Savoury Turnovers with Vegetable Fillings
For the dough (masa fina):
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ice cold water
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 cup finely grated kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese
33⁄4-4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
For the egg wash:
2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tsp milk
1⁄2 cup grated kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese or sesame seeds
Prepare the dough: In a large bowl combine the oil, water and salt and stir in the cheese.
Gradually stir in 1 cup of flour at a time, enough to make a soft, slightly oily dough. Knead briefly with your hands to a smooth dough. Pinch off about 36 walnut-size pieces and roll between your palms into smooth balls.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Shape the bourekas: Traditionally the shape of bourekas differ depending on the vegetable filling. Collect any remaining scraps of dough and roll into additional balls. Repeat until both the dough and filling are all used up.
Aubergine, onion and tomato or Swiss chard and cheese-filled bourekas:
Roll each ball of dough into rectangles (10x8cm/4x3”). Place 1 heaped teaspoon of aubergine filling or 1 tablespoon of the Swiss chard filling in the centre of the rectangle. Lift and fold over half the long side towards the centre and then lift the other half over the filling, slightly overlapping and press to seal. On the short sides lift about 1cm (1⁄2”) and press down, securing the filling inside. Turn the pie over so that the sealed sides are underneath. Press all sides gently in to puff up and give it a raised parcel shape.
To bake: Transfer the pies onto the prepared baking trays, 1.25cm (1⁄2”) apart. Brush the tops and sides generously with the egg wash. Sprinkle the bourekas with grated cheese and for the aubergine bourekas with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Transfer to wire racks. Serve warm.
Aubergine, Onion and Tomato Filling
Gomo de handrajo
For the filling:
3-4 medium-size aubergines (eggplants)
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, pureed about 1kg (21⁄4lb)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
salt and finely ground white pepper
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tbsp olive
1 cup finely chopped onion
Prepare the aubergine: Peel, slice and finely dice the aubergines. In a large bowl dissolve 1 tbsp coarse salt into 2.4 lt (5pt) water and add 1 tsp lemon juice. Immerse the diced aubergine and place a weighted plate on top to keep them submerged. Soak for 45 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Toss in diced aubergine and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until they are tender and cooked through. Stirring frequently to prevent the aubergines from sticking to the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
Add the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning.