Hye Thyme Cafe: Cheese Boureg

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheese Boureg

Cheese Bouregs : Hye Thyme Cafe

Cheese Bouregs are one of my favorites. The problem is that I always want to make a batch to bring somewhere, but there is never an oven available - at work, school events when I was a kid, someone else's house for a holiday (oven already occupied), etc. Consequently, I don't get to share them with as many people as I would like to. Of course, that leaves more for us at home! They freeze great, so you can prep a batch ahead of time and check one item off your list leading up to a holiday. That leaves you time to sneak in something new.

Below is the recipe that I always start with, but I have a tendency to go through the cheese drawer in the fridge and see what odds and ends may be lurking in there that can be used up. Just bear in mind that some cheeses hold up to heat better than others, so if you use a more oily or oozey (that's a word, right?) cheese, you will more likely have leaks. No worries though, whatever leaks out onto your tray turns into a crispy cheesy snack. My sister and I used to always fight over that part when we were kids.  :)

2 lb phyllo
2 lb muenster cheese, grated
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c sm curd cottage cheese
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 eggs
1 lb butter, clarified
You will first want to clarify your butter. I really need to do a separate post for that. It seems to come up a lot. You can look at the pics on my Paklava post if you want, but the long and short of it is that you want to melt the butter over low heat until it starts to bubble and separate. The milk solids will rise to the top in a foam, and the salt, etc. will sink to the bottom. The nice yellow layer in the middle is what you want, so let it cool for a while, skim the foam off the top, then pour the middle layer into a measuring cup or bowl, stopping when the bottom layer starts to sneak into the mix.

If you will be chopping your parsley and shredding your cheese in the food processor, I recommend doing the parsley first, then wiping out the bowl before running the cheese through. That way, your cheese won't turn green, or your parsley won't get gummed up in the cheese residue. Throw everything but the dough in a big bowl, hang onto the bowl with one hand and get in there with the other and mix everything together until well blended. Sure you can use a spoon, but it's quicker and easier this way. 

I used to lay two full sheets of phyllo on my work surface and cut them into strips as I was going along, but my sister pointed out an obvious shortcut - slice right through the sleeve! It's up to you how wide you want the rows; will you be serving them as an amuse-bouche, an app, or bigger so you can have a few as your lunch, etc.

Lay two strips of phyllo on your work surface and brush with butter. Place a spoonful of filling at the end closest to you, then fold, flag-style, into a triangle ...

When you get to the end, if you have an uneven amount left (depends on how tight you roll, how much filling you use, etc.), don't worry about it - you can either slice off the excess or tuck and fold it like this and make that the bottom.  :)


Brush the triangle, all the way around, with more butter, and place it on your baking sheet. When you have as many as you want to bake at the moment on your tray, you can roll the rest and freeze them for another day. A friend of mine just throws them in a zip-lock bag and never seems to have a problem with that. I'm always afraid they'll end up broken and stuck together, so I pull out a sheet of waxed paper and stack them in layers on the paper and wrap the whole thing in foil. Yes, you still butter them.




Bake at 350 until golden, about 20-25".

Yes, I did have some leakers - you can see that at the top of this shot ...
Cheese Bouregs : Hye Thyme Cafe
Cheese Bouregs : Hye Thyme Cafe

Cheese Bouregs : Hye Thyme Cafe

OK, that was my supper tonight.  :)

Does anyone know how Havarti melts? I love dill, so I keep thinking I should try a Dill Havarti version, but I'm afraid it will just run right out. Hmmm, maybe an extra egg ...


  1. Never heard of these! They look & sound great!

  2. I love dill havarti but no one around here carries it anymore. I don't remember ever cooking with it though. These look so great. What a great party food since you can make them ahead, always a great idea.

  3. This batch is a little on the anemic side, but definitely tasty! I'll have to remember to swap in a new pic next time around. ;)

  4. Thanks Kelli. Another great thing is if I make Porov Kufte and have extra filling, I'll make triangles with the extra. Yumm!

  5. I would love a recipe for Porov Kufte the kind with the pine nuts in the middle. My husband likes them cooked in chicken broth.. So delicious!!

    1. Paula, Porov Kufte is one of my favorites as well. Here's the link to my recipe ... http://hyethymecafe.blogspot.com/2010/10/bombs-porov-kufte.html

    2. I haven't made these in 30 years or so! Will try today....

    3. These are one of my favorites, although from the picture I took above, looks like that one ended up mostly empty somehow lol.


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