fresh bourekas

Fresh bourekas

We’re not quite there yet, but in a couple of weeks we’ll be preparing our homes and tables for Passover. It isn’t too early to think of fun and creative ways to give your holiday snacks a boost.

Markets in Israel are filled with the delicious smell of fresh bourekas, and this popular baked pastry can be stuffed with practically anything from potato and cheese to meat and vegetables. While my matzah bourekas might not be quite as flaky as the ones you can find in Israel, they are a perfect kosher-for-Passover snack or meal that can be made to anyone’s taste and

flavor preference.

And since Passover meals can tend to get a bit boring, I hope this internationally-inspired dish helps break up the monotony of your Passover meal planning. Feel free to get creative with the fillings and flavors, because the matzah outside is a perfect base for any flavor profile. My family and I all have different favorites, so I tend to make a large batch of the potato base, and then add cheese and veggies. Sometimes I use meat as the filling. Variety makes everyone happy.

These are best when served fresh, like most fried food, but if you want to make them ahead of time, I’ve had success freezing the fried matzah bourekas and reheating them in the oven. It gives you a little flexibility. So take a chance, experiment and get ready to make a few bourekas!

Matzah Bourekas

1½-2 pounds of potatoes

8 sheets of matzah

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup of matzo meal

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Additional filling options:

1 cup of green olives, chopped

1 cup of mushrooms and 1 shallot, chopped and

sautéed in olive oil and cooled

½–1 cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of tomato sauce

(about 1 tablespoon per boureka)

½–1 cup feta or goat cheese

1 cup of ground beef or turkey, browned with spices

of your choosing and cooled

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to continue cooking.

Cook the potatoes until they can be easily mashed (about 20-30 minutes depending on size). Drain water and place cooked potatoes in a food processor or back into the pot and use an immersion blender or hand masher to mash the potatoes into a smooth and even consistency.

Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, you can prepare the additional ingredients that you’d like to add to the bourekas. Be sure all ingredients are cool before you add them together.

Once the potatoes and any additional ingredients are prepared, combine them together in a bowl to form your boureka filling.

Take the sheets of matzah and wet each piece with water so they are pliable. I find it easiest to wrap the sheets of matzah in a wet kitchen towel and set aside for a few minutes.

Once the sheets of matzah are wet, cut each sheet in half and place ¼ cup of filling in each half sheet of matzah. Roll the matzah over the filling to contain and set aside until all pieces of matzah are stuffed.

Heat a large pan or skillet with about ½ inch of oil. Take your rolled matzah and dip into the eggs and then into the matzah meal to lightly coat the outside. Place the covered rolled matzah into the hot oil and cook evenly for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.

Once crispy, place the fried bourekas on a plate that is lined with a paper towel to cool and drain any access oil.

Enjoy fresh or reheat in the oven before serving. JN

Jennifer Starrett is an events and marketing consultant. Visit jewphx.com, for more of her recipes and blogs.

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