So how's everyone? I know it has been two weeks since my last post and though I know you all understand, I want to apologize for that. Summer is keeping me really busy and I just can't find enough time for everything. But anyway, I'm here today...and I must say, it truly feels great! Summer isn't over, so expect me to be MIA again...but today, allow me to bring you another delectable recipe for our PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around the World Series...
Greek Cuisine is one of those that I didn't get to enjoy when I was still in the Philippines. I don't even remember seeing a Greek restaurant there. It's only here in the US that I've tried it, and though my family don't frequently eat Greek food, we always enjoy it when we do. Among the Greek dishes that I fell in love with are the Moussaka, Gyros, Souvlaki and of course, the Spanakopita and Baklava. Today, one of my admired bloggers is sharing with us her recipe of Spanakopita, which is a savory pie made of spinach. Spanakopita came from the words spanáki which means spinach and pítta which means pie. I only get the chance to eat this at restaurants, and I would really like to be able to make this at home. I am glad that Katerina of Culinary Flavors is kind enough to do a guest post on Spanakopita for PiTCC. Katerina is a wonderful blogger who I find really kind and supportive. Despite her busy schedule, she frequently leaves inspiring comments here on my blog and that's something I really appreciate. The best thing I admire about her is how she perfectly balances blogging with working full-time and being an awesome mom and wife. She's one of those that I consider "super Mom" in the blogosphere! Words are not enough to express how honored I am to have her here. So, are you ready to learn how to make Spanakopita with me??? Without further ado, I give you Katerina Delidimou...
Hi everyone! I am Katerina, a working mother and wife living in Athens, Greece. As a child I watched and helped my mom and grandmother cooking and baking. Food has always played a major role in my life and at some point in 2008 I decided to start my own food blog. I always try to experiment with traditional and new recipes. My husband and son are my 'guinea pigs' but as they say they wouldn't want to be anything else. When Tina contacted me and asked me to do a guest post for her blog regarding a traditional dish of Greece, I jumped right in to it. She gave me a few choices and I immediately picked Spanakopita.
Spanakopita is a staple in the Greek kitchen and is a pie that most of the Greek households make at least once every month. Usually, these days spanakopita is made with store bought phyllo, as most women work and do not have the time to make it at home. I myself, whenever I make this pie, I use phyllo from the supermarket. Well, this time I decided to change a bit things up. I thought that in order to present this pie correctly and exactly as it is supposed to be, I should make my own phyllo. And so I did. The recipe for the phyllo dough comes from Dina Nikolaou a Greek chef working in Greece and Paris. The filling is how my grandmother, mother and consequently I do it at our home.
This is a beautiful pie, with spinach and feta cheese to be the dominant ingredients. I know many of you hesitate to open your own phyllo. I was the same, I always felt intimidated by dough. But if you have the time, do try this recipe. It is very easy and I am sure it will work for you just like it worked for me. Just like in any other case handmade has absolutely no comparison to store bought one.
For the Phyllo Dough:
- 500 gr. / 17.5 oz. all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 envelope dry yeast, about 9 gr. / 2 tsp
- 2 Tbsp ouzo or white vinegar
- Salt and pepper (I used 1 tsp salt and no pepper)
- 100 ml/3 fl. oz. of warm water plus 50 gr. /3 tbsp Olive oil to brush the phyllo
For the Filling:
- 700 gr. / 21 oz. spinach
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 400 gr. /14 oz. feta, crumbled
- 1 egg
- a bunch of dill, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 handful of cracked wheat
- Olive oil for sautéing the onions
First, we make the phyllo dough...
For the Phyllo Dough:
1. In a non-reactive bowl, pour the warm water and the yeast and allow it to dissolve and foam for 5 minutes. In the mixer bowl put the flour after you have shifted it. Make a hole and put the olive oil and the egg in it. With the hook begin to slowly, slowly mix these ingredients. Pour the milk, the vinegar and add salt and pepper. Continue to mix. Add the yeast and continue to mix.If you see that the dough is not coming together, add from the 3 Tbsp of water, spoon by spoon until a soft dough is formed around the hook. It may not need all three Tbsp.
2. Let the mixer work it for about 10 minutes and then test the dough by pressing gently your finger on it. If the hole by your finger disappears in 2 to 3 seconds then the dough is ready, if not then just mix it a little bit more. Let the dough relax for an hour.
In the meantime, let’s make the filling...
For the filling:
1. Wash the spinach and drain it.
2. In a skillet pour 3 tbsp of olive oil in medium heat. Add the onions, scallions and dill and sauté them until they become soft. Remove from fire and add the cracked wheat and the egg and mix well.
3. In a bowl throw the raw spinach after you have squeezed the excessive water and cut it roughly with your fingers. In this pie we do not sauté the spinach; we add it raw in the pie. Add the onion mixture, the feta cheese and the salt, mix and set aside.
Let’s make the phyllo now...
For making the Phyllo:
1. In the bench in which you will work with the dough, throw a little bit of flour from corn or semolina. These two ingredients make it easier to open the phyllo.
2. Divide the dough in two balls one a little bit larger than the other. Take the rolling pin and start working with the larger one. If you will use a rectangular pan work by moving the rolling pin back and forth. If you use a round pan move it towards all directions. Take a rectangular pan about 25x35 cm / 10x14 in. or a round one about 32 cm / 12 in. and oil it with olive oil.
3. Place the phyllo sheet on the pan. It should be larger than the pan and its sides must fall outside the pan. Pour the filling in.
4. Then work with the other ball of dough. Open it to phyllo and place it on top of the filling. Cut the edges of the dough so as to just cover the filling from side to side. Turn the sides of the bottomed phyllo, which extend beyond the pan, in such a way as to cover the upper phyllo around its edges.
5. Brush the surface of the phyllo with olive oil. Cut it in squared pieces. Finally just sprinkle some drops of water on the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C/ 350° F on the lowest part of your oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until the two phyllos become golden.
~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~That Spanakopita looks delish! Thanks again Katerina for sharing your recipe here on PiTCC!