Sunday, April 13, 2008

Challenge Book #6 - Water Pastry, Kofte and Pilaf

See this, I made it. All by myself. With my own two little hands. Me!!! If you can't tell I am absolutely thrilled to bits with it. Even just sitting here looking at the photos I am absolutely delighted all over again.

It's called Su Boregi (Water Pastry) and its a dish from Turkey. It's basically a pasta layered with lashings of butter, soft white cheese, dill and parsley. And it is absolutely delicious.

I have travelled quite a bit in Turkey from Gallipoli to the Mediterranean to within a blade of grass of the Armenian Border. I loved every second of it and I quite simply adored the food. Water pastry was one of my favourites. It's sold in some restuarants but most often I would buy it from a snack seller as a little slab wrapped up in paper.

My effort tasted exactly how I remembered it. The pastry is soft and silky but still slightly chewy at the same time. The flavour of the dill really comes through. Yummy, yum, yum!!!

It takes a bit of work, but really it was not hard to make. There are only two slightly tricky bits. I've talked about these in the recipe below.

The recipe is from this book Turkish Cookery by Inci Kut, which is Book #6 in the KJ want a Kitchen Aid Challenge.

I bought this book in Turkey, but I can't remember where exactly. I couldn't have asked for a better souvenier. Everything I have made from it has been both delicious and just how I remember it.

These are my other favourite recipes from this book - cumin kofte and pilaf rice. I make this kofte recipe regularly. It is very easy and oh so tasty. I love Turkish pilaf rice - it's all buttery and delicious. For which very reason I try not to eat it too often. To be really authentic it should be speckled with dark grains of wild rice.

Su Boregi (Water Pastry)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

350gm of plain flour
2 tbspn (6 tspn) water
3 eggs
1 tbspn (3 tspn) salt
butter, melted
potato flour or other form of starch

250gm of mashed white cheese (I used farmer's cheese)
1 egg
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 bunch parsely

Sift flour and make a hollow in the middle. Add eggs, water and salt. Mix and knead. Wrap the pastry well in plastic wrap and leave to rest for at least half an hour, preferably longer.

Mix together the filling ingredients.

Divide the dough into eight even sized pieces. Roll each piece out as thinly as possible. The pastry may keep shrinking back but don't worry. Just leave for ten minutes or so before moving on to the next step.

Put four layers of the pastry together in a stack, dusting between each layer thoroughly with potato flour. Roll the stacked pastry out again as thinly as possible. It should roll out more easily. Separate into single layers again. Do likewise for the remaining four layers.

Bring four litres of water to a simmering boil with 1 1/2 tbspns of salt. Boil the single pastry layers one by one for one minute each.

Obviously no pan is going to be long enough to allow you to boil them flat. If you just drop them into the water they fold over and stick and you end up with a solid little ball. The trick is to dip half the sheet into the water. It must be wet on both the front and back. Then drop this wet half down the side of the saucepan and drape the dry half across the top of the water. Then ease it back to centre it over the middle the saucapan with tongs. Once the pastry is wet it will not stick to itself.

Once a layer is cooked remove and place in a bowl of cold water.

It may take a little practice to get the pastry sheets out of the water without tearing them to bits. I found the best way was to grasp one end with a pair of tongs and support the other end with something like the back of a wooden spoon. Make sure you have the bowl with cold water right next to the saucepan. Move the pastry as quickly as possible from one to the other. Once it's in the cold water, drape each end over your hands and wrists to lift and drain.

Place the pastry layer into a well buttered deep baking tray (30cm x 20cm).

This is easy to do if you have draped the pastry over your wrists. If they do tear it doesn't matter that much. Just patch them back together in the baking tray and it will be fine.

Brush with melted butter. Add another cooked pastry layer. Brush with butter and spread over some of the cheese filling. Continue adding layers as described. Do not place any filling between the final two layers. Trim the edges of the pastry so that it is neat and even and fits within the pan. Cutting with scissors is easiest.

Brush the top of the pastry well with melted butter. Place in a 180C oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Kimyonlu Sahan Koftesi (Cumin Kofte)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

750gm of minced meat
2 onions, grated
3 slices of dry bread, crusts removed
1 large tomato and 2 tbspn (6 tspn) of tomato paste
1 large potato
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tspn cumin
1/2 tspn pepper
2 tspn salt

Soak the bread in water and then squeeze out as much as possible. Crumble and add to the minced meat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Knead well for ten minutes.

Roll large walnut sized pieces into flat round shapes. Heat some oil in a pan and brown the meatballs. Dissolve the tomato paste in a cup of water and pour over the meatballs. Spread over the slices of tomato and potato. You can also add sliced capsicums is you wish. Season with salt.

Cover and cook on a medium heat for 20-25 minutes.

Sade Pirinic Pilavi (Pilaf Rice)
(adapted from Turkish Cookery)

2 cups rice
3 tbspn (6 tspn) butter
3 cups water or stock
2 tspn salt

Soak rice in hot salted water. Leave to stand until it is cool. Wash thoroughly and drain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the water or stock, the rice and salt. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for another 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.


At 7:05 pm, Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hubs would be good at something like this. I think I'd be too scared and it would definitely stick together because I wouldn't be patient enough.

and the earlier post - The Italian Stallion - sounded yum - good for a blokey football fest? Nah... a dainty ladies do where the ladies need to loosen up a bit surely?

At 6:03 am, Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

To cheat a lot I could use filo dough in place of the water pastry. The entire meal sounds incredible:D

At 10:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooh, i love kofte. i usually make a version from one of claudia roden's books.

i've never heard of water pastry before, but it sounds delicious (and complicated!) and looks gorgeous.

At 12:23 am, Blogger Deborah said...

Oh, this really makes me want to travel!! This sounds delicious - I've never had anything like it before. You are working right through you books!

At 10:30 pm, Blogger Veron said...

Bravo KJ !!! these looks soooo delectable and your pastry looks perfect!

At 12:43 am, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

Aren't you talented? That looks wonderful!

At 7:31 pm, Blogger steph- whisk/spoon said...

holy cow--i love turkish food! your water pastry looks absolutely delicious!! and i commend you on cookbook challenge--in fact, just yesterday i bought a new book, brought it home, and realized i will probably never make anything from it.

At 7:50 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Amanda, LOL. I think you are right.

Hi Val, I think it would work with filo. It's always worth a try.

Hi Michelle, thanks. Claudia Roden has some great recipes.

Hi Deborah, I think I'm doing well so far on the challenge.

Hi B&CM, good one. It's a great dish.

Hi Veron, thanks.

Hi Patricia, thanks.

Hi Steph, I love it too. We are very lucky to have some fabulous turkish restaurants here in Canberra.

At 10:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! this meals are quite difficult especially su are perfect.I love this meals and other all Turkish from Turkey...


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