I think I got my baking groove back. Is that a thing? Maybe it’s the sunny weather flooding me with endorphins. Maybe it’s the cherry blossoms that make my heart happy every time I go for a walk. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I’m baking more.
Because I need to finish this book.
It’s taking forever. I started this blog in 2017. That’s a long time, y’all.
I decided to do a savoury bake and in order to do it without creating food waste, I halved the recipe.
I had thought about doing the full recipe and freezing some for later, but then I bought spinach and it was half the required amount, so that made my decision for me.
Since I bought pre-washed spinach, I could skip the first part of the first step. I piled 142 grams of baby spinach leaves into a pan, covered it and waited.
Now, before I go further, I should make note of wording in this recipe that was slightly alarming. The ingredient lists “300g fresh young spinach leaves” and the little blurb at the top of the recipe says “If you can’t find tender young spinach…”
“Tender young spinach”?
I have never heard that phrase before and honestly I’d be fine with never hearing it again.
Anyway, back to that tender young spinach.
Cooked spinach is just hilarious. How does so much get reduced to so little? Also, fun fact about me, I loathe cooked spinach. As a kid, my mom would make it for dinner and every single time I ate it, I gagged. To this day, if I have cooked spinach on its own, I will gag. I’m fine if it’s wrapped in pastry like a spanakopita or on a fancy pizza or even mixed into pasta (if it’s cut small enough), but if I somehow take a bite wrong and it’s just a sad wilted spinach leaf on its own … it’s just not okay.
So I was a little alarmed when I was cooking down the tender young spinach (oops again) and the smell brought me back to those terrible dinners as a kid. (Sorry, Mom! I liked everything else you cooked!) I was worried how the rest of the recipe would go, but I powered through.
After it was cooked down to a comical fraction of the fresh original, I put it in a colander and let it cool. I then soaked up two sheets of paper towel getting the moisture out and dropped it into a bowl, then added garlic, onion powder (instead of spring onions because I forgot to buy them), olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg (because I didn’t have fresh as the recipe called for).
After that I mixed in the feta, but not the Parmesan (because I forgot to buy Parm too).
Then I covered that and set it aside.
Now for the pastry, I wanted to just take out half the amount of sheets but it was frozen solid, so I tried cutting through the rolled-up log of frozen filo pastry, but that didn’t work either, so I just broke it in half, put half in the freezer for another day and let half thaw on the counter.
When ready, I unrolled it and roughly counted the sheets. I needed six sheets, but this had about 15, so I decided to do two sections. I then didn’t follow an important step.
The instructions say to brush every single sheet with butter and layer it up but that felt excessive so I did every other or every third.
(I’d pay for that mistake later.)
Then with a round cutter (which I do not have), I was to cut 10 circles (which I did not do).
I took a glass and used a knife to cut around it, and then used the little bit of filling I had and made eight.
I still had two hefty spoonfuls of filling but I didn’t want to cut any more circles so I improvised.
I think you can see from the photo what happens when you don’t brush butter between every single layer. The layers don’t stay put. They fall open. So as I was shaping them into little triangles, I was quickly using butter and beaten egg to try to paste it back together.
Some worked, others didn’t.
Then I popped it into the oven for about 20 minutes and continued watching Cougar Town. (Don’t judge me. It’s a great show.)
Now at the same time I was making that, I also decided to make butter chicken. I have been craving it for about a week and finally got around to making it. I have a recipe that uses coconut milk and Greek yogurt so I trick myself into thinking it’s healthy.
It was only after I pulled these triangle beauties out of the oven that I realized a technically Greek appetizer with a technically Indian entrée might be an odd pairing.
But then I popped a spinach triangle in my mouth and I didn’t care.
Guys. These are so good.
And if I had followed the instructions properly, they’d probably come together a lot easier.
I may have to make them again. (Especially considering I’ve eaten them all.)
94 recipes down. 20 to go.