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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yia-Yia's Spanakopita

My mother-in-law, Angie (known to the kids as Yia-Yia) is a Greek-Italian rockstar. Maybe part magician too. That is how she cooks- pure magic. I watched her make her signature spanakopita for Greek Easter and it was like watching David Copperfield meets Giada. I'm watching her and somehow I missed something because 24 eggs went into this bad boy at lightning speed and she doesn't go by a written recipe or measuring tools. Oh no. She kicks it old school and knows what to add to the mixture based purely on scent. Take notes Giada. And the end product was just pure perfection. 

Here is her recipe in her own words (that I prodded from her years ago) for a pan of spinach pies though please keep in mind that she multiplies it by about 12 when serving a crowd. This will probably still feed a small village. Opa!

Yia-Yia's Spanakopita

  • 3-4 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, partially cooked, drained and squeezed dry (best to wrap spinach in cloth dish towels and wring out towels)
  • 2 or more large chopped sweet onions, partially cooked in microwave and drained of liquid
  • 3-4 lbs. of Feta cheese
  • 7-9 eggs
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp. dried dill
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek seasoning
  • 1-2 lemons, squeezed for juice
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1-3 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 box Filo (Phyllo) dough, defrosted
  • Unsalted butter

Beat together cream cheese, eggs, oil, all seasonings and lemon. Blend in feta, spinach and onions. Melt butter, brush in bottom of large (9" x 13") baking dish. Place filo sheets across bottom of pan. Using melted butter, paint every sheet of filo on both sides until you have 5-6 sheets on the bottom of the pan. 

Spread spinach filling evenly on top of the filo layers. Start filo layering again on top of spinach filling making sure you butter every sheet. Fold all edges around pan like a pie crust and generously butter entire top of last filo layer. Bake at 375-400 degrees for about 40-60 minutes until top crust is golden brown and edges are crispy.

The magician at work.

Hello gorgeous.

The more feta the better baby. 

Presidents of the Yia-Yia fan club at Greek Easter, pre-spinach pie eating which is why we still look clean.


Katie & Yia-Yia

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