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Food Friday: Dairy With Deanna Fox 5/21/21

Deanna Fox baking
Deanna Fox

Here to talk dairy today is Food Friday favorite Deanna Fox! WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Deanna Fox is a food and agriculture journalist who travels the globe in search of the story, meaning and purpose of our food heritage and systems. She was also the owner of Albany Cooking School for several years. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, The Kitchn, Eater, the Times Union and more. Stories, videos and recipes can be found at www.foxonfood.comor at Fox on Food on Facebookand Instagram.

To join the conversation, give us a call at 1-800-348-2551 or you can e-mail us at VoxPop@wamc.org

CHEESE BLINTZ (makes 5-6 servings)

For the crepes

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

METHODAdd the eggs and milk to a blender, place the top on the blender, and blend to combine. Add the flour, sugar, and kosher salt to a blender, place the top back on the blender, and pulse to combine into a velvety mixture. The batter can be made as much as 24 hours in advance, stored in the refrigerator.

Use the melted butter to brush on a crepe pan over medium heat. Add batter to the heated pan about 1/4-cup at a time and swirl it around neatly to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook the crepe quickly on both sides. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Continue making crepes in the above manner, adding a little brushed batter as needed, until all the batter is used. You should aim to have 10 to 12 crepes.

For the cheese filling

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt

METHODNote: for a thicker filling, place 1 cup of ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth, placed over a bowl. Allow the ricotta to drain overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to use, discard the liquid in the bowl and use the ricotta as directed.

Combine all ingredients together using a food processor, blender, electric hand mixer or whisk. This mixture should be smooth and lump-free and can be combined up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the cherry or blueberry sauce


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen sweet cherries (pitted) or blueberries
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

METHODPlace the cherries or blueberries, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cover the saucepan and reduce heat to low/medium-low so the mixture just simmers and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth, then pour into the fruit mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil again and cook for 2 minutes, or until thickened.

To assemble


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

METHODEvenly divide the cheese filling among the crepes, dolloping the cheese filling on one half of each crepe. Start wrapping each crepe into a blintz by bringing the side furthest from you up to cover the filling, having the edge come to the middle of the crepe. Fold the two adjacent sides in towards the center, then roll the crepe up around the filling over the remaining exposed side of the crepe to make a burrito-like package.

In a large skillet (the crepe pan works, too!) melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Place 2-3 blintzes in the pan, seam side down, for 1-2 minutes or until the blintzes start to crisp and brown. Turn, and repeat on the opposite side. Remove from the skillet and continue, adding more butter as needed, with remaining blintzes until they are all pan-fried and golden.

Serve two blintzes per serving, topping with the cherry or blueberry filling equally among servings. Serve warm.

BOUREKAS - (makes 20)


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice water, plus more if needed
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, divided
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • Sesame seeds

METHODTo make the dough: Add the flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to a bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and blend the butter into the flour/salt, using a pastry blender, your hands or forks. Continue to press the butter and flour together until you get a mixture that resembles small peas and sandy crumbs. Slowly add the water and mix, pulling from the bottom up, until the mixture is just combined and holds together well. This can also be done in a food processor, pulsing the blade to gently bring the dough together. Dough can be made and refrigerated 24 hours in advance.

Divide the dough into 2 discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the feta, parmesan, ricotta, egg yolk, remaining kosher salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Mix well to combine. (For a smoother filling, mix with an electric hand mixer or blender.)

Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll out to about an 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into rounds using a 3 1/2-inch circle cutter, cutting as many circles as you can. Repeat with the other disc of dough. Rework scraps of dough together and repeat.

Fill a small bowl with water and set aside. Take the remaining egg and mix together with one tablespoon of water in a separate bowl, and set aside.

To form the bourekas, hold 1 dough circle in your hand and with your other hand, dip your fingers into the plain water and rub the water along the edge of the circle. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese filling to the middle of the dough circle, then fold in half to cover the filling completely with dough. Pinch the edges together to make a good seal. Crimp as desired.

Place the boureka on the parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, being sure to leave at least 1 finger’s worth of space between each boureka on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. (If baking more than 1 sheet at a time, be sure to rotate the baking sheets as necessary.) Serve warm.

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