers of the mystery of connectedness. Inwardly I smiled. My world is small and protective right now and I have no explaining to do to anyone.

Ingredients: 3 leeks white and pale parts finely sliced, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup chicken stock, 1 bay leaf, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, 7 ounces of feta crumbled, 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano (don’t substitute dry if you don’t have to, the fresh gives such a lovely floral note), 8 sheets of filo thawed, melted butter for brushing and seeds such as poppy, hemp or black sesame.

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Saute the leeks, garlic and sugar in the melted butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat stirring constantly. Add the stock, bay leaf and seasoning and cook for about 10 minutes until leeks are tender. Remove bay leaf, cool and add cheese and oregano.
  2. Spread a sheet of filo dough on a work surface and cut lengthwise in three sections. Keep the remaining filo covered under a damp kitchen towel. Each strip will make 1 borek.
  3. Brush the filo with melted butter and place about a tablespoon of filling in corner and fold this corner up to form a triangle. Fold over again and continue until you have a triangular pastry. I watched some You tube videos that were quite helpful to get the idea. Repeat makes up to 20 or more.
  4. Arrange the boreks on a baking sheet and brush with more melted butter and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes, until golden brown.

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