Spanakopita Pockets

You know those times when you’re in the grocery store and you’re absolutely starving, and against your better judgment you end up filling your cart with all sorts of absurd things that you wouldn’t normally buy? I tend to toss in boxes of trashy appetizers like mini-quiche, egg rolls, and those itty bitty spanakopita bites. So delicious! Cocktail party food puts a smile on my face in the same way that finding a really great pair of jeans does. Grocery store impulse shopping could quite possibly be a shop-a-holic category all on it’s own don’t you think?

For the most part though it’s generally looked down upon when you consume only appetizers for a meal. Unless of course you happen to be Rachel Flax: remember the movie Mermaids and all of those star-shaped bologna sandwiches? Well in the spirit of Cher and coupled with my love of all food containing copious amounts of cheese I whipped up these substantial meal-sized portions of a much loved appetizer. Triangles are just as cool as stars, right?

Spanakopita Pockets
Loosely inspired by Ina Garten’s Dinner Spanakopita published in Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients and Amy Sedaris’s Spanakopita published in I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
Yields 6

1 onion, chopped
8 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of Pine Nuts
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1-lb box of phyllo pastry
1 stick of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375º

In a medium-sized skillet saute the chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the scallions and cook until soft. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool the onion mixture.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, diced red pepper, spinach, all of the cheeses, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Then stir in the cooled onion mixture.

Carefully unwrap the phyllo from the box. Lay one sheet of pastry in front of you lengthwise. Brush the dough lightly with butter. Then top the buttered layer with another fresh piece of dough and repeat until you have 4 buttered layers of phyllo. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the pastry in half lengthwise.

Place a cup of the cheese and spinach mixture on one end of each piece of pastry. Then fold the dough edge-over-edge, as though you are folding a flag. The end result should be a tidy triangle. Repeat until you have made 6 pockets.

Place the pockets on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Then gently brush the leftover melted butter over the tops of the pockets.  Bake until the spanakopita are lightly browned; approximately 30-35 minutes.

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