Recipe Corner: Lebanese Cheese Fatayer from Analida’s Ethnic Spoon

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Fatayer are a staple of Lebanese cuisine.

Photos and recipe are courtesy of Analida Braeger at the popular Analida’s Ethnic Spoon food blog launched in 2013. Analida is the talented food writer, recipe developer, and creator of Analida’s Ethnic Spoon food blog. Analida is an adjunct lecturer of architectural history at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Penn., and works to “offer historical perspectives about each recipe, its culture, and sometimes the background for its ingredients at my food blog.”

Fatayers are a Lebanese food found throughout the Middle East in pastry shops and market stalls. Fatayers can be filled with meat (lamb fatayer is traditional.) They can be triangular in shape or cigar-shaped. These are similar to the Turkish pogacas or the Latin American empanada, or the Eastern European burek.

Ingredients:

16 oz. pizza dough frozen, then thawed

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

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5 oz. plain yogurt

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine

1 dash of nutmeg

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

1 teaspoon za’atar sprinkled on finished fatayer

1 teaspoon nigella seeds, if desired

Serves 8-10.

Preparation:

Defrost the pizza dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl combine the feta cheese, yogurt, mozzarella cheese, parsley, and nutmeg. Crush with a spoon to break down the chunks of feta. (You want the mixture to look like a very thick lumpy paste.)

On a floured surface knead the dough until it is elastic. Roll into a log and cut into ten pieces. Roll each ball and set aside covered. Roll out each ball into an oval shape and place about 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of the dough.

Fold over the top left of the dough over the filling and press down. Fold over the opposite side over the folded sided and pinch. Repeat the process at the bottom of the pastry. Brush with egg wash and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with nigella seeds, if desired. Repeat process until all fatayers have been made.

Pre-heat oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Fatayer may be served warm or at room temperature. To freeze for the near future, wait until they are room temperature and place in a freezer safe bag. To eat, thaw out to room temperature or warm them in a 200-degree oven.

Also try Analida’s recipe for Lebanese Lamb Fatayer at: https://ethnicspoon.com/lebanese-lamb-fatayer/

Analida Braeger and her husband Tom who is a talented photographer. Tom creates the professional food styling and photography for Analida’s Ethnic Spoon.

References:

Lebanese Cheese Fatayer

Recipe Index

A Taste of South East Asia Ebook

https://www.facebook.com/ethnicspoon/

 

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