Spanakopita/Tiropita

This summer friends of Mom and Dad’s moved onto our road, great people and they make wonderful food!  We have been very fortunate to receive a few wonderful Greek dishes over the past few months.  I have had a lot of tzatziki in my day but theirs, by far, is the best ever! I have no idea how they make it, nor do I want to know, because it would never be the same if I were to try to make it.  It is simply amazing!  Another wonderful delight they make is spanakopita, delicious!  Mom had helped them make a batch one day, so today we thought we would try a batch ourselves!

I kept saying we were making spanakopita, I had always thought that was what they were, but Mom corrected me, what we made was more of a tiropita.  Tiropita is made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a cheese-egg mixture where as spanakopita is layers of buttered phyllo with a spinach, onions and a cheese-egg mixture.  Ours was somewhere in-between, mostly cheese with a little spinach, perhaps a ‘Spanatiropita’?

“Spanattiropita”

Let me start by apologizing, there are no measurements.  Mom just ‘adds’ until it is right. So I will guess how much we used, approximate…

Phyllo pastry 2 packages
Spinach (1/2 package of frozen) drained and squeezed dry
Feta cheese (2 cups)
Ricotta cheese (1 cup)
Parmesan cheese (2 cups)
Greek seasoning (1 tsp)
4 eggs
Butter (half pound)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl add eggs and ricotta

2. Add  feta and parmesan, stir

3. Add spinach

4. Add seasoning and combine well

5. At this point you need to prepare your phyllo.  Phyllo is very fussy, you will need to follow the boxes directions on thawing, usually in the fridge overnight.  Keep phyllo covered with a damp cloth so it does not dry. Prepare your work area.  Melt the butter, get a pastry brush, a sharp knife or pizza cutter large working area and a large sheet pan covered in plastic wrap.

6.  Get 2 sheets of phyllo, brush each sheet lightly with butter

7. Cut in half and then in thirds, ending up with 6 strips

8. Place approximately 1 tbsp of mixture at the end of each strip

9. Next you form the triangle, looks tricky, buts it’s not.  Fold over one corner to the opposite side of strip

10. Now fold up

11.  Continue folding on the triangle until you reach the end, may need to tuck in ends.

12. Brush with butter

13. Place on a lined sheet, can be layered with parchment between

14. At this point you can cover and freeze overnight, then place in freezer bags for storage.  Or bake.

15. Pre heat oven 375.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake approx 10 mins on each side or until golden brown

Absolutely delicious!  The phyllo was tender and flaky.  The filling was warm and creamy, the cheese was tangy with hits of spinach. These are nothing like the store-bought or restaurant ones.  Dad said ‘Two thumbs up”.  These are a new favourite. YUM!

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