Spinach handpies

Posted in Main Course, Savory, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarian on Jan 27, 2010

063Oy! I’ve been cooking up a storm, and taking pictures up a storm, but I haven’t had a free minute to scratch my booty let alone write about our produce smackdown.  As a result I’ve got a backlog of posts just waiting for the finishing touches, and I’m going to have to learn how to schedule post so I don’t forget to make them live.

Along with the puff pastry from the Chicken Pot Pie night, I had stashed a box of filo dough in the freezer.  I love filo like nobody’s business, and I invent excuses to use it a few times a year.  You just can’t go wrong with flaky pastry + butter in my universe, and even The Boy has been known to roll his eyes up into his head in ecstasy  when biting into a filo pastry.

It was time for more leafy greens, and after the Greek Quiche reaction (also known as “Meh”)  I wanted to let the spinach flavor stand on its own.

It was time for Spinach Handpies.

Here’s what I started with:

  • About 1/3 a cup of olive oil
  • A big old thing of organic baby spinach, washed and dried in the spinner (vroom!)
  • A handful of garlic cloves
  • Salt, pepper and paprika
  • About 1/4 onion, diced
  • About 1/4 cup of red bell pepper, diced
  • About a tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • About 1/4 cup of feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 a can of water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter, melted (aw yeah)
  • 1/2 box of filo dough.  (I used the other half for apple handpies, which I’ll post later)

Okay, so first things first – I sauted the whole cloves of garlic in the olive oil until they were starting to get yummy smelling.


This is half the spinach – I used about 1/2 pound of fresh spinach total.  Which was like 900 cups when it was fluffed up after washing.  (Roughly 900.  I’m a home cook, not an exact measure-er.)


So, while I was washing spinach, I had the garlic, onions and red pepper still sauteing away.  I sprinkled on some black pepper and paprika and continued to cook it until the onions were translucent.


And then I dumped in the spinach in two batches, tossing to let it wilt in the hot oil.


This is about 3 minutes into the whole tossing and wilting business.


I removed the pan from the heat and got to work on the other stir-ins.  First, I tore off some oregano leaves .


Then, I took a look at the stems on the spinach, and decided to chop it up a bit in the ‘Ja.  I would have just left it if I was the only one eating it, but I figured a finer texture might win the kids over better.  So in went the stuff from the pan and the oregano, and I pulsed it a few times to chop things together.


Meanwhile, I crumbled the feta:


And chopped the water chestnuts:


And then I mixed those two things into the chopped up stuff and set it aside to cool.  You know that that means?  It’s Filo Time!  WOOOO!

If you’ve never worked with filo before, there’s a great tutorial here.

So, this was a few handpies in, so my counters were a little buttery already.  I laid out a single sheet of filo.


Then I brushed melted butter on one half of the dough, and folded it over.


Then I did it again.


This gave me a long strip of 4-ply buttery dough.  I brushed butter down the length of this final strip, and plopped about 1/4 cup of filling on the end.


Okay, now you simply start folding it over on the diagonal.  So, your first fold is like a little triangle, and then you just keep on keeping on until you reach the end of the strip.  You shouldn’t need to add any additional butter, but I’m not judgy about those things.


These went in the oven at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes (I believe.  This was a week ago, and I need to double check my notes.  After I find them.)


Shut.  Up.  Look at these things?  No kid, no matter how picky, is going to say no to this.  Or at least, no child of mine.

065 The fat and calories aside, these were made of Win. The spinach was bright tasting, with none of the sometimes metallic flavor that can creep into frozen spinach (or at least the frozen spinach I’ve massacred before.)  The texture was soft, but not slimy, and the crunch from the water chestnuts was perfect.  Not too much, but enough to make things interesting.

You’ll notice that The Boy is wearing his PJs while giving me a double thumbs-up on this.  The enthusiasm may stem from the fact that I fed them dinner at almost 8 pm instead of our usual 5:30ish, and therefore they were starving.

If I had planned things out a bit better, I could have reduced the amount of time it took to get dinner on the table, but the fact of the matter is sometimes, it is good to wait.  These Spinach handpies were worth every second of wait.  Go make yourself some.  Seriously.  RIGHT NOW.


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  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I’ll come back to yours because your experiment is really worth it. I wished more families would try it!
    Making sure children are hungry when they sit at the table is another key to ensure a successful meal!! Stop the snacks!!

    This recipe is definitively something I’ll cook for my children one day… and know that they’ll love it.

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