October 24, 2013

Spinach and Feta Filo Pie

When I pulled this post out of my draft folder this morning I realized that it will be my 100th post here on Hearth and Homefront. That number kind of snuck up on me! I realized the other day that my 1 year anniversary would be coming up soon, but it never occurred to me to check how many posts I had written or I would be doing something a little more celebratory today!

I'm still amazed that anyone other than my parents and my husband read this little blog of mine. It started as a place to catalog my recipes and books and it's becoming a real thing now. This is the first time since graduate school that I haven't worked and this has helped me keep my identity from getting lost in the shuffle of being a wife and mother. Those are very important pieces of me, but I don't like defining myself by who I am to others. I'm not ready to start introducing myself as a blogger, but it helps me to know that I am creating something all by myself every week. The library and archives field is going to look very different when we eventually move to our next base and then I'll have to see if there is still a place for me in that world. Who knows-maybe these years of blogging will open up a new career path for me. Maybe I'll write that book I've always talked about, or make this little blog itself into a business. I love the different paths that are beginning to form in the distance!

Now to the food-which is why you're all here, right? Years ago my father in law gave us a Jaimie Oliver cookbook, and told us we HAD to make the roast chicken. We were hooked. I stumbled across this recipe that he put together for a newspaper in the UK and filed it away for the future. Between after school appointments and activities and the social whirl that is this time of year around here I realized I needed to start developing easy and fast recipes for the weekdays. While I may still have the occasional day where I can spend 30-40 minutes prepping a recipe most of the time I need something that only takes 30 minutes start to finish. Since my husband and I both adore Spanakopita, I knew that this pie size variation would be right up our alley. It feels light, but is substantial enough to be the main course of your meal. The boys ate a little bit, but since they are highly suspicious of anything green right now we made sure to serve it with heartier sides they enjoy. This will be a great addition to our weeknight dinner rotation for sure!

Spinach and Feta Filo Pie
adapted from Jaimie Oliver

Filo dough (about 12-15 sheets of it)
4 eggs
10 oz feta
1/2 cup parmesan
2 tsp dried oregano
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp butter
14 oz washed baby spinach
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
Olive oil

Cut a piece of parchment paper that's about 15"x20". Scrunch it a up a little and rub some olive oil into it. Cover with filo dough sheets. Mine took about 4 pieces (one in each corner and they overlapped in the middle slightly). Drizzle with olive oil and gently spread the oil over the filo dough using your hands. Sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Repeat this process 2 more times so you have a total of 3 layers. Set aside

Add feta, eggs, oregano, lemon zest, a teaspoon of olive oil, and a pinch of pepper to a mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

In a ovenproof saucepan (like a cast iron skillet), melt a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Add half the spinach in and stir until it has wilted slightly. Then add the rest of the spinach. Stir and cook gently until it is all wilted and cooked down.

Stir the cooked spinach and nutmeg into the egg mixture. Set aside.

Take the filo dough sheet and gently lay it over the saucepan. Push it into the bottom of the pan with the edges still hanging over the sides of the pan. Pour the spinach and egg mixture into the pan and spread so it covers the bottom. Fold the filo dough that is hanging over the side into the center of the pan to make the top of the crust. Rub a little more olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pop the saucepan back on the burner for about 2 minutes to get the bottom of the filo cooking, and then transfer to the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until the top is nice and browned. Serve immediately.

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