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Friday
Aug052011

Spanakopita


I've always wanted to try to cook with phyllo dough, but I've been too intimidated until now.  I saw this recipe from Stephanie Cooks, which she adapted from Annie's Eats (originally from Ina Garten), and immediately flagged it for a future meal.  This week, I showed my menu ideas to Joel and he shot down the spanakopita, which I was just going to pair with a simple side salad.  He had tried one during the cocktail hour of my cousin's wedding last weekend while I was outside for pictures, and he wasn't a big fan.  So, I packed up the ingredients on Wednesday and took them to my mom's house for dinner while Joel sailed.  The original recipe yields 6 strudels, but I ended up making many smaller ones because I didn't let the phyllo defrost first (see, I always manage to miss something in a recipe!), and therefore only ended up with half sheets, which I then cut in half again.  While sitting at the table for dinner, my 18 month old niece reached over to her mom's plate and grabbed her triangle.  She bit into it, and with a face-full of phyllo crumbs, she continued to eat it.  At first I wasn't sure if she liked how they tasted or the sound they made as she bit into it, but she then proceeded to grab another one off the platter and eat that as well.  Apparently they were that good!

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped small
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
12 sheets Phyllo Dough, defrosted
6 tablespoons Butter, melted

In a saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the green onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Add the onion mixture and mix well to combine.  Gently fold in the feta.  Place one sheet of phyllo on a flat work surface.  Brush with melted butter and top with an additional sheet of phyllo, repeating until 4 sheets are layered.  Using a pizza cutter, slice the phyllo in half, lengthwise.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of the spinach mixture onto the edge of the phyllo rectangle.  Fold the dough over in a triangular fashion, as if you were folding a flag.  Repeat until all of the triangles have been formed.  Brush the tops of each triangle with melted butter.  Place the triangles on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

*Reheating leftovers was slightly difficult.  I didn't want to microwave them because I was afraid they'd get mushy.  Instead, I put them in the toaster oven, but the tops started to get too dark.  Next time, I might try to flash freeze the portion I won't be eating prior to cooking, and store them in the freezer.  This way, I can cook them fresh as I want them.  If I try that, I'll let you know how it works.

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