Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheese Beorag Recipe


A tradition Armenian delicacy made with an old family twist. As an h’ors d’oeuvres it cannot be matched.

1 pound filo dough (if dough is frozen, thaw over night in the refrigerator)
½ cup butter, melted


½ lb. feta cheese (I prefer French or Bulgarian as they are less salty)
½ lb. jack cheese, grated
1 bunch parsley, chopped very finely
½ tsp. black pepper
2 eggs, beaten


1 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a mixing bowl, crumble feat cheese. Add grated jack cheese. Next add the eggs, parley and black pepper. Blend well and set aside.

Set up a workspace. Filo dough is paper-thin and dries out when exposed to air so it will be necessary to work quickly. Have enough room on counter top for dough, melted butter and baking dish. I use a clay baking dish approximately 10” x 14” x 2”. Glass and stainless steel are also good. Open filo dough and lay sheets of filo on a piece of wax paper or foil. Place two sheets of filo at a time in the baking dish. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with the melted butter. Continue layering the dough in this manner, two sheets at a time, brushing every two sheets with melted butter until half of the dough is used.

Next spread the cheese mixture evenly over the buttered dough. Then continue layering dough and brushing with butter until all the dough is used.

Place baking dish in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to harden the butter. Using a sharp knife cut the unbaked beorag into serving-sized pieces (about 2 in. squares.) Blend milk and egg together and pour over the top so that the liquid goes down inside the cuts.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry rises and turns golden brown. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Serves 12 or more


I rediscovered the charming neighborhood of Noe Valley during my book signing at Omnivore Books on Food. Samantha served as hostess for the event which drew some old friends, including the parents of some old friends. Merrill Conn wrote me after reading Siren's Feast and said he couldn't eat dinner or watch TV until he had finished the book. He's 86. His email was worth the whole trip. I also had a chance to wander the neighborhood and discovered Lovejoy's Tearoom which absolutely charmed me as a lover of high tea. The petit fours were scrumptious.