Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spanakopita

My Uncle Willy arrived in Dallas with his suitcase, a Tupperware container of spanakopita, strawberry bread and Chappell Hill sausage.  House guests like this are welcome any time!!  A quick bake in the oven and we are enjoying an appetizer on the patio. 

Do you remember my comment about “only good things come from frozen pastry sheets?” (Palmiers, June 23, 2012)  This recipe continues to prove my theory correct (pastry sheets or phyllo dough - it's all flaky goodness to me) and with spinach inside, you can claim that you are eating it for your health.  And if you need more justification, take it from Popeye “…I’m strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach.”

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Ginny – this recipe is for your next dinner party.  Thanks for the inspiration today!


Ingredients:
Spanakopita
1.      1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach
2.      1 cup finely chopped onions
3.      2–3 cloves finely chopped garlic
4.      1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (optional)
5.      6 oz. feta cheese, finely crumbled
6.      1 teaspoon dried oregano
7.      20 (or so) sheets of frozen phyllo pastry dough (Use Athens brand, if you can find it.      Regardless, the sheets are approximately 9”x 14” and generally come packaged two units to a box, each unit containing approximately 20 sheets.)
8.      ½ cup (you may need slightly more) melted butter
9.      1–2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook spinach according to package instructions.  Drain well, squeezing out excess moisture.  Meanwhile, in hot skillet, heat the olive oil and add onions and garlic (and shallots, if desired).  Saut√© until onions are translucent.  Add oregano, spinach and feta cheese and mix all ingredients together.

Defrost one package of phyllo dough, according to package instructions.  Cover a flat surface with a generous amount of wax paper.  One sheet at a time, brush a sheet with melted butter.  Place a second sheet on top of the first sheet.  Butter the second sheet.  Repeat again with a third sheet of dough.  After you have “assembled” the three stacked sheets, all well-buttered, cut length-wise into three strips (making them approximately 3”x 14” each).

Place about 1 tablespoon of spinach/cheese mixture at one end of each strip.  Fold the end over the filling at a right angle.  Continue to form a triangle, end over end.  (Consult with a Boy Scout if you need to know how to do this “flag fold”.)  When the triangle is finished, brush the entire exterior with more melted butter, and set aside.

Continue the process of 3 sheets, individually buttered, cut in thirds, filled with filling, and flag-folded until all sheets of dough are used.  Then place all on a flat cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Serve warm.

Note: When phyllo dough is removed from its packaging, you will need to keep a lightly moistened dish towel over the contents until you are ready to use the next sheet.  If there are tears or holes in the sheets, or the sheets are crinkled, do not despair.  Just continue buttering and “stacking” the sheets.  Magically, all “mistakes” disappear in the baking!  (Actually, crinkling will give more texture and airiness to the finished product.)

1 comment:

Minnie(@thelady8home) said...

Fantastic. Sounds very tasty. have to try out. :-D