Borek with Spicy Cheese (Çökelek Böreği)

Now that I have posted the recipe for çökelek, finally I am able to post this börek recipe. This is one of my favorite böreks. Börek is a type of pastry that is made out of yufka or phyllo dough and stuffed with meat, vegetables or cheese that goes back to the Ottoman Empire era. Börek can range in variety and style depending on the region. In the Hatay/Antakya region, there are other types of stuffed dough that are also called börek. Turkey is so rich in food culture that even regions within the same province may have different types of food and style of making them.

Back home, in afternoon tea gatherings, börek is a favorite snack served along with Turkish tea. It can also be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for any time of day.

1 package Yufka-thin dough (similar to phyllo dough only thicker-available in Mediterranean grocery stores)
2 Çökelek balls (see Çökelek recipe under Breakfast section of my blog)
4 eggs
¾ cup fresh parsley
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1 cup yogurt
¾ cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt

Crumble the çökelek and place in a large bowl. Add the onions, parsley, eggs, salt and only 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Mix well. In a separate small bowl, mix the yogurt and the rest of the olive oil. Grease a large Pyrex dish or a tray. Place one sheet of the yufka and dip into the yogurt & olive oil mixture and brush all over the yufka. Cover every part of the yufka with this mixture. Place another sheet and follow the same process. Use half of the yufkas (usually there are 5-6 of yufkas in a package) brushing them with the yogurt & olive oil mixture. Place the filling and spread evenly on the yufkas to cover the inside. Cover with another layer of the yufka and brush with the yogurt & oil mixture. Follow this process until all the yufkas are used up and fold toward the inner part of the pyrex dish if the yufkas have extra dough on the sides. This will not take long if you use the Turkish yufkas since each package has only 5-6. If you are not able to find yufka, you may use the phyllo dough which has many more thin sheets of dough.

Bake at 350º until the borek is golden brown.

Cool and cut in squares.

Serve at room temperature and enjoy with Turkish tea as a snack, lunch or dinner.

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