Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spinach Pies

OK - so I'm so going to toot my own horn right now: I got married last Saturday, April 18, 2009, to my best friend and partner-in-crime. Friends and family members have gotten to know my beloved and can probably attest to his awesomeness - for those of you who haven't met Ryan, he's the person who tries all of the concoctions that I create and is one of the best critics a person can ask for. (Except when he called my almond cake "mushy." It was dense. Really.)

For me, a big part of our wedding celebration was the food aspect of it. My coworkers were coming in from out of town, along with a lot of my old friends and peers ... I think it's easy to take small-town cooking for granted unless you've been away from it for awhile, so I wanted the food to be simple, plentiful and good. Schulte's BBQ & Catering of Waukon, Iowa, roasted pork tenderloin and turkey breast for the meat; mixed up batches of their homemade cheesy potatoes and green beans with bacon for side dishes and had orange fluff salad (my favorite that I didn't eat because I was so all about the meat aspect of the meal) and a mandarin orange/strawberry spinach salad that's my mom's particular favorite. Mary Jo Liddiard - a cake goddess from my area - made vanilla, chocolate and carrot cupcakes and Lorraine Sweeney handled the appetizers and there were several but my city friends were in awe of the squeaky cheese curds because let's be honest - you can't find those in any store - at least not the ones that squeak because they are fresh.

Ryan and I had a big wedding. We also had a lot of leftovers. The pork and turkey were easily frozen, as were the potatoes and green beans. But Ryan and I have about three bags of spinach leaves and three bags of romaine mix. I really don't give a rip about romaine, but I do have a soft spot for spinach, so I've been trying different recipes to make sure it doesn't go to waste. When I was looking into whether or not I could just freeze the fresh spinach, I came across a bunch of suggestions on how to use spinach. One of them was for Spinach Pie. And man ... it is good.

Spinach Pie
adapted from Erin's Eats

1 tsp. olive oil
9 oz. bag fresh spinach
1/4 c diced onion
3 T. pine nuts, toasted
1 egg
4 oz. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
one box (2 sheets) puff pastry

Preheat oven to 375. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add onions and saute until tender. Add spinach and allow it to wilt a bit. Remove from heat.

Toast pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Start rolling out the puff pastry (I actually used my hands and patted it down) and cut into nine squares.

Add the cheese, pine nuts and salt and pepper to the spinach mixture.

Spoon about 1-2 Tbsp. of the spinach mixture in each puff pastry square. Brush the sides of the square with a little water and then bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle. Press with your fingers to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Beat the egg and then brush the tops of the triangles with the egg. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.

I wasn't too fond of these hot, but man they are BRILLIANT when they are room temperature. Love them, love them, love them!

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