Sunday, 13 May 2012

Just a little less meat please….

So as a few of you may know, I am trying really hard to have the family eat more lean.

I won’t say healthy because I know that will get me into trouble along the way!

About a year ago I thought we were eating too much red meat, which I know my dear hubby would disagree with, but we were.

So I have been making a conscious effort to only have 1 red meat meal a week and a lot more fish or chicken and veg based meals. 

So with the above in mind meals have changed a bit in my house and I have fallen in love with Spinach and Feta Pie all over again. I ate this a lot in my younger single days, also maybe because my best friend is Greek and her mum made the best Spanikopita.

I have tried and tested a few variations of my beloved pie and hope you give it a go and enjoy it too. Please keep in mind this is a small pie to feed my little family of 3. You get 4 slices out of this one, but if your wanting a bigger one (which I have done also) simply double the recipe.

Spinach & Feta Pie
160g of Spinach
1 packet of Feta
½ tbs Dill
1 Egg
1 large clove of Garlic
Handful of Pine nuts
Zest of ½ a Lemon
Packet of Antonio Filo Pastry (fresh filo is the best!)
50g Butter

In a pan wilt the Spinach (I micro plane the garlic into the pan at the same time). Once done allow to cool. While it’s cooling toast the handful of pine nut, once done set aside off the heat.

Once spinach is cool squeeze out any excess liquid and put in a mixing bowl. To the spinach add the packet of feta (break up in the pack before opening), pine nuts, dill, egg, lemon zest and pepper to taste. Mix all these together well, if you can leave some of the feta a bit chunky. Now set aside and let’s start with the filo.

My good friend Jamie Oliver taught me this tops trick for working with filo and being able to move it around with ease. So you will need to pull off a big piece of baking paper, scrunch it up and run it under the tap! Squeeze out the excess water and you will have a pliable piece of paper. Lay that on your work bench.

Melt down your butter and get a wet towel to keep your filo damp (to be honest I don’t cover my filo anymore, this part you can do pretty quickly).

Lay 2 sheets of filo side by side on your baking paper, make sure they overlap in the middle, if you’re doing a small pie this will overlap a fair bit. Then cover that in melted butter. Repeat this for about 6 layers.

Once done grab the filo sheets by the baking paper and slide into whatever pie dish you are using. Make sure it’s all pushed into the dish then scoop in your filling. You then just fold all the excess pastry that’s hanging over the edges over the top and cover that with butter also.

Put into a 180 oven for 20 minutes. If golden brown it is done, if not give it another 5 minutes. 

Now then fun part, I always flip my pie over and cook for another 5 minutes so the base is brown and crunchy like the top. You don’t have to do this either, but if you want to its easy. Just turn the pie out like you would a cake onto a plate, then use the baking paper turn back into the pie dish upside down. Simple hey!!!

To serve this I usually make a rocket salad, but now in the cooler months I do some roasted veg…yum!

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