Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spanakopita

We're gettin fancy up in here.  And by fancy, I mean I made something with a Greek name and phyllo, because that's my definition of fancy.  Yours can (should?) be different.  I went to a party a while back, and wanted to make something nicer for it, because the people who hosted it are nice.  And into food, so I figured they'd be on board.  Then, I found out that it's one of their favorite foods ever, which was a delightful surprise.

In order to fit my extremely high standards of fancy, this requires using phyllo dough.  I promise, this isn't as hard as you think it is.  We managed the baklava, right?  And it was totally do able.  I had an easier time with this, and I'm not sure why.  Could be because it's cold outside (it's also cold inside), so the sheets didn't stick together as much.  Or, could be because I had done it before, so I was less nervous.  Either way, phyllo dough is your friend.  Your delicious, flaky, buttery friend.  And aren't those the best kind?

Also, there is a lot of spinach in this, so it's basically a health food.  I made mine in my cast iron skillet, because I thought it would look prettier (it did), but you can use whatever kind of pan you want.  Or, if you're feeling really fancy, do little baby ones in a muffin tin.  You will probably never see me do that because it seems like it takes a long time, and my time is very valuable.  There are unwatched episodes of Frasier on my Netflix.  Priorities, I have them.






















Spanakopita - from About a Mom

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Pounds Spinach, Rinsed, Chopped, and Squeezed
1/2 Cup Parsley, Chopped
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Feta Cheese, Crumbled
8 Sheets Phyllo Dough
1/4 Cup Olive Oil (for phyllo brushing)
Salt and Pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 375 and lightly brush a pan with olive oil.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onions, green onions, and garlic.  Sautee until softened and lightly browned.  Add in spinach and parsley and continue to cook until the spinach is wilted.  I used frozen spinach that I had then de-frosted using the very technical method of running it under hot water for a while, so I didn't really need to wilt it.  So, I just cooked it for a couple of minutes, so that it got warmed through.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a bit.

While the spinach mixture is cooling, mix together the cheeses and eggs in a large bowl.  Add the spinach mixture, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.


























Now, onto the phyllo.  Layer one sheet in the pan, then brush with olive oil.  Repeat so that you have four layers.  Since I used a round pan, I crossed them so that all the sides were covered.

























Gently fill with the spinach cheese mixture.  Remember, phyllo is delicate, so be careful that you don't tear it while dumping your filling in.  Gentle hands, please.  Thank you, that was so nice (nanny mode ACTIVATED)!


























Fold the overlap into the middle of the pan.  Then, do four more layers of phyllo on top.  Tuck the overlap into the sides, so that it's not just hanging out and brush the top with olive oil.  It's a fancy dish, so you want it to look fancy.

























Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Slice into wedges and enjoy.

























See, that wasn't so hard, right?  You've totally got this.  Go forth and impress everyone you know.

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite fancy food? 

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