Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spana what?

Spanakopita - Spinach traditionally marrying itself with feta, onions, egg, and dill wrapped in phyllo; this appetizer can also be made larger and fuller to be part of a complete meal.

The gals and I decided that it was time we had a card night as we have all been so busy with our regular lives that we haven't been together in quite some time. This was the perfect opportunity to have some great food and a little fun.  A quaint dinner party ensued. (Although there was enough food to feed the neighbourhood!)

Now pot luck is always the best way to go when you have a small kitchen and to kick things up a bit we opted to theme this dinner - Greek.  I was in charge of the souvlaki first and foremost (which will be posted also) but no Greek dinner party can come without the spinach pie can it?  No sirree it most certainly cannot, not in my house it cant!
Since phyllo is no longer the devil in thin layers I wanted to try my hand at this savory appetizer and it turned out pretty great (tooting my own horn)

The best advice I can give is to make sure you have all of your filling ingredients ready, willing, and able prior to assembly - you don't want your phyllo to dry out.


8-10 sheets phyllo
1 small container baby spinach
1 container feta cheese (crumbled)
2 eggs
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 shallots
bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped (you can use dill)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. melted butter - for phyllo

Blanch your spinach in boiling salted water.  Drain and let cool while you get the others together.
In a bowl mix feta, shallots, garlic, parsley and eggs.  Remove as much moisture from the spinach as possible. (you don't want soggy pies) Chop and add to the other ingredients.

Take 2 damp tea towels and place the phyllo between them.  Working one at a time, take 1 sheet and brush with melted butter.  Place another piece of phyllo on top of the first and again, brush with butter.  Cut into 4 even strips before you add the filling.

Place 1 heaping tsp onto the end (about 1/2 inch from the end) and fold in a triangle shape, then fold over again and again in the triangular shape until you reach the end.  Continue this for each of the cut pieces.
Repeat these steps until you are out of filling.
Yields approx. 20 small triangles

At this point you have a few options:
A) Brush with butter and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes and eat them all up
B) Freeze them on a baking sheet until set and put into a Ziploc freezer bag to be used at a later time - really??
C) Place in the refrigerator in an air tight container to be used within 24 hours - then bake and eat them all up
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