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Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spanawhatta?

A long time ago, I made Spanakopita.  It was good and all, but I never made it again.  For some reason I got the idea in my head that I needed to make it again and I just couldn't rest until I did.  Well, ok, I could rest, but it did fester.  In case you don't know, Spanakopita is a Greek spinach and other good stuff, stuffed into phyllo dough.  I started out with a half of a sweet onion.  My onion was really big, so I think I probably actually used a third of it.  Chop the onion and cook slowly with about a Tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.  You don't want them to brown, just to cook through until they are translucent and fragrant.



I used two packages of frozen chopped spinach.  You can use fresh and cook it, but for my money, frozen is the way to go.  Just defrost them, and then squeeze squeeze squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can.  The best way to do this is to take a clean dish towel (I used one that is already green, pretty smart huh?  ha).  I put the thawed spinach in the middle of the towel and then pull the ends up and start twisting and squeezing.  A ton of water will come out.  Make sure you get as much as possible or your Spanakopita will be soggy and who wants that?  No one.  After you get it all squeezed, put it in a bowl and fluff it up with a fork.



To the spinach add a half cup of chopped flat leaf parsley.  I still have it in my garden, going strong!


And about two Tablespoons or so of chopped mint.  Also still going strong in my garden!


Then add a cup of crumbled Feta cheese.  Mmmm, feta!   Feta is kind of salty so you probably don't want to add too much extra salt to this mixture.  But add some.  Maybe about a teaspoon.  



I also added about 5 grinds from my pepper mill and a good 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg.  It definitely makes a difference so don't skip the nutmeg!


Mix it all with one beaten egg to hold it all together and now it's time to for the phyllo dough.  I'm not going to lie to you, phyllo is a giant pain in the ass. It's so fragile and delicate and needs special care.  When you unwrap your thawed out phyllo, make sure you have a damp towel to place over the top of it while you're not using it.  Phyllo will dry out in seconds and as soon as it does, you're done.  There is no going back.   Take the sheets and cut them down the middle, lengthwise.  Brush the dough, carefully, with melted butter and then place about 1/3 cup of the spinach mixture at the top of one of the rows and off to one side.  Either side, it doesn't matter, we're just going to fold these babies up anyway. 


I used between 2 and 3 sheets of phyllo each.  One was too thin.  Fold them end over end, kind of like a flag is folded, so they end up looking like a triangle.



Brush the outside with melted butter and then bake for 20 minutes at 350 or until golden brown.


Enjoy!!!   They were really really good.  And quite frankly, I don't love spinach cooked.  I'd rather have it raw.  So who knows why I wanted to make them so bad.  But I'm glad I did!  They rocked!


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1 comment:

cath said...

I tried the gremolatta and loved it. Looks like this is going to be what I cook next off your blog, it looks yummy.

But I've never even touched phyllo dough...kinda scary!