Last week I
violently invaded passed by the Euromarket in my neighborhood. Other than housing some of my favorite chocolates (Kinder, Milka, Bananko and white/dark chocolate jars of Nutella) Euromarket has an astounding variety of European cheeses and dried, cured meats. After I ransacked the chocolate aisle I made my way to the cheese counter where the sight below awaited me.
To be honest this was just a fraction of what I found, I didn’t take too many pictures because the cheese/meat man was not fond of my “camera tricks.” Somehow I walked away with 2 links of sunxhuk ( that glorious sausage hanging from the ceiling) and half a pound of the dried beef, sliced. I mention the fact that it was sliced because the cheese/meat man was appalled when I asked him to slice it, which made me realize 3 very important things: 1) There are people out there who eat this monstrous goodness as is, taking sweet, salty bites from it as they walk down the street. 2) I must meet these people and befriend them so we can eat together. 3) I’m not as much of a carnivore as I thought I was. Clearly there are higher levels than me. A new goal has been set.
I put the sunxhuk to good use right away, and what I mean by that is that I ate one of them on my long journey home (7 blocks) and then cooked the second one while my dog tried to levitate on the kitchen counter. Sadly for her she did not succeed.
I decided to make byrek with sunxhuk and feta cheese. Byrek is a baked “pastry” made of thin flaky dough otherwise known as fillo. It can be filled with cheeses, minced meat or vegetables and is served both cold and warm. It’s a very common dish in Albania, Armenia, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey. Though the fillo dough is usually made and spread by hand, that requires far too much time so I had to resort to the packaged fillo. The actual handmade version is much better.
What you’ll need
- 1 red onion
- 2 eggs
- .75 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 sunxhuk
- olive oil
- 1 package of fillo sheets ( like these)
Make the Mixture
- Chop up the red onion ( or regular onion )
- Chop up the sunxhuk
- Beat 2 eggs and then mix with the crumbled feta.
- Mix everything together.
Assemble the Byrek
- Thaw the fillo sheets
- Begin layering the fillo sheets, brushing each sheet with olive oil, as you layer. Once you’ve layered half the sheets pour in the mixture.
- Add the remaining layers, continue brushing each with olive oil.
- Brush the top layer with egg yolk ( to add the warm yellow color)
- Bake for 30-45 minutes at 345 F