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What is "brick"


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18 replies to this topic

#1 PaulaJK

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:17 PM

Does anyone know what this item is?

#2 Steve Klc

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:19 PM

Think of it like a thicker, stronger phyllo.
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#3 Bond Girl

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:28 PM

I heard that it's like a thick cookie-ish kind of wrap that is a bit like a egg roll wrapper. The Nobu cookbook has a recipe that requires it, but I can never find it in any of my usual NYC food shops.
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#4 Bux

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 10:20 PM

I'm sure Klc is correct. I've seen it called for often in French cooking magazines and never, or rarely, in American recipes. I've always assumed it was identical to phyllo. I suspect it's easily obtained in France and that one could use phyllo here, although it may be too thin. I'm not exactly sure what an egg roll wrapper looks like raw.
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#5 Bouland

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 11:19 AM

Does anyone know what this item is?

The spelling is "brik." It's French and is similar to phyllo but slightly thicker and not as fragile when fried. Whenever i've used it, the sheets came packaged in a plastic bag similar to Chinese spring roll wrappers except each sheet of brik had a paper seperator. I've only seen these supplied as round pieces of dough, but I believe they are available as square pieces, too.
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#6 PaulaJK

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 03:45 PM

Thanks...now I'll look for a source and try it!

#7 Lesley C

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 09:59 PM

Steve's right. Also, it comes in rounds as opposed to rectangular sheets. You usually use two layers for a beggar's purse type thingy.

#8 Michael Laiskonis

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Posted 25 January 2003 - 11:04 PM

The cool thing about 'feuille de brik' is that it can be sautéed, in addition to baking or frying it. We currently make a coconut rice pudding, roll it up in a sheet of brik, brushed with clarified butter, and sauté a la minute. Very versatile and not nearly as likely to dry out as phyllo tends to do if you aren't careful. We buy ours from a company called Gourmand which, I believe, is based in New Jersey. Problem is, it comes in a huge case of a couple hundred sheets... The once or twice that I've seen it on a retail level, I recall seeing a brand with the word 'crèpe' in name...

Edited by mlpc, 25 January 2003 - 11:04 PM.

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#9 wingding

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 03:03 AM

Brik is Tunisian in origin.The classic version is tuna and an egg,chilis,etc.,wrapped in the brik dough,and fried.Very delicious!

#10 Sandra Levine

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 07:47 AM

Paula Wolfert says in her classic, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco,Chinese spring roll wrappers are the closest thing to brik.

#11 VivreManger

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 09:09 AM

Brick/Brik is related culinarily and etymologically to the Turkish borek (that is o with an umlaut) and the Sefardi boreka. Maghrabi Arabic (that is the language of the Western Arab World, North Africa) drops vowels in colloquial and thus borek can become brk/brik. The dough used in the Tunisian version is one more variation on the phylo-type that has been previously discussed by Steve Klc and others.

Each of these savories require meat, fish, vegetable, egg, or cheese to be wrapped or covered in a single sheet or multiple sheets of dough of variable flakiness and then cooked. The cooking method like the precise type of dough varies. The Turkish borek is deep-fried. The Sefardi boreka (and similar dishes I have had in Bosnia) is often baked. The item may be individually wrapped and cooked like the borek or boreka or it may be cooked and only cut after, as in a large tray of spanokopita.

I have never had a fruit borek/boreka, but no reason it does not exist.

A good Armenian/Greek/Middle Eastern store should stock the necessary ingredients. If Eastern Mediterranean, the store clerk should know the Turkish borek and be able to guide you to the proper dough. I am not a fan of Paula Wolpert's cooking advice. You might see if Claudia Roden has any good details. She has several borek recipes in her Middle Eastern cookbook and probably in her Jewish book as well.

Edited by VivreManger, 26 January 2003 - 09:13 AM.


#12 Aquitaine

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:22 PM

Source for "brik" ---- Paris Gourmet (800) PASTRY-1 (727-8791)

Also called: Feuille de brik.

Paris Gourmet calls it “Shape-a-crepe”; apparently it is a thin, pliable, light whole-wheat crepe, uncooked; you can shape in any form desired, spray with butter and fry it. Retains the shape you mold it into, e.g., a muffin tin (I guess you would then lift it out of the tin and put it onto a baking sheet?). Not sure where home cooks/amateurs can buy it. Paris Gourmet says that Otto Brehm (914) 968-6100 is a distributor in Yonkers that carries it.

(Just happened to come across it in the Fall 2002 issue of Art Culinaire....never heard of it before, and now, bang! I guess that's why it's called coincidence.....)

Anyone who happens to get their hands on some, please let us know where, and what you do/did with it!

#13 Michael Laiskonis

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:41 PM

Retains the shape you mold it into, e.g., a muffin tin (I guess you would then  lift it out of the tin and put it onto a baking sheet?).

Almost. If one is looking to make a cup-like form, I would use two cut-out circles or squares. Brush each with clarified, or simply melted, butter. Layer the two pieces (you can inlay herbs or a flavored sugar mixture also, for example), and form around the outside of a timbale or dariole mold. Then place a ring mold (slightly larger in diameter than the timbale mold) around it and bake. The brik will want to straighten out while baking, so the ring mold helps hold the shape. Oh, and spraying both the timbale and the ring helps! Lacking the timbale mold or ring mold, simply leaving the brik in a muffin pan while baking will suffice, most likely. I recommend two layers, as once filled, the baked brik does tend to absorb any moisture very quickly.

Phyllo has its uses, but I can't remember the last time I used it since I discovered brik.

Edited by Michael Laiskonis, 25 February 2003 - 10:49 PM.

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#14 Aquitaine

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for the additional information, Michael.

(How do you know so much about what would seem to be an esoteric item? I'm new to the forum, so I'm guessing that you are a professional....and that you have access to it through wholesalers??)

#15 Basildog

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 07:57 AM

Ate plenty of Brik in Tunisia.Favourite was a spinach version with a poached egg inside.MMMMMM. We put them on our menu for awhile, using filo pastry

#16 Xanthippe

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 12:57 PM

Brik is Tunisian in origin.The classic version is tuna and an egg,chilis,etc.,wrapped in the brik dough,and fried.Very delicious!

It *sounds* delicious!! Akin to the ubiquitous (albeit wonderful if done right) sausage roll, perhaps??

I must "go brik," and soon . . .

#17 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 01:04 PM

Exactly - I associate it with Morocco and Turkey, and I thought I'd seen it spelt "brique" too.

New Yorkers with money to burn will be interested in the version served at Atelier, where slices of squab breast and foie gras are wrapped in cabbage and then encased in sheets of brique. Sort of upmarket pigeon pie.

#18 Steve Klc

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 05:41 AM

As we've said, pastry chefs in the US have used brik for years--no doubt because it is less fragile and less delicate than phyllo--and also as Michael notes it doesn't dry out the way phyllo does. Here's the thing, though--the down side of brik is it is not the light, delicate and fragile phyllo--so if not used judiciously it doesn't just crack with a fork and can be as problematic on a plate as some garish molded chocolate cup or cop-out Chocolates a la Carte container. Pastry chefs love it most, though, because molded containers of it are much easier to store and handle. My question for everyone who has used it--has brik gotten better over the years? Are there different thicknesses?
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#19 PaulaJK

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Posted 28 February 2003 - 06:34 PM

I did locate some....made a spicey couscous...set a pigeon leg
in the center [I was using the breast in another form] ...wrapped
both in the brik ...brushed w. butter and baked. It tasted very
interesting although my wrapping technique /hence the appearance/
left room for a lot of practice. While I did manage to perforate a
round or two, I think that with experience it would be much
easier to use than phyllo.