Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a bad case of the mondays- Jamie Oliver Spinach & Feta Filo Pie

Well everyone, it was a cold (because our apartment is a cold, dark dungeon) Monday night (two weeks ago when I began this post...) and there was nary an excuse not to cook.  So, we did what all reasonable people would do, watched a TV chef and then went to Whole Foods and got ingredients to make the episode's signature dish.  And without further ado, Jamie Oliver's Spinach and Feta Filo Pie appeared before us.

Photo credit: Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals
Jamie Oliver's Spinach and Feta Filo Pie
Serves 6 (we scaled the recipe to 4 servings when cooking, since there are only 2 of us and we don't like eating too many leftovers)

Ingredients: (using a kitchen scale will really help in converting a recipe written in metric units)

  • 100g (~2/3 cup) pinenuts (you can buy these in the bulk bins at most high-end grocers)
  • 5 eggs
  • 300g (~1 1/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese
  • 50g (~1/3 cup) cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp dried oregano (adjust to your taste preference, could sub rosemary or parsley too)
  • 1 lemon
  • A knob of butter (~1-2 tbsp of butter)
  • 400g (~1 lb) prewashed baby spinach
  • 1 pack of filo pastry (usually found in the frozen section--> defrost in the fridge for a few hours or on the counter for 30 minutes before baking)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like things hot)
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating (we finally found this at Whole Foods in the bulk spice aisle, you could sub 1-2 tsp of ground nutmeg)
The Hardware:

  • a medium sized (~8-10 in) ovenproof frying pan
  • a medium mixing bowl
  • a box grater
  • a rasp/microplane (or just buy ground nutmeg)
  • parchment paper (we love this one because it's bleach free)
  • a kitchen scale

And now on to tonight's main event!!
We began as usual by gathering our ingredients in a mis-en-place.

Turn the oven on to 400°F and place a medium sized (~8-10 in) ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat. We use our handy Lodge Cast Iron Frying Pan for just about everything!  Just don't ever put it in the dishwasher .. (Jesse slaps her head).
Put the pinenuts into the dry ovenproof frying pan to toast, tossing occasionally. They cook really fast, so  be prepared to take them off the heat when you start smelling a nutty smell.

Next, crack 5 eggs into a medium mixing bowl and crumble in 300g (~1 1/4 cups) of feta. Then, grate in 50g (~1/3 cup) of cheddar (you can usually find really good quality end bits of cheddar in the cheese section at high-end markets).

Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and about a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the nuts are light golden and smell delicious, add them to the egg mixture and mix well.

Put the empty frying pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil and a tbsp of butter and pile in half of the spinach. Gently push and move it around and add more as it wilts down, until you have the whole pack in the pan.

Meanwhile, take the filo out of the fridge (hopefully you defrosted this earlier). Lay a large sheet of parchment paper, approximately 4 inches larger than your pan on each side, on the counter, rub a little olive oil all over it, then scrunch it up and lay it out flat again. Arrange 4 filo pastry sheets in a large rectangle, overlapping at the edges, so they almost cover the paper. Rub some olive oil over them. Sprinkle over a salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Repeat until you have 3 layers.  Remember to keep stirring the spinach.

Once the spinach is really nice and dense, take the pan off the heat. Add the wilted spinach to the egg mixture and grate in ½ a nutmeg (found in the green boxes in the spice aisle at Whole Foods). Mix well.

Carefully move the parchment paper and filo into the empty frying pan so the edges spill over. Push it down into the sides of the pan, then pour in the egg mixture and spread it out. Fold the filo sheets over the top and let them fall where they will.

Put the pan back on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to get the bottom crisped up, then put the pan into the oven on the top shelf to cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

The Verdict:

Jesse:  This was quite delicious and not too hard to make, but at $4.20 per serving I'd probably skip a few ingredients if I made it at home to bring the cost down.

Home cooking: 12, Restaurants: 3

Naris: {trail of filo dough crumbs} I like it but there's a taste I don't like
Jesse:  Could it be the nutmeg?
Naris:  Maybe, I've never tasted nutmeg before.
Jesse:  Well you like spinach, eggs and cheese, so I think it's probably the nutmeg.
Naris:  Ok, next time add less nutmeg.
Jesse:  Well, you were the one who added it.
Naris:  :-/

Home cooking: 13, Restaurants: 1

Until we cook again,
Cost Breakdown:
We had some of these ingredients on hand, so costs for those are estimated.

-5 eggs ~ $1.66
-100g pinenuts - $3.85
- feta - $3.50
- cheddar ~ $2 (got a small hunk of the good stuff at Milk Pail Market)
- lemon - $0.89
- butter ~ $0.40
- filo dough - $4.69
- whole nutmeg - $0.75
- cayenne pepper ~ $0.15
- dried oregano ~ $0.75
- baby spinach - $6.59

TOTAL: $25.23 for ingredients to make a 6 serving pie

1 comment:

  1. You can probably cut the cost down by using frozen spinach (at least, it's a lot cheaper here in Australia than fresh) and I think every time I make this I use considerably less in the way of pinenuts too. Can't escape the cost of the filo!!!