I enjoy finding bargains and especially food bargains. Today on my grocery store run, I discovered some Edam cheese on sale for only 75 cents for an 8 ounce package. I couldn’t pass up that deal so I decided to buy a few packages. I really enjoy different kinds of cheese but Edam was fairly new to me so I decided to try it out. I loved the soft texture and the medium flavor. I decided that it would be great to try to make homemade crackers with them. How hard could it be? I’d made plain cheese crackers before and thought it would be nice to balance out the flavors of this cheese with some fresh herbs. So, here it is, my little creation. They were fantastic with some fresh salad that had D’Anjou pears in them.
Here’s the recipe:
Thyme and Rosemary Edam Crackers
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup shredded Edam cheese
1 tsp fresh Thyme, minced
1/2 tsp fresh Rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon water (may take a little less or more)
1 1/4 cup flour
Mix together Rosemary and Thyme with the salt and pepper and rub it together to release the flavors. Set aside. In a mixing bowl cream the butter until smooth and add the cheese and the herb mixture. Slowly add in flour and keep mixing at low speed. If necessary use the tablespoon of water (may take a little more or less depending on the humidity) to make the dough come together. Take out of the bowl and roll into a 9 inch log. Wrap the log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat liner. Using a very sharp knife cut the log into 1/4 or 3/8 inch slices. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes. They should be a beautiful golden brown color. Cool and enjoy as an appetizer or with any kind of salad. They are wonderful with some D’Anjou pears sliced thinly on top as well. Makes about 28 crackers.
One of the most vivid memories I have of visiting Greece as a teenager is the amazing food. Everything tasted wonderful and different from foods that I was used to at that time. I loved the pastries, the meats and the delicate flavors. It’s during that trip that I began a serious love affair with Spanakopita, a crispy, delicate and delicious Spinach Pie. I seriously could eat huge quantities of Spanakopita. Every year in September, my city has a big Greek Festival. I try to go annually to load up on Greek delicacies that I don’t have time to make. For years I used to pig out on Spanakopita at the festival, when finally a few years ago I got smart. I decided that I’d asked all of my Greek friends to give me their very best versions of Spanakopita recipes so I could try them all. My friends were very helpful and passed on several recipes and over the last several years I’ve combined the things I liked from all of them to come up with this current recipe. Some families like to make Spanakopita in a large pan and cut them into squares, while others prefer to make them into triangle shapes. I love the versatility of the triangle shape since it’s so portable and because I can freeze them and bake them up individually (or a whole bunch) whenever I have a craving!
Here’s the recipe:
Spanakopita ~ Greek Spinach Triangles
1 box Fillo Dough
2 pounds frozen chopped Spinach (you can use fresh but in this recipe there is very little difference)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil (I like to use fresh basil)
1 tsp dill
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (you can use dry thyme)
1 tsp kosher salt
5 stalks of Scallions
7 oz crumbled Feta
1/2 cup Ricotta
1/2 cup Cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
3/4 lb (3 sticks) of unsalted butter
4 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Defrost Spinach and squeeze out all excess water and set aside. In a large skillet heat olive oil and saute onions, scallions, garlic, salt and herbs. After onions are tender, add Spinach to the mixture and stir fry for a few minutes. Take off heat and pour it into a large bowl. Add eggs, cheeses and lemon juice to the Spinach mixture. Stir to mix well.
Take out Fillo dough from package and put them on a cookie sheet and cover with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out. Melt 3 sticks of butter in a microwave safe bowl and get a pastry brush. Place a piece of Fillo dough on a large cutting board and brush it with melted butter, working quickly so the fillo doesn’t dry out, place another sheet on top and brush that with butter as well. Repeat with three sheets of Fillo. Using a pizza cutter, cut three equal long strips on the Fillo. Place a large 1 1/2 tablespoon of spinach filling on the top of one of the strips and fold it at an angle so it forms a triangle. Keep folding the triangle onto itself until all the filling is enclosed in a triangular shape. Place it on a cookie sheet and brush the completed triangle with melted butter. Repeat the procedure withe the other two strips. Continue making triangles with three sheets of buttered Fillo at a time. Should yield about 42-46 individual Spanakopitas. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve warm.
This is one of my quick go to vegetable dishes. I love long green beans. In the summer when I can grow my own or pick up some from the local Farmer’s Market, they are delicious. I made these today from frozen long green beans. I think they turn out just as great as the fresh variety. It’s March and most Farmer’s Markets will not officially open in Utah until early June. Although I’m waiting anxiously for warmer weather and fresher foods, I’m okay with the frozen variety for a while!
Here’s the recipe:
Herbed Long Green Beans
1 16 oz package of frozen Long Green Beans
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tsp Kosher Salt
3 whole garlic cloves minced
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
In a large 6 quart pan bring water to a full rolling boil. Add about 4-5 tablespoons of salt to the water and add frozen beans. Cook about 5-6 minutes until beans are tender. In a separate skillet add olive oil, kosher salt, garlic, pepper and herbs. Stir for about 40 seconds to marry the flavors and add drained Long Green Beans and toss to coat well. Serve warm as a side dish. Goes great with Chicken Spinach Alfredo http://kolpona.com/2012/03/17/spinach-chicken-alfredo/