It is sometimes spelled “börek”, sometimes “burek” or even “beurek”. Anyway, it is a savory pastry that developed under the Ottoman Empire. We find the first traces of this dish in Central Asia in the 9th century, even if it would have been created by the nomadic Turks from the 7th century. A kind of turnovers stuffed with cheese, spinach or meat, its dough – called “Yufka” – is nevertheless very special. If it is not used much now, replaced by the more popular “filo pastry” (delicate and crispy) the “Yufka” was made of eggs, salted water and sifted flour. The quintessence of conviviality, beurek then developed in the Middle East, particularly in Israel, where it is known as “borekass”, as well as in North Africa. It remains nevertheless recognized worldwide as a typical dish of Armenian gastronomy.
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The harmony of his Armenia
Armenian cuisine is steeped in sunshine, like that of Julia Sedefdjian. And for good reason, the youngest starred chef in France was born in Nice, to a mother of Sicilian origin and an Armenian father. It is no doubt to pay homage to this South that she loves so much that she calls her restaurant “Baïeta”, which means “kiss” in the dialect of Nice. She received a star there in 2019, at only 25 years old, confirming her precocious talent for cooking.
What she likes ? A warm cuisine, which irremediably echoes its origins. When she was young, her father cooked Armenian for the whole family. A gastronomy that reminds her of her childhood: “As a child, we opened a book of Armenian recipes, and we put on the beurek” she confides, nostalgic, before continuing: “I particularly loved eating Armenian on the day of my birthday “. For this new part of “Cuisine du monde”, she delivers her family recipe for sou beurek, which she twists slightly: “I added a few ingredients such as lemon or garlic, but, in the spirit, we keep all the delicacy of this dish that I like”.
Julia Sedefdjian’s cheese beureks
For 4 people
2 cloves garlic
10 g of za’atar
1 bunch of chervil
1 bunch of parsley
200 g fresh (or bush) cheese
12 sheets of filo pastry
6.5 cl of milk
The zest of a lemon
The juice of a lemon
1 drizzle of olive oil
In a large bowl, crumble the feta. Add the cream cheese, mix well. Season with pepper, fleur de sel and zaatar.
Peel the garlic cloves, taking care to remove the indigestible germ in the middle. Chop them finely and add them to the previous mixture.
Chop the chervil and the parsley, add them to the stuffing.
Add the zest and juice of one lemon. Mix everything well.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Brush the bottom of a baking dish with butter.
Cut the sheets of filo pasta to the size of the dish. Put two sheets in the bottom of the dish, then brush the top with butter. Repeat the exercise, two sheets by two sheets, putting butter between each layer, and keep the last two sheets aside. Slightly fold the edges of the filo dough downwards each time, so as to enclose the stuffing.
Spread the stuffing generously.
Cover it with the remaining sheets of filo pastry, brush the top again with melted butter.
Cut the shares of sou beurek, forming rectangles (about 5×10 cm).
In a separate container, put the eggs and milk, beat everything with a whisk. Pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
With a small ladle, pour the egg-milk mixture over the sou beurek and distribute evenly, then bake for 30 minutes.