Mediterranean Lamb Borekas Paired with Spicy Olive tapenade Recipe

If you grew up in a middle eastern home like me, with the fridge always stocked with food containers that seemed to never run out, you have one way or another came across, whats known to me as a Boreka. In other terms, and to my husband, it's a hand pocket or an empanada. To me, this crispy dough filled with spices, meat & nuts is the classic appetizer in my home you will always find on our shabbat table. With tons of fillings to choose, such as a variety of cheeses and types of meats, this one happens to be my favorite choice! Stuffed with ground lamb, spices, nuts & herbs, It is bursting with filling flavors that will leave you wanting an entire tray of them! Now you can either make your own dough, or you can buy the store bought one like I mostly do. I decided to add my dough recipe just in case you have a bit more time on your hands than I do at the moment! Oh, and just a tip, this is my basic meat mix I make for most of my dishes, and you can do so much with the leftover meat. Double the portion and put some in the freezer for another time and it will literally take you five minutes to make!


Pack of Phyllo Dough

½ whole Small Yellow Onion, Chopped Finely

Olive Oil

¼ teaspoons Ground Cardamom

¼ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

¼ teaspoons Ginger

⅛ teaspoons Ground Allspice

⅛ teaspoons Ground Coriander

⅛ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg

⅛ teaspoons Turmeric

2 pinches Black Pepper

1 pinch White Pepper

1 pinch Cayenne Pepper

½ pounds Ground Lamb

⅓ cups Toasted Pine Nuts, Chopped

½ teaspoons Kosher Salt

Egg wash

Sesame seed for topping

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low flame. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring until onion goes soft, about five minutes. Add spices and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes or so. Increase flame to medium, adding lamb and pine nuts. Cook, stirring and breaking up lamb for about 5 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Add salt to taste and set aside to cool.Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.Unroll phyllo dough onto clean surface, cover with plastic wrap and top with a damp tea towel. On a clean work surface lay out one sheet of dough, immediately recovering the pile of unworked dough. Using a pastry brush, lightly cover dough with olive oil. Repeat process (phyllo and oil) two more times, stacking sheets of phyllo neatly as you go. It is imperative you cover the dough that you aren’t working with, or it will dry out.Cut stack of lightly oiled pastry into three equal strips (lengthwise) and place 1 tablespoon of filling at bottom of each strip. Fold the strip as you would for a flag, trimming the ends as necessary. Use a light hand, as folding too tight causes the pastry to burst during baking. Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Continue until pastry and filling used up. Bake the entire batch for 20 minutes.You can make the filling several days in advance. You can make the borekas and freeze before baking (add extra time to baking) or you can very successfully freeze them after they are baked. They are well worth the effort

IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE YOUR OWN DOUGH, HERE IS THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS: 2 c all purpose flour 1/4 tsp salt, heaped 1/4 c + 1 tbsp veg oil 1/2 c very hot water 1 tsp lemon juice place flour and salt in a bowl and mix well. add the oil and then the very hot water, 1/4 c at a time to the flour and mix to make a shaggy dough. you may need the full 1/2 c or a little less. once formed, you are aiming for a soft dough which is also firm. knead the dough for a few minutes without flour and set it aside well covered. it must rest for at least one hour.

Spicy Olive tapenade Recipe //

1/2 pound pitted mixed olives

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 to 3 fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Red Pepper Flakes

Blend in food processor, garnish with extra basil and it is a perfect pairing with the lamb borekas!

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