Khatchapouri: The universal college food hack

by Alin Asadooran Hajiabadi

Grocery shopping can seem like the hardest part of your week, made even worse when you have to prep a meal after a long day. As a college student always running around, sleep-deprived and responsible for too many assignments, fret not! You don’t ever have to fall short of an easy and affordable breakfast, lunch or snack idea. With this soul-satisfying discovery, you can count on some delicious, homemade and college-budget-friendly eats to give you energy and raise your spirits.

The one, the only, Armenian Khatchapouri

This might arguably be the best simple recipe to have on hand when you crave something delicious, time-efficient, affordable and versatile. All you need is ready-made puff-pastry dough, which you can buy from any grocery store.

The ones most common in Armenian and Persian grocery stores are the Indo-European and Mid East brands, although you might also find Zergüt and Pepperidge Farm brands in American grocery stores.

Once you make the purchase, here’s all you need to do: thaw out the frozen dough for a little while, add several spoonfuls of feta cheese onto a piece of the dough cut into a triangle or square shape, fold it over to make a little hand pie and finally seal the edges with a fork. Then brush it with some egg wash, which gives it color and crispiness. You can choose to skip this step, but it’ll be a lot more rewarding if you include the egg wash. Make as many more as you want, baking them according to the directions on the puff pastry package (which range between 15 to 25 minutes), and savor them!

Don’t worry, though. The possibilities don’t end with feta cheese turnovers. You can add anything you want and it will be amazing because it’s puff pastry we’re talking about, and puff pastry is puff pastry. Some delicious simple variations are steamed spinach with onions (which go great with feta cheese), or Nutella or jam (if you have a sweet tooth). You know the saying “the puff pastry is your oyster,” so never pass it up. The food combinations and flavor opportunities are endless. And thank the lovely Armenians for contributing Khatchapouris to the world. I leave you with yet another piece of advice: visit all the Armenian bakeries in Los Angeles while you’re here, because you can always count on these fresh, mouth-watering, affordable bites.

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