Wednesday, March 17, 2010

spanikopita pie

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Tofu ricotta recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan

ingredients
500 gm of tofu (firm) - (I used 2 x packets of water packed tofu which was 600gms it was fine)
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 tsp of mellow barley or white miso
2 cloves of garlic sliced
2 tbsp soy cream cheese

some steamed spinach (I used an entire bag of baby spinach)
Filo pastry (for the pie)
Olive oil

method
1. Steam the spinach until wilted, rinse and squeeze as much water as you can out of it. Drain the blocks of tofu on paper towel, weighted down with cans on a plate for 10 minutes, changing the paper towel when necessary.

2. Whizz all the ingredients (minus the filo). Voila!

3. Leave the filo pastry on the bench whilst you are doing this so it softens, then working quickly (leaving a damp cloth on the filo you are not working with - it goes crusty and mank within about a minute!) get about 2 or 3 filo sheets then paint on a layer of olive oil, be sure to oil the edges as well. I use about 2 or 3 layers of this for the bottom, then smooth the tofu mixture into the bottom. Places 2 or 3 sheets on the top and seal the edges together then repeat for the filo lid with the oil and filo sheets. Oil the top and sprinkle on some salt. Bake at 200 for about 40 minutes (until the top turns all brown and crusty). Tasty as.

notes: I've cooked this a couple of times and its always gone pretty soggy on the bottom. I dont know how to fix this! I'm thinking scramble the tofu on the stove for 10 minutes until all the moisture is gone? I will try again and let you know. Not sure about the soy cream cheese in it, again will try another tasting but leaving it in for now.

9 comments:

  1. that is a nice looking spanikopita!

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  2. oh yum - your photos are always so tempting - I just want to take a little flake of pastry off that pie!

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  3. Re soggy-bottomed Spanakopita: it's not necessary to wilt the spinach - not even silverbeet, which is thicker than spinach, needs it; none of the Greek cooks I know ever does. Just chop well.
    Also, maybe the tofu is adding to the sogginess - you could try cutting the amount down (I'd use 500gm if making a whole roasting-pan size, but less in a pie size.) I only use the tofu to create the illusion of cheese pieces when it's cut, after all it doesn't make the same contribution as cheese which is taste and to melt a bit and help bind the whole thing.
    Concentrate on making the spinach mix tasty before it's cooked: add plenty of finely chopped onion and fennel - the feathery leaves, not the white onion-like bulb; dill will do if you can't find fennel leaves (it grows wild/feral all over the place if you know where to look).
    It's also one of the few times I use plenty of salt, as well as pepper; the lemon juice is a good addition, along with the garlic. Remember,if the mix tastes good at this point, it'll taste fine when baked.
    Plus, if you add a handful of just-cooked rice to the mix that will absorb moisture - that's also a tip from the Greek Yia-Yias(Grannies)that I know. Also using a very light hand with the oil will help, plus using more sheets for the base than the top.
    If you can be bovvered (it's more tedious and time consuming), you could try making indivdual triangles instead - the greater pastry-to-filling ratio makes for a crispier result. Hope this helps; I'm off to look at more of your recipes and drool at your great pictures.
    Cheers......V*

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  4. Hi, I always throw a handful of cracked wheat in the mix after I've got it tasting right. You don't really notice it in the finished pie, but it does a great job of soaking up any extra liquid. :)

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  5. thanks so much to everyone for their suggestions!

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  6. Hi Carla,
    Yum! pie looks good to me. Just discovered your site.
    Suggestion to your spanikopita dilemma. Try the homemade filo instead of the thin packed product. i have bought this at Prahran market and Dandenong market. It comes in a pack of 5 rather large round sheets and being thicker you won't need as many for your pie.
    Am sure any Greek or Middle Eastern deli will have this in stock. You will find that as it's slightly thicker and is more forgiving.
    It is far better for making pies, the thinner filo is better for sweets.
    let me know what you think.
    Love your energy!

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  7. wow thanks so much!! so many good suggestions! :) my energy builds from having lovely readers :D

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