¡hot plate! souberag and havaboor

6 Feb

Savory and I started doing these long-distance cooking dates recently where we both cook the same dish on the same day, and this weekend we took it back to his roots and went all Armenian–making souberag (a cheese pastry) and havaboor (a broth-based soup with egg and lemon).

These dishes went well together for a couple of reasons: First, because in terms of preparation, you can focus on each one separately and still have them both finished at the same time. And second, because the citrus flavor of the havaboor provided a really nice complement to the souberag, and while neither dish has meat you still leave the table feeling satisfied (and very, very full!).

The first step to making souberag is the most important: Put a pound of cheese into a bowl. Without eating all of it.

A WHOLE POUND of cheese. Hands off!

Next, butter up 10 layers of phyllo dough to give your cheese a comfy cushion of deliciousness, place cheese directly on top and then cover with 10 more layers of phyllo dough. Yes, you butter those layers, too–right before you top it all off with a magical egg and milk mixture and let it sit, basking in all its glory, for 30 minutes.

Souberag, anxiously waiting to be baked

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the soup:

Havaboor, before

Here, there’s a little trick: While the broth is cooking with the egg noodles, rice and salt, you froth the eggs and stir in the lemon, and then toss in a couple spoonfuls of the heated broth (to brace it for what’s coming, I suppose) and then stir it into the broth. The texture that comes from frothing the eggs is absolutely what makes this dish.

Yum and yum.

Dinner’s ready! Or as Savory’s grandma used to say, hrammetsek! Note: The parsley garnish on the soup is essential–as is mentally preparing yourself for the yumminess that’s about to happen in your mouth.

A special thank you to Josh and Mama Savory for the recipes and language assistance, and for sharing these cooking adventures with me!


5 Responses to “¡hot plate! souberag and havaboor”

  1. Magneto February 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Looks delicious… Next up Baklava!!

  2. Gloria Savory February 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Gina, Nice Job, looks delicious and good commentary!!!
    I can’t wait to make you Bourma it is a more Armenian version of Baklava – but much lighter. I belieave it is in the book. If you are able have Josh make you the manta that I mailed him. Mama Savory
    Oh, Happy Valentines…..

  3. Aunt Elaine February 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Gina – We are Josh’s Aunt & Uncle/Godmother/Godfather – Uncle Mark introduced me to Armenian cooking when we were just teenagers. I really love your sense of humour and obvious appreciation for food of all origins – but particularly amazed that Josh is cooking these wonderful dishes with you! Looking forward to meeting – and cooking – with you – Aunt Elaine & Uncle Mark

  4. Gina Welker February 8, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Bourma sounds amazing! Josh is going to make the manta for dinner when I see him on Thursday. So glad I get to try it; he’s been raving about your manta soup for weeks. :)

  5. Gina Welker February 8, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Aunt Elaine and Uncle Mark! Thank you so much for the compliment; glad you like the blog. Josh is doing a great job in the kitchen–and hopefully having some fun while he’s at it. :)

    Hope to meet you soon!

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