Cheese Scoops

Cheese Scoops

I have to admit that the time between this and the previous post is longer than I planned but before being mad at me let me tell you one thing; during this break I was on a trip, the luscious details of which will be shared with you in the coming posts. But for now, I’d like to express my deep sorrow due to an unpleasant occasion that took place recently. Foodies living in Istanbul will definitely know the name Okko famous with its high quality pastries, gourmet cheeses, distinct charcuterie products and various savory snacks. All of a sudden they closed all their 3 branches in different locations and the staff left the place silently without touching anything in the stores. All sort of bakery stuff, breathtaking desserts, best in town vegetables and fruits were deserted to decay. The only difference between the previous day was that there were no customers, no cashiers, no butchers, no one to greet at the door, even no lights but a huge notification taped onto front window saying “store for rent”.

Oiling the Filo Dough

It was a sacred place for me and have always felt quite lucky since my house was about a few minutes walk from Okko, like a fortunate Buddhist living next to his temple in Tibet. I was able to find special stuff from black Italian truffle infused olive oil to Manchego cheese from La Mancha region in Spain. The place was full of mouthwatering items that you could never hold yourself back. It is difficult to see all these valuable items going off day by day everytime I pass by. It is said that the owner went bankrupt so badly due to the last investment he made; the biggest Okko branch of all, recently opened up in a luxurious residence’s shopping center even featuring a special wine cellar. This biggest investment turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life and now nobody knows where he is. Looks like the wealthy high heels of the city are a bit stingy when it comes to filling up their refrigerator weekly.

Now I am sitting in my chair looking at the last piece of tasty fresh goat cheese I bought from Okko. I need to make something spectacular out of this as a tribute to my old relish temple. To my taste, the tangy flavor of fresh goat cheese is an elegant companion to most of the green salads and grilled vegetables. French call this cheese as chèvre (means goat) and they produce several fine varieties as if they did not have already enough delicious stuff. It is a light, soft cheese with a creamy texture but when ripen it turns into a firm cheese like feta. Compared to cow cheese, goat cheese is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol while it provides more calcium. Another interesting fact is that goat milk is closer to human milk than cow milk and many people who are allergic to milk products can eat cheeses from goat milk without any complication.

Preparing the filo dough cone

Speaking of my original recipe, it is quite delicious, with lots of different flavors hidden inside and has an outstanding presentation that your guests will remember afterwards, like the way I will remember Okko everytime I pass by that corner.

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

  • 6 rectangular piece of filo dough each with size 14cm x 28cm (5.5 in x 11 in)
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 4 green olives
  • An egg yolk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 80 gram (2,8 oz) feta cheese
  • 40 gram (1,4 oz) cream cheese
  • 40 gram (1,4 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 120 gram (4,2 oz) fresh goat cheese
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 piece of beetroot pickle

The Filo Dough Cone


1. Blend the olive oil, green olives and black pepper in a food processor until the olive pieces are finely chopped.
2. By the help of a brush spread some olive oil mixture on one half of the rectangular filo dough and fold the other side on this one, ending up a 14cm x 14 cm (5,5 in x 5,5 in) square form. Repeat the same for all six pieces.
3. Lay each folded filo sheet on a flat surface and start rolling it by using a stainless steel pastry cone (as shown in the picture) and cut the excess parts with food scissors.
4. Slightly brush each cone shaped filo dough with egg yolk and place (keeping the steel cones inside) on a baking sheet.
5. Bake the cone shaped filo doughs in an oven preheated to 180 C (356 F) for 15 minutes or until they have a golden color. Take the steel cones out of the pastries. Put them aside to cool down.
6. In a deep bowl combine all four cheeses and mix well by a fork.
7. Divide the cheese mixture into three equal portions.
8. Grate the skin of a cucumber on one of the cheese portions and stir well. (Be careful not to drip any cucumber juice, grating the skin is more than enough)
9. Grate small piece of beetroot pickle on second cheese portion and stir well.
10. Grate just the surface of a half of the sweet red pepper on the third cheese portion and stir well.
11. Let three different cheese mixtures rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
12. By the help of a scoop place a piece of cheese on each filo dough cone and serve right away.

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