Spanakopita

This is a great vegetarian dinner, I used this recipe for my Spanakopita on my Greek evening, and it was delicious! I find that reheating phyllo doesn’t work very well, but if you want to, place in an oven to reheat, not in the microwave.

Ingredients

dill
dried oregano
phyllo pastry
melted butter
onion, chopped
olive oil
spinach, rinsed and trimmed
feta cheese
full cream cream cheese
eggs, lightly whisked
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onions in oil, until the onions become transparent
Blanch the spinach in boiling water, until the leaves turn lighter, remove from water and drain all excess water, chop finely (squeeze out all excess water again)
Add the fried onions, the feta and cream cheese, eggs, dill, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste
Grease the bottom and sides of oven pan
Line oven pan with a sheet of phyllo pastry.
Brush with the melted butter and place another half sheet of phyllo pastry on top. Repeat until you have five half sheets of phyllo pastry.
Spread the spinach mixture on top and cover with seven layers of phyllo pastry, each brushed with melted butter or olive oil, including the top of the last layer.
Bake at 190 °C for about 40 minutes or until light brown

Enjoy it

Keftedes

These Keftedes came out amazing, the tomato sauce was brilliant, I will now use this sauce for most of my tomato based dishes. I used the same sauce for my moussaka. And that was to die for. I am not a huge fan of ground beef, but let me tell you, I was very very excited with this dish. And the nice thing is that with its leftovers, you can make meatball subs, or even make a spaghetti bolognaise and top it with these meatballs.

Meatballs
half beef mince
half pork
white bread, crusts removed, soaked in milk
egg
onion, chopped finely
garlic, chopped finely
dried oregano
salt and milled pepper

Tomato sauce
olive oil
onion, chopped finely
garlic, chopped finely
ripe tomatoes, chopped (I like to not peel them, but that’s a personal choice)
tomato puree
bicarbonate of soda
sugar
salt and milled pepper
fresh oregano

Meatballs
Mix all the ingredients together, using your hands. Pat into the size you require, and set aside. I left them over night in the fridge, but this is not necessary.

Tomato sauce
Heat oil and add onion
Sugar over the onions, sauté for a few minutes, add garlic.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. (not the bicarb of soda)
Reduce the heat, cover & let simmer for about half an hour.
Add bicarb of soda, it will fizz a little, and let simmer for a further 15 minutes

Arrange meatballs in an ovenproof dish.
Pour over sauce and bake in a preheated 180 °C oven, uncovered

I don’t fry the meatballs first; I just place them in a large oven proof dish, pour the sauce over and put in the oven. Frying adds extra kilojoules to the meatballs, and is just not necessary. I find it also doesn’t make the meatballs dry.

Houmus

I absolutely love Houmus! With pita, it’s the best drink snack ever! Made this for the Greek evening. Was absolutely yummy!!

Canned chick peas
Garlic, chopped
Lemon juice
White wine
Sultanas
Spring Onions
Paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Drain the liquid from the chick-peas, in a pan, place wine, paprika, lemon juice salt and pepper, and chick peas. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Leave to cool slightly then put mixture in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add the garlic sultanas, spring onions and a little more salt & pepper to taste.

I love this! You can cook your garlic first if you want more subtle taste of garlic, but I love the punch!

Baklava

Baklava

Ingredients

blanched almonds, toasted and finely chopped
ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
sheets of phyllo pastry, cut in half
ml butter, melted
whole cloves

Sugar Syrup:
cups of water
cups of sugar
juice of lemon
stick of cinnamon
brandy

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease a 19 or 20 cm square cake tin.
Mix half the almonds with the cinnamon and cloves.
Cut the phyllo pastry to the same size as the tin and line the base with four layers of pastry, brushing each layer with melted butter.
Sprinkle one fifth of the almond mixture on top of the pastry.
Place two layers of phyllo pastry, each brushed with melted butter, on top and sprinkle another fifth of the almond mixture on top.
Repeat the layers until four sheets of phyllo pastry are left. Use these for the top layer.

Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern in the top pastry layer.
Insert a clove in the centre of each diamond, sprinkle with a little water and bake for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 150°C and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

SYRUP

Heat the ingredients over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.
Pour the hot syrup over the hot baklava and leave it to cool in the tin.

Greek Evening Menu

Greek Cuisine Evening

26 September 2009

Meze
Served with Pitta bread, feta & olives

Dolmades
Spinach leaves stuffed with rice, spice & ground beef

Moussaka
Sautéed eggplant, tomato and ground beef, layered and topped with a white sauce

Spanakopita
phyllo pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese onions

Keftedes
Spicy Meatballs, served with tomato & onion sauce

Calamari
Oregano & olive oil deep fried squid

Tsanziki

Cucumber, Garlic & Greek Yoghurt dip

Houmous
Garlic, Chickpea & Tahini dip

Souvlaki Arnisio
Greek style skewered lamb kebabs

Greek Style Potatoes

Oven roasted potatoes in a oregano & rosemary olive oil rub

Greek salad
Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, olives and feta, served with
Greek salad dressing


Dessert

Baklava

A sticky, delicious combination of phyllo dough, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and honey, served with a dollop of mascapone

R140.00