Recipe #12: Spanakopita & Greek Potatoes

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Oops I am a day late, again! But in my defence I did have my Diploma course this weekend and so have been pretty tired and busy. Talking about being tired, I am always exhausted, so much so that I am sick of hearing myself talk about it, but I eat healthy, drink loads of water and get enough sleep. There is new research out at the moment that we (well those of you reading this in the uk) may be deficient in vitamin D, which is why loads of people are so tired, so I am going to ask my doctor to test my vitamin D levels, if you are often tired get your GP to test you too!

Anyway back to the food, this week I did a bit of a ‘skills swap’ with a handyman friend of mine. Jack and I have had pictures, and mirrors and a hoover that we have needed putting up on the walls since we moved in two years ago, but Jack is far from a handyman so they have stayed proper up against the walls that they should be hanging on. So I asked my friend if he would bring his drill and put things up for me if I cooked for him and his partner and he agreed! I love doing things like this, sharing skills and experience and helping each other out. I think this is something that has massively been lost in today’s society, people are so money focused that they forget payment can be made in many different ways. Helping out your neighbours and friends brings a community closer which in turns makes us happier and closer to each other. And what better way for me to pay than by cooking!

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This dish is not a recipe from a book but instead a recipe that was passed onto me when I was at university by my Greek friend. It had in turn been passed down to her through generations of her family and when I tasted it I immediately asked that she showed me how to cook it. I never wrote down the recipe but we cooked it together a few times and this is what I have from memory. It’s a traditional spinach pie with potatoes that have been soaked in the juices of orange and lemon to give them a sweet tangy taste. I served this with a packet salad with added carrot and avocado but if you really wanted to turn it into a Greek feast you could make a traditional Greek salad. This recipe is a bit more time consuming so may be more of a weekend meal than a quick after work dish.

My guests thought it was a good meal, they loved the fact it was something new that they hadn’t tried before and was from a different culture, I got strong 7’s and 8’s all round, not bad considering they were all meat eaters 😉

Spanakopita & Greek Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 500g spinach, washed and roughly chopped (18 ounces)
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Phyllo pastry
  • 7 large potatoes
  • 2 large organs
  • 1 lemon
  • Two sprigs of rosemary
  • Pinch of salt
  • Olive oil

For the Spanakopita

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  2. To prepare the filling, sauté the onions in a large knob of butter until soft and turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach in batches and cook until wilted. Cool, then tip into a bowl (leaving behind any excess liquid from the spinach) and mix in the nutmeg, feta, eggs, spring onion and season.
  3. Flour your surface and take two sheets of pastry. Cut this in half long ways. Spoon the mixture into the bottom left hand side of the pastry and fold it over into a triangle shape. This is a bit tricky to understand so I have found this picture to explain what I mean!

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  4. Brush the top of the spanakopita’s with an egg wash and scar with a sharp knife. Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes until the phyllo is crisp and golden.

For the Potatoes

  1. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and rinse. Put them into a deep dish pan.
  2. Squeeze the juice of two large oranges and the lemon onto the potatoes.
  3. Add a glug of oil and salt and mix everything well.
  4. Put into the oven. After about 30 minutes take them out and strain the excess liquid off. Keep this liquid it makes a great sauce later on. At this point add the Rosemary.
  5. Put the potatoes back in the oven and let them brown.

 

Serve everything up and enjoy!

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