Puff, Puff, Pies
Every once in a while – not too often of course – I stop blogging about food for long enough to go cook something. Spinach pie (spanakopita) is one of the first semi-gourmet things I figured out how to make. It’ s one of those dishes that is fairly easy to do but somehow still really impresses people.
Unfortunately, I seem to have run into some bad kitchen karma lately, possibly due to my making fun of gansie and Howie. While shopping for ingredients, I made a major mistake and bought plain old puff pastry dough instead of perfect phyllo. So I had my spinach filling all mixed and ready to go, and opened up my phyllo to discover that instead of 100 sheets of beautiful flaky goodness, I had four doughy layers of puff that would be much better for making some kind of weird English meat pie than the delicate spanakopita.
I grabbed a rolling pin and did some emergency work, flattening them out to more sheet-like layers and then just went ahead and made it anyway. Fortunately, this was one of those “how bad can it be” situations, since it was still a mixture of dough, butter, spinach and cheese.
Recipe, assuming you buy the correct ingredients, after the jump.
For the filling, mix together:
-1 package of defrosted frozen spinach (I think it’s much easier to work with for this than leafy fresh spinach)
-1 chopped yellow onion
-1 block of crumbled feta cheese. I don’t crumble it as small as if you’re putting it in a salad – I like to leave it in bigger chunks so you get some nice big tastes of it.
-Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder.
Construct the pie in a large pyrex dish:
-Melt 1/2 stick of butter. Using a pastry brush, grease the bottom of the dish.
-Spread layers of the phyllo across the dish, liberally buttering them with the pastry brush every 3 or 4 layers.
-After about 15 layers, spread your spinach filling across the phyllo.
-Add 15 more layers of phyllo on top of the spinach in the same manner – make sure to butter the top layer so you get that crispy brown finish.
-Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until you get that golden-brown goodness.
If there are any Greek grandmas out there, let me know if I missed anything.
do you ever vary the spinach mixture…I’d think some red pepper flakes would be great here.
red pepper would be good…I’ve actually been trying to think of something major to add – I’ve tried chicken but the texture was a bit off, was thinking maybe roasted red peppers or somethign spicy next time
How about finely diced kalamata olives?
oh WOW that is an amazing idea…def going in the mix next time
You might also think about adding pine nuts for some crunch.
JoeHoya! You’re back! We missed you! Tell us about Peru, please.
I’ve been back! But it’s nice to know I was missed. Peru was a great time – lots of fun things to eat (alpaca, guinea pig, strange fruits that look HORRIBLE but taste less horrible) and definitely an amazing trip.
I don’t want to hijack BS’s spanakopita discussion, but I’d be happy to email you some details or fill you in some other way if you’d like.
have any food pics to share?
As luck would have it, one of the other volunteers on the program we did took photos of pretty much EVERYTHING – something like 2500 pictures over the course of two weeks. She got pictures of a lot of our meals, including all of the foods I mentioned above and quite a few others.