Sunday, November 15, 2009

A promised recipe....spinach rolls

Eight layers later of phyllo and melted butter you are ready to make your rolls. Cut the squares first, I get 20-24 squares from each set of layers it just depends on you and the knife and the size you want. I like pop in your mouth size, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. buttery, cheesy, mild crunchy good. Ok, so dollop a bit on the square and fold in two opposing sides, corner and corner, then fold the remaining two corners over that. Place seam side down on your cookie sheet, jelly roll pan, or stone. There's no need to prepare your pan because  the buttery goodness will keep them from sticking. I try to have a sealed roll/square to prevent leaking, the cheese can escape and cause sticking. I use coated baking pans and have never had a problem even with cheese leakage. Next, once all your rolls are ready and on the pan take your pastry brush and brush on some more butter on each and every roll/square--just the tops and lightly.

For those of you that have never worked with phyllo, here are some tips and you should find these tips on the package, also. take package out of freezer and place in fridge overnight. Depending on your climate some of you can remove from freezer and place on counter for two hours. It's humid and mostly hot in Florida, so I find leaving in fridge overnite is best for me. I open one pkg at a time, you can leave the other in the fridge til you are ready for it. It's just like thin paper, but remember it is dough so treat it gently. If it is ready to work with you can tell, it will unroll and look like it will separate easily. If it is too stiff it's too early, leave it on the counter for 10 minutes. back in the pkg or cover with a clean kitchen towel. If it looks ready and you unroll it and it's still a little stuck you can rub your dry hands over the top layer gently letting the warmth of your hands get it to thaw and separate. Your spinach mixture should be ready by this time. I made mine the day before and let all the flavors merge in a covered bowl in the fridge.
let's say your phyllo is ready, lay one sheet on your work surface and brush with melted butter (the full recipe will be at the bottom). Lay on the next sheet and butter again. Do that eight times and you'll be ready to cut your squares.  I use for a work surface a plastic cutting board. You could do it right on your granite surface, a wood cutting board, the back of a cookie sheet, the original recipe called for you to make them on a tea towel. I didn't have a tea towel so I used an old pillow case, but you have to throw it out when you are done because it's so buttery.       

The picture above is the dry and crinkly sheets at the end of my process. I left them uncovered and  wasn't going to use them and changed my mind. So yours should not look like this. The next pick is of the  big "roll" in progress. It was messy, but i was in it and did not want to waste it at this point. Perseverance

Since I am rolling what's a little more butter! Fold in the sides as you roll. OOPS, this isn't part of the original recipe just my take on the "leftovers". You could have sprinkled the phyllo with sugar, cinnamon, honey, nuts, any combo you like to use up the rest of the phyllo. the dough is getting doughy because it was so crinkly dry all I could do was pat teh melted butter on using the brush. meanwhile keep rolling and now brushing and place the now, log, onto your pan.

Notice the box says fillo, no problem, you can find different brands with different names in the freezer section of your grocery store. In my store it's at the end of the desserts--like pies and such and next to the frozen juices. All the brands that I have bought are the shape you see here in the photo and sometimes they are on the shelf so you only see the small skinny side, meaning you gotta look good. This pan holds the last pkg of dough, hence the log.

When they come out of the oven I just push them gently around while still extremely hot and that may cause them to not stick to the pan. At this point the house is smelling so good--oregano, cheese, onion. Let cool a little and pop one in your mouth, ooooooh my. The phyllo hits your tongue and the roof of your mouth and starts to  release the first layer of butter and then the meld of Parmesan and sharp cheddar  with the onions, spinach, and oregano.  And you haven't even bit into it yet! OH my. And then the tender crunch when your tongue rolls and teeth come together. Savor that for a moment.  You know what?  I have some in the freezer, am running up the stairs, take them out, place on counter and I'll be back in a minute.
They smell good even frozen. Took pictures, duh. They are some that I made last month, check the date on the bag!  Put them right on to a small bar pan and placed it in the toaster oven. Set it at 375 F. for 4 minutes.

Here's the recipe: the original is highlighted  in her words; the yellow is mine

From The Kitchen of Audrey M

1 pkg frozen (chopped) spinach (10 ounce)

1 TBSN parsley (dehydrated)
1 medium onion (original does not say but I finely dice in a food chopper)
2 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil (I use evoo)
2 teaspoons salt (not me, cheese has plenty of sodium)
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese

1 box filo dough
1 1/2 sticks melted butter (use what ever you have, salted or unsalted)

Cook spinach & let it drain. (squeeze the liquid out with hands and then break it up with a fork) combine all ingredients except butter. (and phyllo) Toss til well mixed. Dampen a tea towel and lay on counter. Take one sheet of filo (that's how she spelled it) at a time, lay on towel and brush with butter, do this for about 8 sheets. Cut sheets into squares about 2" x 2". Put 1/2 to 1 tsp spinach mixture into center of each square. Fold sides in and roll to form. Place seam side down and brush with butter. Bake at 425( degrees F) --10 to 12 min.. Serve hot. Once cooked they freeze nicely. Just warm when needed.
thanks to Aud . she gave me this recipe about 30 years ago on a 3 x 5 card and i'm still using it. I must admit though-the first time I made them, I helped Audrey and she had been making them for years. I must ask her where she got the recipe.


follow directions on box of phyllo dough. I do not cook my spinach-thaw and squeeze. I get approximately 100 rolls from this recipe not including the log. I have used the leftover spinach mixture in folded eggs and it is lovely. Yes, it takes some time, but once you have made them it runs smoothly and quicker. It's great to have someone help you roll them to cut the time in half. Remember, I make and bake  a week in advance, and freeze. Let them completely cool in the pan and then right into a freezer bag. Just make sure you eat one or two before you freeze them. You need to be able to make that comparison from fresh to freezer and reheated. Who am I fooling? You will not be able to resist tasting once they have cooled a bit. caution: rolls are hot, extremely hot--do not burn your mouth, or tongue or cheek, or lips--if they touch your lips. hehehe
An extra plus--these rolls will maintain your guests' happiness even when they have come to room temperature. I'm just saying--they are the perfect people pleasing appetizer. (I can't spell hors de oheurves, obviously.) When entertaining, place rolls on cooking sheet while frozen, let them sit out, reheat at 375 F for 5 minutes. And they are done. OR-- place frozen rolls on cookie sheet bake 375F for 4 minutes, turn off the oven and go take five minutes to relax before your guests arrive.

this took  a long time putting together. One more pic and I'm toast. (or rolled) hahaha Gotta go call Audrey!

i ate two and gave you more than one pic. Again, I couldn't decide. that's my small bar pan, stoneware, that I just love since there are only two of us sharing the nest, now. Can you tell me how many spinach rolls went back into the freezer?

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