When life doesn’t give you mini phyllo cups you make little paper football-like spanakopitas.
Yesterday, I prepared a dinner for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents. The menu consisted of spanakopitas for an appetizer, french onion chicken with garlic bread for dessert, and an apple yogurt cake with cinnamon sugar whipped cream. Don’t you worry, I’ll be posting all the recipes in the next few days!
So I was planning to make spanakopita but instead of folding up the sheets, I wanted to use the pre-made mini phyllo cups. Of course, the store didn’t have them. If you can find them. USE THEM.
I had to do the unthinkable: work with phyllo sheets. Now, I honestly don’t have the patience to work with the sheets of phyllo, but I didn’t have other options at the time. You should really have a pastry brush to paint each sheet with butter; I did not have one. Oops! I used my hands. It got messy in a hurry.
The good news? They tasted amazing! Hooray!
(Makes about 15)
1 pkg. of phyllo dough (in the frozen food section)
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. frozen spinach, thawed
1 small onion, diced into small pieces
2 large cloves garlic
¼ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ c. reduced fat feta cheese
1 lemon, juiced
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of red pepper flake (optional)
In a frying pain over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, oregano olive oil and red pepper flake until the onions become translucent.
Put your thawed spinach into a strainer and push out all the extra liquid with the back of a spoon until minimal moisture comes through. You do not want to skip this step! Spinach holds so much moisture, you don’t want to make your phyllo soggy.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sauteed onions, spinach, yogurt, feta, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste it to see if there is any more seasoning needed BEFORE you add the egg. Add the egg when the mixture has enough seasoning to bind it together.
On a clean surface or cutting board, take one piece of phyllo and lay it out. Cover the stack of dough with a clean towel to keep it from drying out. Brush the one sheet with butter. Layer another sheet on top. Brush with butter. Repeat until you have 4 sheets together.
Cut the dough in half width wise. Cut each half into 1/3 strips so you have 6 strips total.
Time to make phyllo footballs!
Grab a heaping tablespoon of filling and place it on one end of a strip. Fold one of the corners up and over the filling to the other side, making a triangle. Fold the triangle over at the edge of the filling, and repeat the folding until you have a nice little triangle package. Looks like a paper football, doesn’t it?
Repeat until you have made all of your spanakopita.
If you’re using them right away, pop in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the spanakopita are golden brown.
If you’re making these ahead, place in the freezer on a single layer of a cookie sheet until frozen, about 2-3 hours. Then, place in a freezer safe container or ziploc bag. When you want to use them, cook from their frozen state, just up the cooking time.