Tag Archives: Pie

Spanakotiropita

Strangely enough, after coming back from Oslo, I found myself reminiscing Greece. One of the things unique to Greek cuisine is the Spanakitiropita, or more commonly known as Spanakopita, which is a spinach and feta cheese pie. There are proper better recipes out there but here’s how I did mine, as little tarts.

Stuff you’ll need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 200g of feta
  • 75g of cheddar
  • a bag of prewashed spinach leaves
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • a box of filo pastry
  • a 12-hole shallow muffin tray
Doing it:
  1. First things first, get everything ready. Preheat the oven to 200°C, boil about 2 pints of water, get a pot on the hob on low heat.
  2. Next, into the mixing bowl, crack the eggs and dump in the cheeses. Add the lemon zest and dried oregano as well. Pepper goes in as well. Stir about and stop before it’s all smooth. In this case, chunky is pretty good.
  3. When the water has boiled, empty the bag of spinach into the pot on the hob, then pour the boiling water in, just enough to wilt all the spinach leaves. Add a sprinkle of salt and toss about. The leaves should wilt in about 40 seconds or less. Once wilted, turn off the hob and drain the spinach leaves. Add them to the mixing bowl and mix everything about.
  4. Get your muffin tray ready. Then, on a board, lay out a layer of filo pastry from the box. Half it lengthways and sideways so you get four individual pieces. Drizzle olive oil and pat each of them so they are coated evenly. Sprinkle paprika over the pieces. Layer each of them atop each other. Don’t worry if they’re broken here and there. Once done, lay it in a well of your muffin tray. Repeat for all 12 holes; you should only need 12 layers of filo pastry then.
  5. Fill the wells of filo with the spinach and cheese filling, or with spanakitiro. Pardon my urge to speak Greek. Wrap the little tarts up erratically.
  6. Pop them into the bottom rack of the oven. Welcome the Aroma Fairies into your kitchen.
  7. Take those babies out when they’re golden brown and let them rest for about 10 minutes or so, while you salivate.
  8. Wait some more if you want. If not, DIG IN.
Advertisements

The Incomplete Pie

Here’s a great alternative if you’re lazy to make a complete pie.

Beef and gravy sitting pretty in a well of potato mash.

 

The Incomplete Pie

For this, instead of using minced meat, I used chunks of beef. Be sure to cut them into small pieces so they’ll be soft when cooked through and not stiff like rubber.

When devouring this treat, take time to enjoy how the gravy flows out once the potato wall is broken.

Outright luxurious.


Shepherd’s Pie

What better day to share about Shepherd’s Pie than on Easter Sunday, the day our shepherd, Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead.

It’s really simple to make one and the best part about it, you can go crazy with whatever goes inside. It’s basically a potato mash and a minced meat filling. Here’s the rough structure to how you can make one:

The Potato Mash

Slice the potatoes and toss it into a pot of boiling water. I like using small potatoes because they cook faster, but whichever you use doesn’t really matter. Sometimes, I toss in some carrots as well. This gives the mash a little mix of orange with yellow. You can even try it with sweet potatoes, or purple ones. Try it out and let me know!

Once the root veggies are translucent, drain and mash with a small hunk of butter, a splash of milk, some grated cheese of your choice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Oh, if you’re wondering, I actually do leave the skin of the potatoes on for two reasons – one: it adds variety to the bite texture, and two: I’m lazy to skin them.

The Minced Meat Filling

While the potatoes are soaking in the very hot boiling water, prepare your kickass filling. The traditional meat used should be lamb, hence the name. But people I’ve made it for like it better when it’s a ‘cowherd’ pie. Yes, beef is my meat of choice. You can use peas, mushrooms, carrots, onions, green beans, and whatever tickles your fancy in a meat pie. Just make sure everything is chopped up nice and pretty before you dump them together.

When it comes to herbs, basil, oregano, sage, thyme or rosemary will add a lovely aroma. Again, whichever you prefer. Cook everything with a splash of red wine, salt and pepper. Ah yes, and if it’s beef, be sure to include a bit of vinegar in the mix. Finally, this is extremely unconventional but I don’t like it when my beef isn’t a rich dark brown, so to solve this, I turn to a few drops of my trusty blackening agent i.e. Dark Soy Sauce.

The Shepherd’s Pie

Once both components are ready, grab a roasting dish and fill the base with a thin layer of potato mash. Next, enters the filling and finally, the mash again to cover everything up lovely. Sometimes, (when you have not enough mash) you can leave out the base layer.

See, it’s not difficult. Try it, and remember, it’s all up to you! (:

Last but not least, everyone here at Cook for Myself would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and Holy Easter!