Burekas with spinach and cheese

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 package puff pastry
1 box frozen spinach, thawed
OR
2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed, blanched in boiling water for 5 minutes
1 small package of feta cheese (the crumbles kind is great, does not need to be fancy)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (for egg wash)
sesame seeds/poppy seeds/caraway seeds or any other seed for decoration

Preheat oven to 450

Thaw the puff pastry in fridge. Take out about 5-10 minutes before you will use it.

Squeeze liquids from spinach. (you can do it in small bunches in your hands or easier with a clean kitchen towel) make sure you squeeze as much liquid as you can from spinach. chop. Add cheese (as much as you want, I used a whole small tub) and black pepper. Mix well and taste to see if it needs salt.

Roll 1 sheet of pastry (to flatten out the folds) cut into 2×2 squares. Place a small amount of filling in each square, moisten the edge with a little bit of water (to seal better) and fold to make a triangle, pressing down with your fingers to seal.

Brush with egg mixed with a little water and sprinkle seeds. Bake for about about 15 minutes until dough is puffed and golden.

Variations–
Any filling is good, ground lamb is delicious – saute some onions and garlic in a little olive oil, add lamb. Spice up with some hot pepper flakes, little cumin, salt and pepper. You can add olives or raisins or both for an exotic flavor
mushroom and onion- saute onions in a little olive oil, add mushrooms and some thyme and saute until liquid evaporates (any mushroom is good, I like to mix varieties), add salt and pepper to taste.
Really, you could fill the burekas with anything. Just make sure that the filling is cooked, because the dough does not take a long time to bake.

Dale approved variation- make a filling with mushrooms and onions, or mashed potatoes and onions with some spices that they will like, or cooked ground beef with some onion/garlic/spices (my favorite when I was a child), or just spinach. Use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry. thaw, take out one sheet, lightly brush with olive oil and place another sheet on top. Continue like this with 3-4 more sheets and proceed in the same manner as before, omitting the egg wash. You don’t need it anyway.. You might want to bake at slightly lower temp (400)
(if you want seeds on top, brush top with a little olive oil, so that they will stick)

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