Growing up in an Armenian family, we always had dishes that were slightly “different” than what my friends would eat at their Thanksgivings. One dish that I always loved was Sou Boreg. It’s a delicious cheesy pastry with layers of buttery, crispy phyllo dough. My grandmother taught me how to make it when I was about twelve and I’ve been making it for almost every family get-together since. Even though it’s a traditional Armenian food with a definite nod to the exotic, it’s simple enough to use as an introductory Armenian dish for anyone unfamiliar with the cuisine. In short, I have yet to meet anyone who does not love it!
In this post, we’ll go over two ways to make Sou Boreg. One is easier and perfect for serving a lot of people. The second way is folding each pastry into little triangles. This is better if you’re having just a few people over to eat, and the extra unbaked triangles can be refrigerated or frozen for later consumption.
- 1 package Phyllo Dough
- 1 lb shredded Monterey Jack
- ¼ lb shredded Mozzerella
- 1 stick butter (maybe more!)
- I egg, beaten
- ¼ cup Flat Italian Parsley, chopped
First you’re going to want to mix your cheeses and parsley in a large mixing bowl and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, beat your egg in a separate bowl and mix it in with the cheese and parsley. Keep stirring until all of the cheese is coated and looks wet. For the first version (good for lots of people), take a stick of butter and grease the inside of a rectangular casserole dish.
You’ll want to unroll your phyllo dough on a large cutting board. I leave the plastic wrapping on the bottom because it helps retain some moisture. You can find phyllo in the frozen section of any Safeway, just be sure to defrost it by putting it in the fridge the night before. Melt your butter in a bowl. I like to keep mine melted and warm by placing it on top of the stove. I find the easiest way to size the phyllo squares by putting my casserole dish on top of the dough and cutting around the bottom. Take two sheets of sized dough and put them in the bottom of the dish. Spread a little melted butter over the layer, then top with two more sheets. Do this four times for the bottom.
Add the cheese mixture and spread it evenly over the phyllo.
Add more phyllo over the cheese mixture using the same process—two layers of dough, spread butter, so on and so forth, until you run out of dough. Then cut the raw Sou Boreg into squares prior to baking.
Bake about twenty minutes until golden brown. Run a knife through the squares one more time before serving.
For the second variation, take your roll of phyllo and cut it evenly in half.
Unroll one half of the phyllo and add about a quarter cup of the cheese mixture on one end.
Roll two sheets of dough around the cheese in triangles, like how a flag is folded. Brush each turn with a little melted butter. When you reach the end of the dough strip fold it again using a single sheet and butter.
Bake Sou Boreg triangles on a lined baking sheet for twenty minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Paree akhorzhag!
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