Today, Israeli celebrity chef Gil Hovav, author of Candies From Heaven, tells us about growing up in Jerusalem and shares a boreka recipe.
Excerpted from Candies from Heaven
By Gil Hovav, Toad Publishing (2017)
- 4 cups flour
- 200 g margarine
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 yogurt
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 large eggplants
- 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- beaten egg yolk with 2 tbsp water
- Prepare the dough a day earlier: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix to a uniform dough. Roll into a big ball, place on a flat dish, cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove from the refrigerator and let the dough reach room temperature (otherwise, it will be impossible to roll).
- Meanwhile, roast the eggplants on the stove or in an oven until their peel blackens. Peel and crush with a fork (woe be to anyone who crushes in a food processor!) together with the cheese. Beat the egg and add it to the filling, together with salt and pepper. Mix.
- Divide the dough into three balls. Roll each ball into a thin sheet, and use a glass to cut circles in the dough. Collect what remains of the dough, roll it again and cut additional circles. Repeat until all the dough is used.
- Take a circle of dough and place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center. Dip a finger in a cup of water and wet the edges of the circle. Fold into the shape of a crescent and pinch to close well. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Do the same for the rest of the circles. (One baking pan will not be enough.)
- Brush the bourekas with egg wash and sprinkle a bit of sesame. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour, until the bourekas are golden.
Gil Hovav is Israel’s leading culinary journalist and a popular TV personality. Gil has played a major role in the remaking of Israeli cuisine and the transformation of Israel from a country of basic traditional foods into a “gourmet nation”. Gil has produced some of Israel’s most popular TV cooking shows and written a number of bestselling cookbooks and novels.
As an author, Gil has published three best-selling novels, all related in different ways, to his family’s colorful history, exposing with humor and emotion a Jerusalem of his childhood that no longer exists. The fourth, titled Twenty Four Doors, was published in April 2015 and hit the top of the national bestseller list. The first English edition, Candies from Heaven was released in November 2017.
Nowadays, Gil is busy with his publishing and production company — Toad Communications and with his weekly radio show about restaurants in Israel. His latest 20 episode TV series, ‘Food for Thought’ included 20 interviews with Nobel laureates, including John Nash, Elie Wiesel, Daniel Kahneman, Eric Kandel and many others.Gil lives with his partner Dan, whom he met during their army service, and together they raise their daughter, Naomi.