Saturday, January 31, 2009
Feta cheese, spinach, pine nuts, dill, raisins in a thin crispy pastry..
what's there not to love?!
Spanakopita was something that i had at the farmer's market with my most beloved disciple and then declared: "i can make this..but tastier u know..."
and she trustingly said: I believe you. (which reminds me of a movie i watched when i was a kid...Jia You Xi Shi....Sandra Ng played a dowdy housewife and when her husband brought her out for dinner at a posh restaurant, she refused to order anything..because she said that she can make most of the items on the menu at home.... and then i remembered telling my young self: "ok this is very embarrassing behaviour...i shouldn't do that in the future...."
Anyways so here's my version of Spanakopita!!
modified from here
1 tbs butter
1 large red onion, finely sliced
85g toasted pine nuts
freshly grated Nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g Feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbs dried dill
225g Filo pastry (I used spring roll pastry)
1. Thaw the spinach and sqeeze out the water. Cook it in with the butter for a few minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and fry the onion for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and softened.
3. Transfer the onion to a large bowl and add the chopped spinach, pine nuts, raisins, some nutmeg. Stir together, season well and set aside to cool. Stir in the feta cheese and eggs once the mixture has cooled.
4. Lightly butter a 30 x 23cm shallow-sided non-stick baking tin. Press 4 sheets of pastry into the tin, brushing well with melted butter between each layer and allowing the excess to hang over the sides. (If using spring roll pastry, brush two sheets with water and place a tbsp of filling in the middle and scrunch it up and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, till the pastry is golden. Similar to the money bags.)
5. Spoon in the spinach mixture and level off the surface. Fold over the pastry edges and top with a further 5 sheets of buttered filo pastry. Lightly score the top of the pie and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.
Most other spanakopita recipes i have seen have dill added but not raisins. But i tot the raisins were great- made the spanakopita much juicier and provided a nice contrast to the feta and pinenuts. Oh and why did i make them so small instead of the regular pie shape? cos my shoebox sized freezer is not big enough to store the larger pastry sheets... :P
and this is Mr Alien...the same filling wrapped in puff pastry...actually he was supposed to be just a triangle but there was too much filling...