(Turkish cheese-filled filo appetizers)
These cigarette-shaped (sigara), savoury pastries (böreği) are a common addition to any Turkish mezze spread. Sigara boregi are most often filled with cheese, but a ground beef filling is tasty too. Also known as sigara börek or kalem (pen) böreği.
Makes about 30 pieces
- Feta cheese -- 8 ounces
- Egg, beaten -- 1
- Parsley or dill, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
- Filo dough -- 8 sheets
- Oil for deep frying
- In a bowl, mash the feta, egg and parsley or dill together with a fork until smooth and well mixed.
- Stack the filo sheets on a work surface and cut into quarters to make equal rectangles. Stack the resulting quarters on top of each other and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
- Working with one piece of filo at a time, smear about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture in a line along a short edge of the filo, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the bottom. Take care not to put too much cheese into your sigara, as they may pop when you fry them if you overfill them.
- Fold in about 1/4 inch of the two long sides of the filo, and then roll the filo up from the bottom to form a cigarette shape. Moisten the top edge with a little water to seal. Place the completed sigara boregi on a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with another towel. Repeat with the remaining filo and cheese mixture.
- Heat the oil to about 375°F and fry the sigara boregi in batches until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining sigara.
- Serve hot or at room temperature with a Turkish meal or a variety of mezze dishes.
Sigara Boregi Variations
- Spinach-Feta Filling: Stir 1/2 cup of cooked, chopped spinach into the feta mixture.
- Meat Filling: Saute 1/2 cup finely chopped onion in some olive oil. Add 1/2 pound ground beef and saute, breaking up, until cooked through. Drain excess fat, and stir in 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (optional), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool before filling sigara boregi as described above.