When I was a kid, cinnamon raisin bagels were my bagel of choice. A friend introduced me to the flavor as we were picking up lunch on the way to school one morning and it totally blew my mind. Add a thick schmear of cream cheese, she told me, and you’re golden.
I loved the combination and I almost never looked back. But there was one problem: the sweet bagels weren’t exactly compatible with lox. And what’s a bagel without lox?
My dad solved the problem by introducing me to everything bagels. I wasn’t immediately enamored with the idea of onions and garlic, but when he piled it high with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, red onion and capers, I became a convert. Goodbye forever cinnamon raisin bagels, you’ve been replaced by something way, way better!
I’ve since realized that the magic that is everything bagel spice can enhance almost anything (think everything bagel avocado toast! Everything bagel fried chicken! Everything bagel pretzel dogs!) and it certainly works wonderfully here, on top of savory, feta filled cheese bourekas.
These bourekas are a mix of New York Jewish and Middle Eastern Israeli food cultures. It sounds a little crazy, but it’s incredibly good: the flavorful seasoning blend, slightly sweet from the dried onion and garlic, balances out the salty, briny feta interior, and the cream and cottage cheese in the filling, New York bagel shop staples, make for a smooth, creamy blend. A little bit of spinach, a personal must for me in cheese bourekas, adds color and flavor, and the bourekas, made with store-bought puff pastry, come together in minutes.
I plan on serving these for the holiday of Shavuot, alongside a host of other dairy, cheesy goodies, but they wouldn’t be out of place at brunch (serve with shakshuka) or even at a Middle Eastern dinner party, where they’d make delicious appetizers. However you choose to serve them, you’ll have people clamoring for bourekas- and the recipe, so be prepared to make lots and keep this recipe handy!
For more pictures and the recipe, click here!