Puff Pastry Spinach & Cheese Pie (Spanakopita) (Lahanopita)

Spanakopita makes a wonderful side dish at a family meal and it also makes a perfect appetizer for parties. In this video, Eva shows us her take on the traditional Greek dish. Instead of using phyllo, Eva uses puff pastry, which you can find in the frozen section of your local grocery store. It is a lot easier to use and makes a delicious spanakopita.

1 package of frozen spinach
1 cup of chopped green onions
½ cup of chopped red onions
½ cup of chopped dill
½ cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of feta cheese
1 cup of ricotta cheese
Pepper to taste
3 eggs
1 package of puff pastry
Flour to work the dough
1/3 cup of butter melted
About 2 tablespoons of milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Allow the frozen spinach to defrost and squeeze out all the excess water. Coarsely chop the spinach and place it in a large bowl. Finely chop the green onions, red onions, dill, and parsley and add this to the spinach. Add the feta cheese, ricotta cheese, and eggs to the mixture and season with freshly ground pepper. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together.

Allow the puff pastry to defrost and separate it into two equal parts. Flatten the pastry with a rolling pin (the same way you would with pizza dough) to fit the size of a medium size pan. Butter the pan and lay out half of the puff pastry on the pan. Brush some melted butter on the dough and add the spinach mixture on top.

With your fingers, lightly dampen the top edge of the pan with a little water.

Place the second half of the puff pastry on top of the spinach and cheese mixture. Fold in the edges. Use a fork to help you fold in the edges. Butter the top layer with butter and brush a little bit of milk on top as well.

Cut the dough into squares (but don’t push your knife all the way down, just pierce the top layer).
Allow it to bake in the oven for 1 hour. Afterward allow the spanakopita to cool for a few minutes before you serve.

Enjoy!

Eva’s Tasty Tyropita (Cheese puffs)

This video, along with the next one (which was done on the same day) were created without the use of a tripod. We learned our lesson and got a tripod. Sorry for any shaky hands :)

Tyropita are delicious Greek pastries made with feta or ricotta cheese (or a combination of both) wrapped in layers of buttered phyllo. Tyropita are great as a snack or as a side dish for lunch or dinner, although in Greece they are usually eaten as a breakfast food. What I love about tyropita is that you can make a large batch and then freeze them. Take some out of the freezer about 40 minutes before dinner, pop them in the oven, and you’ll have a wonderful side dish for the family meal.

Here is Eva’s recipe for tyropitakia. She uses both feta and ricotta cheese, but if you like it a little more salty use only feta cheese. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Half a pound of feta cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 500 grams of ricotta cheese
  • Half a pound of butter (or you can use margarine)
  • 3 eggs
  • A quarter tsp of black pepper
  • Parsley (optional)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the feta, ricotta, eggs, and black pepper with your hands.

Remove the phyllo from the package, carefully unwrap it, and lay it flat on your counter. Place a slightly damp cloth over the phyllo to prevent it from drying out.

Place your butter in a small bowl and it microwave until softened. Get out a brush and butter a large pan.

Cut the phyllo into 3 or 4 long strips. Take out one pile of strips and cover the rest of the phyllo with your cloth.

Take one strip of phyllo and lightly butter it. Add another layer of phyllo and butter that too. Now drop a spoonful of the cheese mixture at the bottom of the long strip. Fold the phyllo in triangles.

Once you have finished folding each piece, butter it and place it on the pan.

Repeat until you have finished with the cheese mixture and the phyllo.

Once you are finished place the pan in the oven for about an hour (at 325 degrees)

And viola! You have delicious tyropitakia for you and your family.