My recipe for eggplant geragour was inspired after I was a dinner guest at the home of Mitch and Rose Kehetian, the excellent Mushetsi cook.
It has since become a staple in our diet, with the man of the house requesting it at least once a week. It is simple to prepare, healthy, and delicious. Through our 48 years of marriage, he has learned to love our geragours of green beans, cabbage with burger, peas, leeks, swiss chard, and on a rare occasion, onion stew (soghanleh).
He begs for heresa, but bowed out when it came to okra geragour, that famous “bamya stew,” until he tried it—and loved it—the way Rose Kehetian prepared it. I purchased fresh okra yesterday and it will be on the dinner table this week, so let’s see his reaction.
I’m paraphrasing: “Is there an Armenian with soul so dead who never to himself hath said give me my pilaf, my dolma, my boreg too, give me my tut maj abour and parag hatz; where is my bamya, my seroun and chee kufta, where is my kharput kufta shaped by my mother’s gentle hands.”
Eggplant ‘Geragour’ (Serves six)
1 medium eggplant peeled, cut in half, into strips, then into 1-inch cubes
2 medium zucchinis, peeled and cut onto 1-inch cubes
1 green pepper cut onto 1-inch cubes
1 red pepper cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large chopped tomato
2 stalks chopped celery
1 medium diced onion for flavor, if desired
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2+ cups chicken broth
1/4 cup No. 3 size bulgur
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t. dried sweet basil
Mix all vegetables and other ingredients in heavy pan on top of range. I add no oil. Cover and cook over medium low heat 15-20 minutes until bulgur is cooked and vegetables are al dente. Add more broth if necessary so as not to burn.
Note: Vary the vegetables to your liking.
How about a cold beer with a warm slice of cheese boreg? This recipe has never failed to please friends and relatives, and always leaves them clamoring for more. I also use this same puff pastry sheets to make a hamburger boreg in a 13 x 9 baking dish. I use two pounds of very lean loose hamburger filling cooked with diced onions, dried sweet basil, salt and pepper. Follow baking directions as for the cheese boreg.
Puff Pastry Cheese ‘Boreg’
Cheese filling: Mix ingredients together and set aside.
1 lb. Grated Muenster or brick cheese
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup chopped parsley, if desired
Taste mixture before adding salt and pepper
Method: Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin, then place 1 puff pastry sheet on floured top rolling gently to fit bottom of baking dish (13×9). Place cheese mixture filling on top of pastry sheet.
Roll out second pastry sheet and place on top of cheese filling. Fold edges of top sheet under edges of bottom sheet to secure filling. Use fork to gently poke holes in several places on top crust, then brush top with egg.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.