Monday, October 25, 2010

Greece - Spanakopita

I've never really eaten much Greek food. I don't really know much about it. So when it came to finding a good recipe for Greek night I was ever so slightly clueless. But I found a couple good looking recipes for Spanakopita. I remembered my mom making this a couple times when I was younger, and I didn't remember hating it, so I decided to give it a try.
This recipe was kind of a mess to make, and again, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. Hmm, and as I'm reading over the recipe again, I'm realizing I changed it more than I thought. Turns out I forgot two ingredients and a cooking step. Haha, whoops. Still turned out delicious.
So I started with a bag of fresh spinach instead of frozen. I'm pretty sure it made no difference. I sauteed some onion and garlic in olive oil, then added the chopped spinach and cooked it till it was pretty well wilted. Apparently, I was supposed to add some dill and flour at this point and cook it until all the moisture was gone. You can see how well I pay attention to the instructions when I actually start cooking....
Instead of doing that I dumped in the eggs and feta and stirred it up. It was a little runny, and now I understand why. Wasn't a big hindrance, though, I was able to squeeze most of the moisture out as I used it.
So the instructions said to lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and spray it with oil. I don't have a oil spray bottle. So I just brushed it with oil and called it good.
The recipe also said to cut the sheet into three equal lengths the long way. I'm not sure what brand of phyllo dough the original author of this recipe was using, but if I had cut my sheet into 3 strips, I would have had about 3 inch wide ribbons to work with. So I just cut the sheets in half lengthwise.
And after spooning (and squeezing a lot of liquid out of) the mixture onto the corner of one strip, and folding it in half repeatedly to make a triangular shape, I decided to double the phyllo. It helped keep the excess liquid from soaking through the dough and it made for a crispier finished product. And crispier is usually better in my book. Well, at least when it comes to phyllo it is.
Then I put all the little triangles onto a wax paper lined baking sheet (the recipe said to use parchment paper, but I didn't have any, so I used what I had and it worked fine).
Then into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. After that 30 minutes was up, I didn't think my spanakopita triangles were quite golden brown enough so I turned on the broiler full blast and let them sit under it for about 1 minute. If you do that, be sure to watch them very, very closely, for they could easily and quickly go from yummy and golden brown to gross and burnt.
These were very yummy, but I think they would serve better as an appetizer rather than a main course. You can also make spanakopita in a more casserole form, but I thought the triangle thing was cool, so I did that. Maybe the casserole style would be more filling as a main course, but hey, trying out stuff is how we learn things, right?


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed overnight in fridge) (I used fresh spinach)
1 tsp. dried dill
1 Tbs. flour
4 oz. feta
2 eggs
1 pkg. phyllo dough
melted butter

Saute onions in some olive oil over medium heat till soft. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Add spinach, dill and flour, cook 7-10 minutes or until most of the moisture is gone. Remove from the heat and add eggs and feta.
Take one sheet phyllo dough and spray with oil, and place another sheet on top. Cut in half lengthwise. Put a spoonful of spinach mixture and fold up one corner and bring it over to the side. Flip up so it forms a triangle. Continue folding until end of length is reach. Brush the top with butter. Bake on a parchment paper-lined (or wax paper) baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. If not brown enough, turn on broiler for about 1 minutes to crisp up the phyllo. Watch closely so they don't burn.

1 comment:

  1. Yours look very pretty. When I used to make it, I used a pie dish lined with the phyllo. It was good that way too! I am surprised you didn't make tzatziki!