Thursday, March 8, 2012


We've been eating a lot of mushrooms lately!

We made this simple mushroom soup drizzled with French truffle oil on Sunday. Last week, I used the istiridye mantarı (oyster mushrooms) in my Wild Rice Soup with Sucuk.
These oyster mushrooms fared a bit better in the walk home from the pazar.
I needed some new ideas. My former executive chef recommended a goat cheese flan with sautéed mushrooms and an arugula salad. Good idea, but I didn't want to use a ton of cream and cheese.

Then, I remembered seeing a mushroom börek recipe over at Turkey's for Life. Perfect!

The pastry shops and restaurants sell börek as either a baked or fried pastry, which is made from thin yufka dough (similar to filo dough). The filling inside often is Turkish cheese, herbs, minced meats, spinach or potatoes. Generally, I've enjoyed börek as a breakfast snack or as part of a meze spread at night.

I popped into Nişantaşı for some fresh yufka sheets. 3 sheets for 3 TL.
Look for a yufka shop like this one in your neighborhood (in Turkey). 
Once  home, I called a friend for some advice because I was trying to figure out the best way to portion and cut the yufka. I wanted the börek to roughly measure about 7" (18 cm.) long like the ones I've seen in the pastry shops. The easiest way is cut the yufka into one-fourths.

Between prepping the filling and playing with the dough, this recipe takes a bit of work. But my version of these crispy, golden brown börek is definitely a winner. Feel free to substitute your favorite mushroom for the oyster mushrooms.

Afiyet olsun!
Turkish Oyster Mushroom Börek/ Istiridye Mantarı Börek
Makes: 8-9 individual börek

Ingredients:
1          T.                                 corn or vegetable oil
1          lg.                                onion, diced small
250      g.         (8.5 oz.)           istiridye mantarı (oyster mushrooms), chopped small
250      g.         (8.5 oz.)           frozen or fresh spinach, chopped
As needed                               salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2    tsp.+                            pul biber or crushed chili flakes
1/2       c.+                               fresh parsley, roughly chopped (I basically used 1/2 a bunch.)
As needed                               beyaz peynir or feta-like cheese
As needed                               börek spice mix or sesame seeds

2          ea.                                large eggs

Preheat your oven to 375 F/190 C.

In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil and then sauté the onion for several minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.

Then, add the spinach, salt and pepper and chili flakes. Cook for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the parsley.

Remove from the heat and strain to remove excess juices. Allow the mixture to cool before using. (I placed mine in the refrigerator for awhile.)
Once cooled, mix in one whole egg into the vegetable mixture.

Then, working with one piece of yufka at a time, cut in half and then in half again. You will end up with four "equal" pieces.

Lay a 1/4 slice of the yufka - curved edge away from you - on a flat surface. Brush the edge closest to you with a mixture of egg white and a little water. Reserve the egg yolk for later.

Place two generous spoonfuls of the vegetable mixture, along the flat edge of the yufka, about 2 inches from the edge. Top with crumbled cheese.
Fold the bottom over the mixture and around again. Do not wrap too tightly or your börek will split while baking.
Brush on a little more off the egg whites on the sides, then fold the sides over.
Continue to roll the yufka up to make a burrito-like shape. Before the final roll, brush on some of the egg whites to create a "seal." The filling will make about 8 or 9 individual börek.
Place the börek on a parchment-lined baking tray.

In a small bowl, make an egg wash with the remaining egg yolk and a little water. Brush the börek with this egg wash. Then sprinkle the börek spice mix or sesame seeds on top.
So I didn't waste any of the yufka sheets, I also stuffed 3 of the börek with some leftover roasted potatoes and cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

To serve, place your warm börek on a small plate and enjoy with a simple green salad.

Leftovers freeze fairly well, wrapped in aluminum foil. Simply reheat in the oven to crisp up the pastry a bit.




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4 comments:

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Lovely to find your blog and this delightful borek, look forward to trying it!

Joy said...

@Ozlem, what a delight to hear from you in the UK! I've been thoroughly enjoying your native country and try to share the "joys" of living here all the time with my readers. Love your site too, so you have a new follower now! Hoşgeldiniz!

Julia said...

Love the sesame seeds on top idea. I always feel cruel because Barry loves oyster mushrooms and I'm not fan of the texture. Maybe I'll make him some of this if I'm feeling generous. ;) I'll share this to our page too as our readers are not going to be getting too much oyster mushroom love from us. :)

Joy said...

@Julia, thank you for sharing! Your recipe helped inspire me. Hopefully Barry will get to enjoy some. :)

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