Saturday, July 17, 2010

Going Greek

Even though my muse, DB~, is out of town (waaaaay out of town!), I was still feeling creative last night. When DB~ and I went to the Strip District a couple of weeks ago, we of course went to Penn Mac for cheese. One of the cheeses I bought was the harder cousin of Feta, known as Myzithera.

During my last trip to Giant Eagle, I bought some sheets of phyllo dough, in anticipation of a Greek night. I decided that last night would be an "experiment night" in the kitchen. I ended up making a new "restaurant-quality" dish last night, so I thought I would share:


1/2 lb of ground meat
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lb Myzithera cheese
1/3 cup cooked orzo
6 grape tomatos, cut in half and seeded
couple of springs of lemon thyme
couple of spring of lemon basil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 cereal bowl of spinach leaves
1 pkg of Fillo dough
salt, pepper to taste
5 tbsp of melted butter

First I cooked the orzo for about 10 minutes.

While that was going, I put the ground meat in the skillet to brown. Once it was brown on all sides, I added the garlic and the chopped up thyme and basil. Next I added the grape tomatoes cut in half and sprinkled the pine nuts into the mixture. I let this simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes and added a touch of salt and pepper.

I then got out 4 cereal bowls and set up the shredded Myzithera in one, the spinach leaves in another, the cooked orzo in the third, and the ground meat mixture in the fourth. I contemplated running the ground meat through the food processor, in order to make it easier to work with the Fillo, but I decided to keep it regular. It was a good choice.

Let me interject this recipe with a warning about working with Fillo dough. It's nerve-wracking at times. I don't know how it is made, but apparently it is cut with a NASA-grade laser. If you pick a layer of it up with one hand, it will rip. If you lift it higher than 3 inches off the kitchen counter, it will rip. But it soooooo tasty when baked.

Once I had my bowls set up in the train, I got the Fillo out and put it on a cutting board with a moist towel covering the wrapper to prevent it from drying out. I then had a baking sheet set up for the final product. Make sure you work directly on the baking sheet, as you won't be able to move the creation once it is done -- the Fillo will rip apart.

Take one sheet of Fillo and score it lightly in half. Brush one side of each scored piece with butter. It just needs to be very lightly buttered, not thickly done. Carefully flip one piece over so the butter side is down. Repeat with the second piece.

Then place a few spinach leaves on the Fillo, keeping them about 1/2 to 1 inch away from the edges. Get another sheet of Fillo, score it, and brush both pieces with melted butter. Put one, butter side down over top the spinach and place the 2 tablespoons of ground meat mixture. Place the second buttered piece over top of the ground meat mixture. Repeat with a third piece of Fillo -- score it and butter both halves. Place a handful of the Myzithera cheese on this piece of Fillo and then cover it with the second buttered half. Get a fourth piece of Fillo -- score it and butter it. Place 2 tablespoons of orzo on this piece and then cover with both pieces of Fillo.

At this point, gently pull the edges all together as is you were wrapping a present. The butter will help make the edges stick. The edges on the wrapped DBSopita will only "wrap" about 1/2 to 1 inch up...don't pull them all to the center.

This recipe should make 6 of these creations. I baked them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until flaky and light brown. You will be able to manuever them with a spatula once they are baked and flaky.

Serve with couscous or a wild rice and your choice of vegetable. Opa!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! This looks great! :) I can't wait to have it!! I miss you! ~