Monday, May 17, 2010

Spanakotiropita (Spinach Cheese Pie)

My mom's spanakotiropita is my FAVORITE!!!
I have always wanted to make this with her b/c one day I'll be the one making it all the time.  We make it three different ways in this house, logs, triangles and sheet pan.
First, you have to make sure you get good filo dough.  Apollo is good, it doesn't dry out to quickly.  You;re going to find this mostly at ethnic produce markets than you would at your local Jewel or Dominick's.  She always gets #7 b/c it isn't too thin and believe me, too thin can be a major pain in the butt!

Next is the filling.  Here are the ingredients:

3 pkgs of chopped spinach or 3 lbs of fresh cooked spinach
6 tbsp olive oil
6 scallions, minced
1 lb feta cheese-don't get the pre-crumbled stuff
1 lb cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dill
6 medium eggs, beaten well at room temp
1/2 lb sweet butter
1 lb filo, at room temp


Thaw spinach (if using frozen) and drain well.  If using fresh spinach, cook first and remove moisture.  Chop if necessary, discarding any coarse stems.  Heat oil and saute scallions until soft and wilted.
Add spinach and simmer until moisture evaporates completely.
Rinse feta under cold water,drain and crumble it in a bowl.  Blend in cottage cheese, parsley, pepper, and dill.
Add beaten eggs and mix well.
Add spinach and scallion mix to the cheese and eggs and mix well.
This is the final inside product.  Cover and chill until ready to use.
This stuff is good.  Try not to eat it before you make the pastry, ok?  :)

Next, melt some butter in a saucepan
This is going to be your glue to hold the filo dough together.

Using a nice clean flat surface, lay down one sheet of filo dough.  I'm going to show you logs first.

Take a spoonful of the spinach mix and spread it in a line about 1 1/2-2 inches from the bottom of the sheet.  Fold the bottom over the top of the spinach and roll over once.
Take a pastry brush and brush the melted butter along the sides.  The fold the buttered sides over on top of the filled section.
Brush the sides again w/ the butter and roll until there is no more dough.  
Brush the top crease w/ a little more butter and set aside to do the next one.

Next, triangles.
Take a sheet of filo and cut if in half lengthwise, using sharp scissors so it is a skinnier piece. 
 Place a spoonful of the mix in the corner and fold over like the above picture.  Brush some melted butter over the top and continue to fold to each side.

Brush a little butter on the edges to seal and move on.

The logs and triangles bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-20 mins depending on how brown you want them.
We like them like this:

Now for the easiest of them all (and the one my mom likes best b/c it is so easy!)
The sheet pan is so easy, but it uses a lot more filo dough.  

First, use a cookie sheet that your filo dough will fit.  Ours was slightly bigger than 9x13.  You can spray the bottom before putting the first layer on or not, it should be fine if you don't.  Place the first layer on, brush melted butter over the entire sheet.  Make sure there is enough for the ends of the sheets to flap over the sides of the pan.  
After you brush the butter on, place another sheet of filo over that and brush more butter on it.  Repeat until you have at least 6-7 layers of filo dough.  

Next, press the spinach mix on top of the filo dough.  

 And then put a sheet of filo on top of that, brush more butter on top...  Well you get the picture.  Repeat the filo dough, then melted butter until you have another 6-7 layers of buttery goodness.  Did you really think this was going to be healthy just because there is spinach in it??  Really?

 Next, cut the edges off, leaving a little left over, about a 1/2 inch from the edge of the pan.

 Then you are going to make an edge by folding the layers together and under, kind of like pie crust.  

 Now it is done.  
Bake in the oven @ 350 degrees F for 1 hour.  It'll be all golden brown and delicious.  Yum!


Soooo buttery and spinachy and yummy!


If can freeze these before you bake them so you can have them on hand when ever you want.  Since the one batch can make a ton of filling, you can make some for that day in a smaller pan or make all logs or triangles and freeze some for later use.  We always have some in the freezer ready to take out and cook for a couple of servings for just the couple of us. :)


yarnorgy(Bethany) said...

One of Beau's favorites! I make the easy one in the 9"x13" pan. I haven't made it in a while and now you've reminded me of that! LOL!

NikiTheo said...

Haha, nice! I love this stuff. If you have a couple hours, I recommend making the logs or triangles, then freezing them before baking them. That way, whenever you have a craving, just pull them out and pop them in the oven and just a little bit later, you have a hot, fresh, buttery, delicious treat!

Katherine said...

Great greek recipe! I just found you blog, and I sure am happy I did :) Okay, I'm going to go check out your other recipes!

Alisa said...

I love this stuff, quite addictive too :)I really enjoyed reading your posts and if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!