Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recipe 37: Swiss Chard Spanakopita (but really, Spanakocheater!)

This pan is toooooo small!
Yep.  I've been really behind on my recipe posts.  No denying that.  In fact, this one, a blatant cheat (more on that in a second) was made in August.  For a trip to the beach.  I know there's a wild Indian Summer on, but seriously.  Two months.  I'm off my game!  This recipe was a direct result of having too much farm share swiss chard and green onions.  It was a cheat because...you have no need for a Le Creuset if you actually follow the instructions, and say, have a large frying pan.  I probably could even have just used a wok.  But I'm a stinkin' cheater.  So I cheated and used Blue.  I think you can see why in the illustration to your right. 

This one is jusssst right.
And also the colors look nice together.
Always looking out for you, food porn.
I stuck to the original recipe, and the results were delicious.  I would recommend eating it relatively soon after making, and if you plan on cooling and saving for later (say for your planned picnic on the beach the next day), cool for a darn tootin' long time.  Else, the phyllo will absorb the moisture from the steamy chard and get all wilty and weird.  You can kind of fix this by popping it into the oven for a bit, but this doesn't work if, say, you are on the beach and didn't happen to put your oven in your beach bag.  I also did not follow the folding directions on the recipe.  I chose to do it more like a lasagna, making a point to make the bottom and top pieces alternatively more left or right oriented to created a burn barrier for the filling (if that makes any sense; I'm just lazy).  Using cooking spray is soooo much easier - I ran out halfway through and had to like...dip my little fingers in oil and smear it finger painting style all over the phyllo.  Not very elegant.  Either way, it's a great, healthy, tasty way to get rid of your abundance of swiss chard.  As per, I found it using MyRecipes.com and it comes from the December, 2003 issue of Cooking Light. 

Swiss Chard Spanakopita (Spanakocheater)

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 cups minced white onion
  • 3/4 cup minced green onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 cups chopped trimmed Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 10 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Heat your cheating Dutch oven (or giant skillet if you like to play by the rules) with some cooking spray or a dash of olive oil over medium high, before adding your white onions and sauteing until they are a golden brown, generally about 5-7 minutes.  
  3. Stir in your green onions and garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add chard and cook for approximately two minutes or until it begins to melt.  If you are a cheater, you can pop the lid onto your Le Creuset to help along the process.
  5. Add in the parsley and mint, cooking one minute, before removing the mixture from the heat to cool.  You can pour it into a bowl if you like to wash a lot of dishes, or leave it in the pot if you are lazy, avec moi.  Let it cool 3-5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chesses, salt, pepper, and egg whites.
  7. Spray your 13x9 dish with cooking spray, before beginning the layering process.  Place one phyllo sheet down slightly more to the right or left, spray it down with some oil, repeat with the opposite side until you've used five sheets of phyllo.
  8.  Slop that chard down into your pan.
  9. Cover that chard up with the remaining phyllo, doing the same thing, alternating left, spraying oil, alternating right, spray w/oil, until you've used your five remaining sheets of phyllo.  When you are done, press gently along the edges to try and seal the phyllo together.  Spray your top layer of phyllo with oil, score it to form 12 rectangles w/3 short length and 2 long length cuts (will make slicing later easier).
  10. Bake for 40 minutes until the phyllo has turned a golden brown.  Remove, cool, devour.
  11. Cool even more, refrigerate, enjoy on the beach in bikinis with Arnold Palmers. watermelon, baguette, prodigious amounts of cheese, and your lady friends.

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