Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chanukkah Party Recipes #1: Spanakopita

I've been busy baking and cooking for our annual Chanukkah party at home and for the one I throw for the staff at work. Then I spent the rest of the week on "The Nutcracker"--more about that at The Library Lady Rants. 

Today, Sunday, was the first day off I've really had in a while. And I spent most of it doing--guess what? Cooking and baking. Because now I'm getting cookies together to send to friends/relatives and we're having our general holiday party at work tomorrow. Oy....

But I'm going to get some of my favorite recipes posted as I can.

The Chanukkah party is an open house for family and friends--there's entries about it on the main blog. Suffice it to say, everything is buffet except for the latkes I cook during the party. Lots of finger foods, like tiny little spanakopita--spinach pies.

This filling--originally from the wonderful Victory Garden Cookbook--takes only minutes to make. Spooned into little phylo shells ( buy them in the frozen food section of your supermarket where the pie shells are sold),they take 5 minutes to heat and they're set. JR loves them, and will gladly eat them this way for dinner.

The rest of the filling goes into a big pan for a spankopita dinner, which both the Man and I love.

Greek Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

1 16 oz bag of frozen spinach
1 cup chopped onions (the frozen kind are perfect in this)
32 oz (one large container) part-skim ricotta cheese (you could use full fat if you liked)
1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs

For mini-spanakopita: packages of mini-phylo cups
For a large casserole: 1 package of phylo dough, defrosted(they come in packs of 2, you'll need one)

Cook the frozen spinach in a large skillet until the water has just about totally evaporated, then add the onions and continue to cook for several more minutes.

While the spinach is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a very large bowl, beating well.
Add the cooked spinach and onions and stir to blend.

For mini-spanakopita: spoon into shells. Bake according to package directions.

For large casserole: grease a 9x13 dish.
Open the phylo carefully and unroll it. If you work quickly it's not that hard, but you may want to keep a moist towel over the sheets until you're set for them.

Place a single sheet on the bottom of your dish. Brush w/melted butter or oil. Continue to layer 9 more sheets on top of the first.

Spoon the filling across the pan. Layer 10 more sheets of the dough as before.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes more.

1 comment:

  1. yum. Spanikopita is one of my favorite foods. I had forgotten about making it as tarts! My sister-in-law makes a spinach bread which is out of this world, and now that I've read your spanikopita recipe, I think I know the secret to her filling. I should have figured it out sooner, since she is half Italian and half Greek.



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