Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Spanakopita

Before I tell you about a couple of the Christmas appetizers I made, let me just tell you I am officially going to take a break from this blog. I've been cooking a ton lately, but most of it is either recipes at work, or stuff you've already seen on here. There has still been some inspiration to try new recipes (like this spanakopita), but even when they're great recipes I'm not really feeling the urge to blog about them. So, I feel a break is in order... which is probably not a huge surprise since my last post was almost a month ago!

Brie en Croute (with homemade ginger peach jam!) and Sausage stuffed mushrooms on Christmas Eve

This blog started out as a bit of a recipe journal, and as a result I'll keep it live as long as blogger will let me. Even if I'm not adding new content, I'll go back to old favorites like this Chicken and Mushroom Ragu and the best Brussels Sprouts EVER. Also, I might put some links to successful recipes I find online, so I know where to find them. Joe and I got a total of 8 food or beer related books for Christmas, so I'm going to try to test some cookbook recipes in upcoming months, too. I might be back to posting really soon... or maybe never... I don't want to put any pressure on myself, so I'll just say to enjoy this spanakopita before the New Year's Resolutions kick in, and to keep in touch!

adapted from, originally from Gourmet magazine

1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb baby spinach
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/2 lb feta, crumbled (scant 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg
10 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then cook spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of spinach in a clean towel to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl.
Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in the same saute pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add to the spinach. Stir in pine nuts, lemon juice, feta, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Check for seasoning, then add the egg and mix well.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt remaining 1 stick butter in a small saucepan, then cool.

Cover phyllo stack with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel.

Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with some butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips.

Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all of phyllo.

Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.

Happy Holidays!