Spanakopittas 2 , Spinach and Feta Cheese Parcels
This is a delicious Greek snack and not difficult to make, specially if you are using ready made puff pastry. My youngest daughter who "claims" to not like cheese came in and ate one as I finished cooking and my son who used to be very fussy about what he would eat, well I lost count! Makes around 15-20 depending on how far you roll the pastry and how generous you are with the filling.
500 gm. ready-made puff pastry
400 gm. tin of spinach purée, well drained in a sieve
200 gm. Feta cheese, grated
100 gm. hard cheese like Haloumi, grated
1 medium size onion
1 tsp. garlic purée
4-5 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
4-5 tbsp. plain flour
4-5 tbsp. milk
(Salt is not required as both the cheeses have enough salt already)
Finely dice the onion.
Heat oil and fry onions and bay leaves gently on a low heat, for a good 30 minutes, cooking till soft. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Add the garlic purée, oregano, mint and black pepper and stir.
Add the flour which should soak up the oil in the pan, as it is mixed together.
Once the flour has been cooked for a minute, add the milk while stirring. The sauce should start to thicken up.
Add the drained spinach and keep stirring for a few more minutes.
Add the Feta and Haloumi cheeses, cooking until it melts. Then take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 190°C or 375°F, Gas Mark 5.
Roll out the puff pastry into a thin sheet (about 2 millimetres thick). Cut into 3 inch squares.
Place one heaped teaspoon of the cooled mixture into the middle of each square and fold the corners up towards the middle, creating an X shape slot in the top of the square parcel. See picture.
When all are made, place on a baking sheet and cook at the top of a medium/hot oven for about 10-15 minutes (you might want to check halfway). They should be puffed up and light golden brown when ready.
Either serve hot or allow to cool and keep in the fridge in an air tight container. They should last for a week, if all fresh ingredients are used. They can also be reheated in a warm oven just before serving.
Haloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese, which is quite hard and a little salty. You could use any mild hard cheese like Cheddar.
The shape of the parcels is a personal choice. You buy them as sealed squares, or made as one big 'pie' and sliced up, or even made into triangles, just like samosa's.