Friday, November 11, 2011

Spanakopita



     Flaky, bite-size appetizers are most fun if your guests help assemble them! Spanikopta features spinach at its best. My mother learned how to make it from a Greek neighbor many years ago, and my mom’s been hostessing with it ever since! She knows that a project is always good ice-breaker. Even kids who won’t eat “green stuff” like to brush melted butter and fold phyllo dough.
     Generally, eggs are not one of my favorite ingredients, so I omitted them from this recipe.  You could add them back in if you want (two). Also, you can get fancy and use fresh Parmesan. Yum!

Ingredients:
A few of my ingredients
1 c. butter, divided
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. milk
8 oz. feta cheese
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
24 oz. cottage cheese
 (or ricotta)
1 c. diced onion
16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
16 oz. Phyllo dough

Make Filling:

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Whisk till smooth. Add 1 cup warm milk. Whisk till smooth.

Feta cheese
4. Take off heat and add feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir a little to help cheese melt. Let sauce cool from hot to warm before adding cottage cheese.

5. In a medium frying pan, sauté diced onions in 4 tablespoons butter. When onions begin turning translucent, add spinach and sauté a few more minutes. Combine spinach mixture with cheese sauce.

Spinach-cheese filling
Notes about phyllo dough:

Phyllo (sometimes “fillo”) dough is usually bought frozen. Thaw before use. Leave it in the fridge or on the kitchen counter. Phyllo dough consists of thin papery sheets. When you’re using it to prepare a recipe, try to keep it covered with plastic wrap or a slightly damp towel to prevent drying and cracking.

Assemble Spanakopita:

1. Melt 10 tablespoons butter for brushing. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Figure out how many pieces of spanakopita you will make. My phyllo dough package came with 18 large sheets. So I cut it into 6 strips with scissors, which made 108 strips. I used 2 strips for each spanakopita (54 pieces of spanakopita).

Cutting phyllo dough into strips

3. Lay out a piece of wax paper to work on. Brush wax paper with butter, and lay a strip of phyllo dough on it. Brush phyllo with butter, and lay another phyllo strip on top.
“Painting butter”, she says.
4. Scoop about 2 tablespoons filling (1/8 cup) and put on one end of the strip. Fold up adjacent phyllo dough corner diagonally to cover the filling . Continue folding (flag-style) until you get to the end of the strip. This makes a triangle-shaped piece of unbaked spanakopita.
Keep going and make a triangle!
(Am I quoting Sesame Street?)
 Place spanakopita on foil-covered baking sheet (foil will make clean-up easy later).

6. When your baking sheet is full of spanakopita triangles, bake about 15 minutes, until centers are golden and edges are crispy light brown.
 

*Filling Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
6 Tbsp. butter
600
24
0
0
0
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
30
0
0
0
0
8.5 oz. reduced-fat feta cheese
420
120
0
46
56
1 c. fat free milk
90
5
0
8
30
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
240
36
0
24
72
¼ tsp. salt
0
25
0
0
0
24 oz. cottage cheese (4% milkfat)
660
114
0
66
90
16 oz. frozen chopped spinach
180
30
6
12
48
1 c. chopped onion
64
0
3
2
4
Filling total (7 cups)
2284 kcal
354 %
9 g
158 %
300 %


*Spanakopita Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
10 Tbsp. butter
1000
40
0
0
0
16 oz. Phyllo dough
1260
63
9
45
36
Cheese-spinach filling (above)
2284
354
9
158
300
Total (about 54 pieces)
4544 kcal
452 %
18 g
195 g
306 %
1 piece
84 kcal
8 %
0.25 g
3.5 g
5.5 %


*Calculated from food packaging and the following website: http://nutritiondata.self.com
 I used “Great Value” (Walmart) brand salted butter and cottage cheese, “Cream” brand cornstarch, 5 oz. “Athenos” brand reduced-fat Feta cheese (crumbled) and 3.5 oz. “Safeway” brand reduced-fat Feta cheese (crumbled), “Kraft” brand grated Parmesan cheese, “Morton” brand salt, “Safeway” brand frozen chopped spinach, “ACME” brand skim milk, and “Safeway Select” brand phyllo dough pastry sheets.

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4 comments:

  1. These look so delicious and perfect for my next get together. Yummy!

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  2. I loooove spanakopita!! This looks yummy. New follower here. Would love it if you could stop by and share this at my linky party. It ends tonight! :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-8.html

    Also, PRETTY PLEASE stop by and check out Random Acts of Kindness Week going on right now! Would love to see you be a part of it!! http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/kindness-and-thanksgiving.html

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  3. I love this dish!!! But I never knew how to make it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks beautiful and delicious!

    ReplyDelete