A quick version of a delicious but time-consuming recipe. I found these pre-cut sheets of a very thin, phyllo-like bread in the freezer section at the middle-easern store and grabbed them. They are imported from Turkey and evidently used in Turkish cuisine. In our cuisine, we have a pastry that is similar to phyllo, stuffed with a cheese mixture and deep-fried. Irresistible. These are baked and taste crispy and light, with a chewy and cheesy filling.
INGREDIENTS: To make 28 cigars (10 to 12 servings)
- 1 package of cut-up turnover dough or a package of spring rolls, defrosted overnight; you can substitute phyllo sheets, but these have to be cut; there are 28 yufka leaves per package
- 1 pound of shredded mozarella
- 1 pound of feta cheese, desalted in a water bath several times
- 1 onion chopped
- Spices: 1 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 cup of blanched beet greens or spinach or swiss chard (optional) Traditionally, chopped parsley is used (about 1/2 cup) but I was not about to waste those beet greens I had!
- 3 to 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup of clarified butter or vegetable oil
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 375F
- After blanching the beet greens, drain and squeeze all the moisture out. Chop coarsely.
- In a bowl, place the egg whites, cheeses, onion, spices, beet greens and mix well.
- Place a large sheet of aluminium foil on a work surface; pour a tablespoon of clarified butter and place the yufka on it, rubbing from side to side to coat the leaf with butter fast.
- Starting from the wide end, place a generous tablespoon of filling and roll it like a cigar. Don’t make it too tight, because the egg whites will cause them to expand a bit and puff up.
- Place on a cookie sheet previously greased and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes until puffed up and golden.
- Enjoy immediately if possible! (to reheat, warm for two minutes in the oven)
TIP: These cigars can be prepared ahead and frozen up to two weeks.
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