Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spanakopita



Is anyone else as intimidated by Phyllo dough as I am?  Just the thought of having to work like a mad woman to avoid Phyllo disaster terrified me...and now I know why.  While this wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done, it wasn't totally easy either.  


I absolutely LOVE Spanakopita...it's buttery and flaky and salty and cheesy, and seriously, what else do you need in life.  I used to pick up a box of the frozen stuff regularly and eat just that for dinner.  I've tried fresh, and to be honest, this box frozen stuff was actually better, sad but true.  (I'm sure there's some great fresh stuff out there, I just haven't been lucky enough to get any yet)  Then the worst thing ever happened...Kroger stopped carrying it!  WTF, what in the world would cause them to do that? 


Maybe it's a good thing after all, the stuff can't possibly be good for you, and if I'm forced to make it myself I'll dang sure be eating a lot less of it.  That being said, it was awesome and totally worth my effort!  I made the first batch over the weekend and took it to a moms group meeting, there wasn't any left to take home, so I guess they liked it.  I personally thought it was missing something, so I changed it up a bit for the second round, and I (and the hubby), both think it came out much better.


Every recipe I read said to just use melted butter (or olive oil), but I just so happened to catch a Good Eats episode where Alton was making Baklava, he recommended using clarified butter when working with Phyllo dough so that you would eliminate the water in plain melted butter...so that's the way I went here as well.  If you've never made Spanakopita yourself, I highly recommend giving it a try!


Spanakopita 
aka Greek Spinach Pie | Spanakopitakia 


1 1/2-2 Sticks unsalted butter, clarified and cooled
1 lb fresh baby spinach
1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Pkg Phyllo dough, thawed (1 8oz pk)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
olive oil


1. Wilt your spinach with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, you'll most likely need to work in batches.  Allow the spinach to cool, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, rough chop and put into a medium sized bowl. 


2. Sauté chopped onion and parsley in olive oil until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add to spinach, along with egg, lemon juice, feta and nutmeg, combine until all ingredients are well mixed.


3.  Lay out 1 piece of Phyllo dough, brush with  butter, overlap with one more piece of Phyllo, brush again with butter.  Using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), cut your Phyllo into 3 strips, (picture below to help give you a visual).


4. Place about 1 1/2 Tbs of spinach mixture at the end of each strip of Phyllo.  Roll into triangles, like you would the American Flag :) 


5.  Continue until you've used all of your spinach mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they're nice and golden.  Sprinkle with a little salt while they're still hot. 


Tips: 
1. Keep your Phyllo under plastic wrap and a damp towel while you're working with it.
2. You can make these ahead (about 3-4 days), freeze before cooking, then when you need them, just pop them in the oven frozen!
3. If you aren't interested in all this work, make a pie in a baking dish instead.  Bake for about 40 minutes, cutting into slices about half way through.
 


 

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11 comments:

jasmine said...

mmm... my grandmother was an amazing cook and grew up in turkey. spanikopita and baklava and stuffed grape leaves and the most amazing strawberry cake you've ever had in you're life. i'm having an appetizer party for my birthday and might just need to make this :)

and i love the updated blog look!

Fiona said...

I love this dish, and I'm going to try your filling recipe. Mine doesn't have nutmeg or parsley but *does* have pine nuts. Also, I didn't think to clarify my butter.

One way to avoid having to cut the filo and layer it is that you take one sheet, lay it out long-wise, then fold it in thirds. Then butter the length and roll it with the filling in it, buttering the top every couple of turns. You get the same number of layers but it's one coherent piece so there's a lot less tearing and it's quick.

It's good to know there are people as obsessed as me with spanikopita.

EverydayMama said...

Jasmine you really should, they really aren't that hard and I promise, they're totally yummy!

Fiona, I thought about the pine nuts, I even have some too...I don't know why I didn't. Great suggestion for the phyllo dough, next time!

Cooking Mama said...

I LOVE this dish!!!

Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} said...

These look awesome! I keep wanting to make spanakopita triangles, but haven't made the time. These just made me clear my calendar!

Lisa said...

Just wanted to say you have a beautiful blog. Enjoyed reading. :)

Alisa@Foodista said...

Its been so long since we last made this.You did a great job with this one, looks delicious!I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!

Melissa said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know my Kroger has the frozen spanikopita! I never saw it before, but I noticed it the other day. I almost bought some after you raved about it! Wonder why your stopped carrying it? I'd request it.

Angela [YourEverydayMama] said...

Damn them! I have no idea why they stopped, unless it just wasn't get bought. I love the stuff, but maybe it just isn't a hot item here.

Angela [YourEverydayMama] said...

Thanks Alisa, that is very cool! Added the linkie thing, you've given me another place to visit!

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