Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spanakopeta - Popeye Would Be Proud

OK, This is gonna be a long one…. But I suppose it’s fitting… Since it’s the last Greek recipe of “Greek Week”… Don’t be sad though, I made a promise to make Baklava this weekend, so there will be at least 1 dessert coming up…

Spanakopeta, has got to be one of my favorite Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Dishes. Obviously, I am not a vegetarian, in any way shape or form, just see a few of my other posts. Occasionally, however, I do not feel like eating meat, I know, it sounds kind of crazy to most omnivores out there. I can’t explain it, it just is… LOL

So tonight, as a send off for Greek Week, here is how I make Spanakopeta.

Oh, but before I begin... The filling can be made 24 hours in advance, BUT, it has to be left in 2 parts... The Egg/Feta must be kept separate from the Spinach/Herb/Onion mixture until right before you are ready to wrap it in phyllo. If you mix them together, lemon juice begins to denature the proteins in the eggs, thus causing water to seep from the eggs which turns the filling into soup (I learned that the hard way).


20 oz Fresh Spinach; Chopped
1/2 cup Green Onion; Chopped
1 Shallot; Minced
3 Garlic cloves; Finely Minced
Juice and Zest of 1/2 Large Lemon (if medium, use a whole Lemon)
1/4 cup Mint; Chopped
1/4 cup Italian Parsley; Chopped
1/4 cup Dill Weed; Chopped
8 oz Feta; Crumbled
3 Eggs
1 tsp Coriander
1/4 tsp Mace
Dash of Cinnamon
10 TB Unsalted Butter, Melted
3/4 LB Filo Pastry Sheets

In a big pot, boil about 8 cups of water (You won’t need much)
Rough chop spinach. (Yes, That is a Uber-Mega-Giganta-sized Mezzaluna - It's actually a pizza cutter, but it's great for stuff like this)

When water boils, add salt and the spinach and blanch for 2 minutes.

Remove with a skimmer and let cool.

Chop Green onion, Shallot, Garlic and zest and juice the Lemon.

Meanwhile, sauté green onion and shallot for 2 minutes, then add the garlic.

Remove from heat when onion/shallot/garlic are soft and add lemon juice and zest stirring to combine.

Add Mint, Parsley and Dill; stirring to combine.

Squeeze as much water form the spinach as possible, using cheesecloth if necessary. (I squeezed and extra cup of liquid out of it AFTER I had already drained it)

Add to the onion/shallot/garlic/lemon mixture and tear with a fork, to combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix crumbled Feta, Eggs, Coriander, Mace and Cinnamon till combined.

Add egg mixture to spinach and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and grab a pasty brush.

Brush a baking sheet lightly with melted butter.

Unroll Phyllo and cut into 3 equal strips with a pizza cutter. (usually about 4 1/2 inches wide)

Take one sheet and brush with butter, place another sheet on top of the first, and brush that one with butter as well. (When you fold it the butter on the second layer will be in contact with the un-buttered outside)

Place 2 1/2 TB of filling in the bottom.

and fold up the corner in a triangular fashion.

Continue folding into a triangle.

Brush butter on the ending flap and fold it over.

Place on buttered baking sheet with the left over flap (shown above) on the bottom. Then brush the top with a little more butter.

When finished with all the filling (should make about 12)

Brush them all with a little more butter.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Delicious served both Warm and/or Cold.



Bob said...

Looks good from here! I love phyllo.

Spryte said...

O M G!! Drool!!!!

I need to learn more about Greek food! That looks awesome!!

You should check out this blog for more great Greek food!

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Bob - Thanks :)

Spryte - Thanks, and thanks for the ehads up on that blog... VERY delicious looking... now I am hungry.. LOL