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Wednesday, January 5, 2011


What did you do for New Years Eve?

   Because there really is nowhere to go here - and even if we had been invited somewhere, we have 2 children that don't sleep well (or at all) away from home - I knew we'd be staying in. I decided I would make something special for the night for hubby and I.

Now, I'm not Greek in any way, shape or form, so I don't know about the authenticity of this recipe. What I do know is that it is really yummy. You'll want to make them.

This is an appetizer version of Spanakopita.
These are easy, albeit labour intensive, but they are worth the work.

You'll have to do a wee bit of planning ahead in order to make these. The phyllo dough and the frozen spinach both need to thaw for a few hours.

The Recipe: Source: Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations cookbook 2003

  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup butter (no substitutes) divided (Trust me when I say that you'll want at least twice this much)
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup small-curd cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 package (16oz) frozen phyllo dough, thawed

* a note on my ingredient list. You will see that I have no onions pictured. I did not realize until I was getting everything together that I did not have any onions on hand, so I reconstituted some dried flaked onions using a 1:1 ratio with water. I used about 1 1/2 Tbs. as I have no idea what the actual equivalent to real onions is. I probably could have used more. I also didn't have bread crumbs. I crushed up saltines instead. I would have gone to the store to get more, but the stores all close early around here, 6pm, which is really terrible for a procrastinator like me who doesn't generally think about making dinner until right around that time!

 In a large skillet, saute onion in 2 Tbs. butter until tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in the spinach, feta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, dill and pepper.

*because I used dried onion flakes, I skipped the sauteing part. I also used a Feta mix that had sundried tomatoes and oregano because that was all that was available, it turned out even better.

 I know the mush in the bowl doesn't look overly appetizing, but trust me, it is going to be so yummy!
  Melt remaining butter. Layer and brush five phyllo sheets with melted butter. Keep remaining phyllo covered to avoid drying out. You'll want to wet a clean kitchen towel to lay over top of the phyllo that you aren't using as it dries out really fast! The cloth doesn't need to be sopping wet, just damp.
 Now slather on that butter! Every time I've made this, I've ended up melting more than the called for amount (which is why I told you you'd want more). My preschooler came over to the counter while I was slathering on the butter and complained that I was splashing him...yup, I love me some butter!

Cut buttered sheets lengthwise into 2-in. strips; cut in half width wise. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling at one end of each strip. (I'm just going by the recipe instructions, though I've always found that I have to use a little less than 1 Tbs in order to get it to fit.)

fold into a triangle, as you would fold a flag.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with butter.(Yup, more butter!) I just lined my baking sheets with parchment paper (I love that stuff).

I think there were enough phyllo sheets in my box to repeat the above steps 3 or 4 times.

Bake @ 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm. Oh, ya! Look at that yummy goodness!

If you happen to have any filling left over after the phyllo has run out, don't throw it out. It makes an awesome addition to your morning eggs!

 Yield: 28 appetizers

I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you make them and how they turn out.

Jen  <--- Anyone know how to make those fancy signatures everyone else seems to have?

I'm linking up to:

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  1. This is really close to my recipe, but mine doesn't have cottage cheese and has varying amounts of the rest of the ingredients.

    Does using 5 layers make them thick? Mine uses only two and that's plenty. The first time I made it, I slathered the butter and ended up using about double what was called for. Then the next time I did it thinly and it worked just as well. No, better. And it didn't ooze grease like my first batch did, so they baked better. I'd actually recommend trying it that way. Because who are we kidding, as yummy as they are, they're not exactly good FOR you! Haha!
    Did you measure your strips? They look really straight to me. You should see my cuts. Because I'm trying to work fast they end up all wobbly. It's kind of funny.

  2. Not really thick, but they did ooze butter. Maybe it has more to do with my brush. I don't really like my silicone pastry brush and would rather have a real one with bristles. I forgot to mention/take pictures, but I just used a pizza cutter to cut my rows. I mostly just eyeballed it.

  3. I use the silicone brush too. Try a light coating of butter next time.

  4. LOVE, LOVE these! It's been way too long since I've had some. Argghh, now I have a huge craving for some! : )

  5. These are so yummy! My sister-in-law's mom made them for Christmas, and everyone loved them.

  6. this looks like a great recipe to try

  7. I'm featuring you today as one of my Friday favorites! Spanakopita is one of my all-time favorites, I can't wait to try and make it myself!