Welcome to Thanksgiving 2010 recipe #2! Never heard of a Boureka? What about a dumpling? Pierogi. Empanada. They’re all in the same family. Bourekas are puff pastry pockets filled with any number of things- fluffy white cheese, mushrooms, and in this case, potato and onion. And they happen to be the perfect appetizer.
When I lived in Jerusalem next to the Shuk (half open-half covered market place) and was sick and pregnant, I would make Gil jump down to a vendor at least once a day to get me cheese and potato Bourekas. They were one of the only foods I could stomach, including Petite Burre biscuits and green apples. For the record, I detest green apples and can’t imagine why my gestating body felt it was necessary to crave them. The things we do for our children.
You can be quite creative with these little suckers and fill them with almost anything- goat cheese and red onion for a dairy option, or even skip the savory route altogether and fill them with chopped dark chocolate and cinnamon for a simple, single serving dessert. I lined a cookie sheet with foil and flash froze mine- I’ll bake them up the day I plan to serve them so they stay fresh. If you are serving as an appetizer to your Thanksgiving feast, just warm and crisp in the oven for a few minutes (or reheat uncovered on a blech or plata if you are planning a Thanksgiving Shabbat).
Potato and Onion Bourekas
Adapted from OU
Makes 12 pockets
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large potatoes boiled or microwaved, then mashed
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, optional
1 pound puff pastry sheets
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water, or wrap in plastic and heat in your microwave for 5-7 minutes. Mash in a large bowl. In a skillet cook the onions in the oil until translucent and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add the onions to the mashed potatoes. Add the paprika, pepper, salt and curry powder. Mix it together and taste- if it needs a little kick, add the red pepper flakes, or more seasoning as needed. Flatten the puff pastry dough slightly with a rolling pin onto a floured surface, and cut into 12 equal rectangles. Fill each rectangle with about 1 tablespoon of the mushroom filling, and fold over, pinching or using the tines of a fork to seal. Place the bourekas on foil covered pans. At this point you can flash freeze until hard, then move to freezer bags or airtight containers until you need them. When ready to bake, brush the tops with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. If they were frozen prior to baking you may need to add a few extra minutes of bake time. To serve, warm in an open pan at 350 degrees F, or an uncovered pan on a plata or blech until crispy. These can be also be frozen and then reheated.