Sunday, July 13, 2014

Food From 'Round The World - Byrek Me Spinaq

Hey Guys!

Some of you may know that my husband is from Albania. He lived there until he was 20, so when we got married I took some time to learn to make some of his favorite traditional Albanian dishes.
Now that we have kids, including these recipes in our normal rotation of dishes is even more important. We want them to learn about their culture, and also to be open to foods that are a bit 'different.'

Byrek Me Spinaq

This recipe is for Byrek Me Spinaq (or Spinach Pie in English). You will frequently see this as Spanakopita in Greek restaurants. It is a light Filo pastry filled with eggs, spinach, and feta cheese. My boys love, love, love this stuff! They call it their egg sandwich, and I love that it is basically a complete meal in a hand held pocket. Like a healthy Hot Pocket :o) 

20 sheets prepared phyllo dough, thawed

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Dash of salt
3 cups of spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the over to 350
Brush the bottom and sides of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch pan with olive oil
Lay a couple pieces of filo in the pan so that they cover the bottom, and drape up over the sides of the pan.{I like to use the Filo Factory Whole Wheat organic, but it is hard to find and I many times I end up with normal dough. Filo Factory has a locator on their website.}
Brush with a bit of olive oil. Not too much, there is no need to completely or evenly cover the sheets.
Continue laying sheets, alternating in direction and brushing with olive oil between layers, until 16 sheets have been used.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk and salt until well combined.
Add in the spinach and mix.
Pour the egg/spinach mixture into the filo lined pan
Sprinkle the feta evenly on top
Place the remaining 4 filo sheets on top, alternating direction and brushing with oil as before.
Once all the filo has been placed, begin folding in the ends of the sheets that have been draped over the sides of the pan, brushing the edges and corners with olive oil. This will prevent them from burning.
Once everything has been folded in, do one last brush of oil on the top.
Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minute, or until the top has turned golden brown.

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