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These are great for the freezer, so the time is well used. If you're not familiar with phyllo dough, you'll get the knack quickly with this recipe. Follow the rules on the package, defrost in the fridge for a couple of days, keep dough covered when not in use. There are 20 sheets in the package --I cut the package in half, and put one back in the freezer. When defrosted, I run my knife through all layers lengthwise through the centre. That way I have enough to make 40 triangles. Enjoy! :)
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temp
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon mint, dried
- 1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
- 3⁄4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
- 0.5 (1 lb) package phyllo pastry (see above for what to do)
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- FILLING -- Boil frozen chopped spinach about 15 minutes. Strain in a fine mesh colander and douse with plenty of cold water. Grab handfuls and squeeze as much water as you can from them and make into golfball sized balls. Put these all into some cheesecloth and squeeze the remaining water -- this takes some wrist strength -- when no more water will come out, you happy!
- Place the strained spinach into a large bowl, add eggs, cream cheese, onion and garlic. Add dry spices and use your hands to mix all of this up.
- Mix in feta, gently but thoroughly -- try to leave some small chunks of feta.
- Refrigerate if you are not going right into assembly, but remove 15 minutes before you begin assembly.
- ASSEMBLY -- this takes about one full hour -- Combine and warm the butter & olive oil in a small pot, turn off burner.
- Working on a flat surface, brush one strip of phyllo with the oil/butter mixture only on one side.
- At one end, spoon a tablespoon of filling and flatten it so that it looks triangular and even along 2 of the outer edges.
- Fold over to create your first triangle layer -- lightly brush with oil/butter and continue to fold the triangle and brush until you reach the end of the pastry (5-6 folds).
- Seal the edge and brush the entire triangle lightly with oil/butter.
- Place on cookie sheet -- when you have filled the cookie sheet, cover with waxed paper and continue placing the triangles on top -- they will not stick together that way. Repeat until you have run out of pastry or filling, whichever comes first -- the leftover filling is great on pizza or baked pasta.
- BAKING -- Bake in bunches, seam side down, on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 F for about 15 minutes (watch closely for last few minutes). Do not underbake -- all of the phyllo should be golden and crisp. Cool on a rack.
- FREEZING -- If not baking right away, flash freeze for about 1 hour then wrap individual triangles in wax paper, place in freezer bags. When baking from frozen, increase baking time to about 20 minutes and watch closely for last 5 minutes.