3.10.2010

Podcasts and Spanakopita

I'm cozied up at home enjoying a free evening to read, get caught up on "24" episodes, sip tea and recover from a killer flu that hit last night. Yeesh. I'm getting knocked flat with stuff this winter! Thankfully it was of the 24-hour variety and I'm feeling heaps better. :-) I celebrated with dark hot chocolate and some great new podcasts from Itunes. In my quest to save money and pay off bills, I'm always interested in finding free things to do that are entertaining and informative. It's amazing the free podcasts that are available: old time radio, Writer's Almanac, This American Life, all sorts of ones on travel, history, music and literature. I've having a grand time! :-)


This weekend I had a sudden and irresistible urge for that lovely Greek spinach pie: spanakopita. So, after a deliciously relaxing Sunday afternoon, I headed to the kitchen. I popped in a dramatized audio version of "The Horse and His Boy" and set to sauteing spinach with savory onions, mixing them in with tart feta cheese, nutmeg and lemon juice, and enclosing it all with buttered phyllo dough into tidy little packets of goodness.

I love the sunlight filtering through the crispy layers of phyllo. :-)

I only par-baked them, freezing most of them for a rainy day. When I'm ready, all I have to do is thaw, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, and they're good to go! I do so love easy, yummy food. :-)


As I recover, I'm looking for good ways to detox and restore my system. Do you have any ideas? Please share them if you do! :-) Thanks so much. :-)

Spanakopita
(From David Lebovitz)


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
12 ounces (325g) fresh spinach, well-washed and towel dried
salt and freshly-ground pepper
8-10 ounces (230-250g) feta cheese
2 tablespoons finely-chopped flat leaf parsley
pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
1 large egg, at room temperature
lemon juice
16 sheets filo dough (about 12 ounces, 350g), thawed, if frozen
Melted butter (2-3 ounces, 60-90g)
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until transluscent.
  2. Add the spinach and a bit of salt and pepper, cover, and cook until the spinach is completely wilted, stirring once or twice to hasten the process.
  3. Scrape the spinach into a colander and let cool completely. Once cool, firmly squeeze out the excess liquid then chop the spinach with a chef's knife into smallish pieces.
  4. Mix the spinach in a small bowl with the feta and parsley until chunky. Taste, and add nutmeg and a squirt of lemon juice, plus more salt and pepper if desired. Stir in the egg.
  5. Unwrap and unroll the filo and keep it covered at all times with a damp tea towel.
  6. Working quickly lay one sheet of filo on the counter and brush it lightly, but thoroughly, with butter. Lay another sheet on top of it and brush it with butter as well.
  7. Set a scant 1/4 cup (50g) of the filling in the center, about 1-inch (3cm) from the edge of the sheets of filo, then roll the two edges of the dough over, lengthwise, to encase the filling. You should have a long rectangle with filling underneath the top far end.
  8. Brush the exposed surface of the filo with butter and fold one corner diagonally over the filling, then continue folding keeping the triangle shape (as you'd fold a flag) and brushing the exposed surfaces of the filo with butter, until you have a neat triangle. Brush the top with butter and set on a baking sheet in the freezer.
  9. Continue making more spanakopitas with the remaining filling. Once all the spanakopitas are frozen, store them in a freezer bag until ready to bake. If well-wrapped, they'll keep for a couple of months.
  10. To bake the frozen spanakopita, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and put the frozen triangles on a baking sheet, then brush each with butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until deeply-golden brown. If you're baking them without freezing them first, they'll take less time to bake, so check them before the recommended baking time.

18 comments:

  1. I love the sunlight thru the phyllo too and that cup is so so beauiful a pic...u always have stunning pics....
    Well havent been around...computer probs and somebdy was not well and with my feeds,am jus adding a new blog to the same google account...seems like my feeds are working but am still testing....any tips are welcome sweets ....
    http://brightmorningstarsfoodie.blogspot.com/
    And have an absolutely happy day....smile for ya with love.......

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  2. It looks delicious....I love anything wrapped in pastry. Celery would be the exception!!!!!! And, let me know which of the photos you like from the citrus dust post.....I would LOVE to send you some!!!!!

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  3. Thank you, dear Vanilla! I'm SO happy you're up and running again. I've missed your cheery posts and fabulous pictures. :-) I hope everyone in your family is healthy soon. :-) Big hug to you! :-)

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  4. Eww, I don't think I would like celery in pastry either, dear Ozoz. :-)

    Do you mean it??!! YAY!!! I will come scout them out again today and let you know. HOORAY! I'm so excited! :-)

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  5. These photos are so comforting and SO uplifting! Can I hide out in a corner of your kitchen. Please? Pleeease?

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  6. Of course, Jacqueline! I'll save a little corner just for you, right next to the blue earthenware bowls. :-)

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  7. I love how much the photos of your new place comfort me. It's almost like I live there too! That spanakopita looks delicious. The perfect comfort food.

    I am SO behind on 24 it's unrealistic :( Ugh. Schoolwork.

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  8. I love This American Life with Ira Glass. I listen to it at work. It helps me tune out to the noise and tune in to what I'm creating.

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  9. I'm SO glad, Joanne. :-) That makes me very happy.

    I hear ya about 24. It's on the same night as Cooking Group and I get so behind. :-)

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  10. I love it too, Amuse! I just started listening not long ago and it's SO interesting. :-)

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  11. Ooo...I love "The Horse and His Boy." Are you listening to the Focus on the Family radio theater version? I used to listen to all the chronicles while I did math homework. You brought back a good memory. Thanks!

    Glad you're feeling better...and grapefruit is great for detoxing. And don't forget...chocolate makes everything better. Amen. :)

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  12. I sure am, Bekah! :-) They did such an amazing job on those stories. :-)

    Thanks, luv! I'd forgotten about grapefruit! I will pick some up post haste. :-)

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  13. Yummm, your spanakopita looks really, really good. Your posts always give me good ideas . . .

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  14. Thank you, Jane! :-) I'm so glad to hear that. :-)

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  15. I enjoy a good spanakopita several times a year and yes I have made my own. It's not difficult but I sure thought it was going to be!

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  16. I know what you mean, Michelle! I was all prepared for hours of labor and shew, it was done in an hour! :-) Love that. :-)

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