Banica!

The playroom at the gym where I drop little Z has a couple of girls from Bulgaria Bosnia and Yugoslavia that call me the “cooker man” in a loud and thick accented voice when I walk in the door. That is almost always followed with “what are you cooking tonight cooker man?”. So I respond with my normal “I don’t know yet” but one time I returned the question and asked what they were cooking. The one said “Banica!” (pronounced Ba*ni*tsa). After making her spell it and write it out I googled it, I showed her an image and she said “yes, that’s it!”. Looking into it I noticed it was just like a tiropita and we love those around this house, but instead of being in a little triangle shape it was in this cool spiral tube, nice. This was as great! The ingredients are very flexible/forgiving/adaptable. Add spices, mixed cheeses, whatever. Key are the ones I mention below.

Banica

Recipe from Foodists.

Ingredients
12 phyllo dough sheets, about
350 oz. feta cheese, about
if you have cheddar or mozzarella you can sub it in for some of the quantity of the feta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 c. organic plain yogurt
2 T. butter, about
Preparation

In a bowl mix cheeses, eggs and yogurt till consistency is soft but not liquid, set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees. Melt about 2 T. butter in the microwave. Lay out your first phyllo dough sheet and brush with melted butter. Add a second sheet on top loosely, any air and space between sheets makes the airiness/flakiness of the finished dish. Add a third and final layer and brush with butter. Roughly divide cheese filling into four equal parts. The phyllo dough sheets come in rectangular shapes. Spread filling lengthwise a couple inches from an outside edge and roll loosely. Run first log along outside edge of glass pie dish lightly sprayed with olive oil. Make three more rolls running them in a spiral toward the center of pie dish. Brush top with a little more melted butter and bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Serve with cold plain yogurt. You can also mix in some pureed cucumbers and lemon juice for extra flavor.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I have a Bulgarian friend that I cook for. He gave me this recipe to try one day and since then Banista has become a staple on my table. Tasty!
    These pictures look great–I can taste it now.

  2. Posted April 17, 2010 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Victora – Thanks, we’re now in the club!

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