Friday, November 7, 2008

Simple Spanakopita

Spanakopita is a Greek pastry containing mainly spinach and feta cheese along with onion/spring onions(also known as green onions or scallions) and eggs and seasoning.The filling is wrapped in phyllo sheets buttered and stacked together and baked.I have recreated a spanakopita dish by using a cousin of phyllo dough -puff pastry.
Puff pastry is a dough which is slathered with butter/fat and repeatedly folded in and out.When you bake it,all the butter within the layers will start melting and will hold together the layers and puff up.Normally spanakopita is made by taking a sheet of phyllo,buttering,then topping with another phyllo sheet and repeating the process with as many layers as needed.If you compare the two dough,the puff pastry has more fat content than the phyllo. But workwise it is quicker.

Ingredients:

Puff Pastry Sheet: atleast 2

Filling:

Spinach: 2 cups
Feta cheese: 1/4 cup
Spring onion/scallion/green onion: 1-2

Red Pepper flakes
Oregano
Parsley
Basil

Salt & Pepper

Preparation:

Thaw the puff pastry as per package instructions.Chop onions and spinach into small pieces.

Heat olive oil in a pan,addd the chopped onions,saute for a few minutes and then add spinach.Add all the spices and salt and saute till starts to wilt for 1-2 minutes.Keep aside to cool.Squeeze the cooled spinach and mix with shredded/crumbled feta cheese and little cornstarch.You can ad the spices now as well.This is to absorb the moisture if any.You can add any amount of cheese and any other prefered spices.The must spices are oregano,parsely and basil though nutmeg can also be seen in some versions.I added red pepper flakes for spiciness.

Cut puff pastry sheet into 3 or 4 portions.Take a portion and roll it out a bit to get a rectangle with the shortest side near you.Place a small scoop of filling on the bottom part or the.Fold over the pastry to close the filling within.Press around the filling with wet hands to press out air and close in the filling.Take the bottom right corner of this with your hands and fold over the filling to the left upper side to make a triangle.Then take the bottom left corner of the trinagle and fold it over to the right upper corner to form another triangle.Continue like this till you reach the top and then tuck in whatever remaining portions are there.Place this on a greased baking sheet.Do so with all the puff pastry pieces.Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 10-12 minutes.Serve with your choice of dip/sauce as snacks or appetizers.

The process of folding the spanakopita is from food network.Even for a samosa,I can never get a perfect triangle,so I used the method from FoodNetwork.But I can see various different ways-you can simply cover it up as rectangles or triangles or even make a big spinach pie.Authentic spanakopita recipes can be found in dear Ivy's Blog.

Munching on this appetizer for Reipe Marathon Day #7, lets take a peek into fellow athlete's kitchen:
1) DK 2) Siri 3) Srivalli 4) Ranji 5)PJ 6)Medha 7)Priya 8)Bhawna 9)Raaji 10)Ruchii 11)Anu 12)Kamala 13)Roopa 14)Divya Kudua 15)Rekha 16)Divya M 17)Lakshmi 18)Raaga 19)LakshmiVenkatesh 20) Sripriya 21)Viji 22)Kamalika 23)Pavani


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