It’s almost Thanksgiving!! Have you figured out your Turkey Day menu yet? Holiday meny planning is a favorite activity, especially when done with my mom. Whether we’re physically together or discussing over the phone, we brainstorm back and forth to come up with the perfect menu.
Needless to say, we’ve been plotting what to make for Thanksgiving for a couple weeks now. We wanted to make something to honor my Grandma Sona, who passed away over the summer. She was truly a very special lady and we all miss her more than words can say.
My Grandma was the most amazing cook, even though she would tell you she really didn’t like cooking. While she’s made quite a few memorable dishes, my favorite was always Boreg. It’s an Armenian savory phyllo dough casserole similar to Spanikopita, but with the spinach subbed out for cheese and eggs. It’s seriously divine.
So when the folks at Recipe ReDux challenged us to share one of our favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe, my decision was easy-peasy.
I had made Boreg with my Grandma only one time, after convincing her to show me how. I quickly tried to jot down her recipe (or lack thereof) and eyeball how much cheese, milk, eggs, etc. she was using and managed to come up with a relatively straightforward recipe. We had a really great day cooking and hanging out together. And our Boreg was phenomenal, as always. She was very patient showing me how to handle the phyllo dough, brush the butter on, add the filling and bake it.
I had never actually made it myself, though, let alone made a healthier version of it.
Grandma’s recipe called for one cup each of Parmesan, Romano and Feta cheese and up to one stick of butter. I’m all for eating fats, but that’s a LOT of fat!
To lighten it up a bit, I used low fat cottage cheese in place of some of the other cheese, cut down from one stick of butter to just 3 Tbsp., and used only about half of the package of phyllo dough, and I have to say that my version tasted almost as good — there’s no way I could ever beat Grandma’s — as G-Sona’s (our nickname for her).
Recipe: Cheesy Phyllo Dough Boreg Bites
These Boreg bites would be a perfect side or appetizer for the holidays. Try to work as quickly as possible when handling the phyllo dough as it dries out very fast. Don’t worry if the phyllo tears or gets crumbly — mine did and it turned out just fine.
- 1 package phyllo dough, defrosted (you will only need about 1/2-3/4 of the package)
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese
- 1/2 cup Romano and Parmesan cheese blend (or 1/4 cup of each)
- 4 eggs, divided
- 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease a one-dozen muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
- Lay phyllo dough out on cutting board and cut into squares of about two inches by two inches.
- Lay 1-2 squares of phyllo dough in each of the muffin tin slots and gently press the phyllo into the slots. Brush the top layer with butter. Continue this process for 5-6 more layers.
- Mix 3 eggs, cottage cheese, Feta and Romano/Parmesan blend. Place a dollop of the mixture in each of the phyllo cups.
- Continue to layer 5-6 more layers of phyllo/butter over the cheese and egg mixture.
- Combine remaining egg with baking powder and water. Beat with a fork.
- Poke holes through the phyllo cups with the fork and spoon about 1-2 tsp. of the egg/baking powder mixture into each cup. It will nestle into the fork holes you just made.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until phyllo cups are golden brown.
This one’s for you, Grandma! I wish you were here to enjoy them and know you would be proud of my work.
What family recipes will you be preparing this holiday season? See what memories inspired fellow Recipe ReDuxers by clicking the blue guy below.