It’s National Cheese Lovers Day! HOORAY!
We’ve all heard about food holidays. They’re a thing. In the way that PSLs are automatically associated with Fall, and you eat cake on your birthday. Basically, someone decided that a certain food should be celebrated on a certain day and no one objected. But what makes today really special is that we’re not just celebrating cheese, we’re celebrating you, Cheese Lover!
I did some research into cheese. I went to Whole Foods and sampled all of their cheese samples at least 3 times. I went to Beecher’s and ate a large of their “World’s Best” mac & cheese (shhh I didn’t think it was that earth shattering) and I bought a container of their curds in all their squeaky goodness. I Googled cheese and found a lot of facts. Do you want to know some of those facts? I’m going to share anyway, in the name of giving cheese some love.
Did you know that the average American eats 31 pounds of cheese a year? That’s basically a month’s worth of said “World’s Best” mac & cheese dinners or the equivalent of eating one single 1-inch cube of cheese every day for a year. Did you know that there are more than 900 versions of cheese in the world? There could be a fun/obnoxious rendition of 99 bottles of beer on the wall woven in there. 900 version of cheese in the world, take one down pass it around 899 versions of cheese in the world. Did you know that the US produces more cheese than any other country, and that Wisconsin had so much cheese brine left over that they used it to de-ice their roads? That last one’s actually kind of incredible so you’re welcome.
To celebrate, like the good Cheese Lover that I am, I made the thing that first introduced me to cheese, whey back when (see what I did there?) – bourekas! Basically, puff pastry filled with a combination of things but most traditionally a mixture of salty cheeses, egg washed and showered with sesame seeds.
You can dive into them head first or take your sweet time and make a mini sandwich. Once baked, undo the fork prong seal to expose the cheesy insides, lay a few slices of hard boiled egg in there, and if your heart desires also some cucumbers, some fresh ground pepper because classy, before you close it back up and have a you+cheese party in your mouth.
(makes 18 bourekas)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup kashkaval cheese, grated
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the feta cheese, kashkaval cheese, and ricotta cheese. Add 1 egg and the pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Unwrap the puff pastry and, working one sheet at a time, roll it to a roughly 12×12 inch square. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the puff pastry sheet into 9 equal pieces.
Scoop a scant tablespoon of filling into the center of each square. Fold each square into a triangle over the filing and seal with a fork. Place the filled triangles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all 18 bourekas are filled and folded. You’ll most likely need 2 baking sheets.
Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the bourekas with egg wash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bourekas are a deep golden brown and puffed. Serve warm alongside hardboiled eggs and fresh sliced vegetables. Enjoy!