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Recipe: Chef Karen Nicolas’ Baked Mushroom Bureka with Summer Bean Salad and Feta Cheese

Karen Nicolas, executive chef at Todd Gray’s Equinox, is one of only a handful of lucky toques to be named among Food & Wine magazine’s 2012 Best New Chefs in America. Chef Nicolas recently sailed on Amsterdam as part of the Culinary Arts Center program and gave a couple of exciting and mouth-watering demonstrations.



1 box frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
1 russet potato
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 pound shitake mushrooms
½ c chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp minced rosemary
1 cup melted butter

Peel the potato and place in a sauce pot.
Cover the potato with water and simmer until the potato is completely cooked through.
Strain out the potato and set aside.
Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms.
In a large sauté pan, add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms are golden brown and cooked through.
Deglaze with the white wine and cook until all the wine is evaporated.
Add the rosemary and 2 tsp salt.
Place the cooked mushrooms in a robot coupe/food processor and blend until all the mushrooms are roughly chopped.
Add the potato and continue blending for 1 minute.
Allow the mushroom mixture to cool before rolling the burekas.
Place on sheet of phyllo on a clean table and gently brush the entire surface with the melted butter.
Top with another phyllo and gently brush the entire surface with melted butter.
Repeat the phyllo process a third time.
Place the filling along the bottom edge of the phyllo. The filling should resemble the shape of cigar shape.
Gently roll the phyllo into a cigar shape.
Place on an oiled baking sheet.
Repeat the rolling process again until all the filling is gone.
Brush the phyllo rolls with butter and bake at 350F for 15-20 until golden brown.


2 heads frisee lettuce
1/2 cup blanched green beans (1” cut pieces)
1/2 cup blanched yellow beans (1” cut pieces)
¼ c torn basil leaves
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt

Toss all salad ingredients together and serve with the burekas.

Holland America Line is a proud partner of Food & Wine magazine on the Culinary Arts Center program.

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