It’s All Greek To Me | Cookbook Review and Giveaway #GreekSummer

Recently I received the opportunity to review a copy of Debbie Matenopoulos’ cookbook “It’s All Greek to Me.” I was thrilled to do so. You see, I love Greek food, but for some reason I have never added a Greek cookbook to my library. I have German, French, Austrian, Italian – all sorts. But no Greek.

I was first introduced to Greek food when we lived in Germany. At the Post Exchange in Schweinfurt, there was often a Greek food truck parked out front. This was both my first introduction to Greek food, as well as to the amazing phenomenon of Food Trucks. The little restaurant on wheels served amazing gyros, as well as Pommes Fritz which they served with tzatziki sauce. Let me tell you, if you have never had fries paired with tzatziki, you have no idea what you are missing!

So this week I received my copy of the cookbook, and the first recipe I tried was “Spanakopita” a.k.a. Spinach Feta Pie (page 115). This dish was simple to make and absolutely delicious. The rich spinach and feta filling inside shatter-in-your-mouth phyllo crust. Heavenly.

While we sat at the dinner table enjoying our supper, I paged through the cookbook reading off the names of all the recipes for my husband. It was met with frequent outbursts of “Holy Shnikeys!” and “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

I foresee many more Greek dishes in our future thanks to Debbie’s beautiful cookbook.

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You can connect with Debbie on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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It’s All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family’s Century-Old Recipes
By Debbie Matenpoulos
with Peter Capozzi
ISBN: 978-193952993-0

Recipe shared with permission:

Spanakopita (Spinach Feta Pie)

Yield: Serves 8-10

From Debbie: I love sharing this Greek favorite with my friends. Over the years I have mastered making an excellent spanakopita. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone working in entertainment news in Hollywood who hasn’t tried my spanakopita and who wouldn’t agree that it’s pretty darn delicious. Still, I must admit that mine will never be quite as good as my mom’s. She has the magic touch. Practice makes perfect, and while Mom’s is still the best, yours will be pretty fantastic too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, coarse stems removed, washed in several changes of cold water, drained, and chopped
  • 1 pound brine-packed Greek feta
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough sheets
  • (13 × 18 inches), thawed (see tip, page 112)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallions and the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until just wilted. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and transfer to a fine-mesh strainer. Cool slightly, then squeeze as much excess water as possible from the spinach, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Crumble the feta into small pieces and add it to the spinach mixture. Add the dill and mix gently to combine. Add the eggs and pepper. Mix well to combine with impeccably clean hands or a silicone spatula.

Roll the phyllo dough out on a flat surface, working quickly and keeping it covered to prevent it from drying out. Place 2 phyllo sheets into the baking dish at a time, centering them and letting the edges hang over the sides. Brush the top sheet of each 2-sheet layer with a little of the remaining olive oil, but do not brush the overhanging edges. Continue in this manner until you have used 10 of the phyllo dough sheets.

Spread the spinach-feta mixture evenly over the phyllo dough layers in the prepared dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the filling, then continue to layer the phyllo dough, brushing each 2-sheet layer with olive oil, until you have used all of the dough. Trim the top layers of phyllo to fit the baking dish. Slowly pour the remaining olive oil on top, and spread evenly.

Before baking, using a large knife, very carefully score the pie into 8 to 10 pieces, cutting through the top layers just until you reach the filling. Precutting makes it much easier to serve, as the phyllo dough becomes crisp and very fragile after baking.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and flaky, watching carefully. Cool for 10 minutes, slice the precut pieces all the way through, and serve.

Notes

Debbie’s Tip: As noted earlier, as with most of the phyllo pies, spanakopita can be made with either melted butter or extra-virgin olive oil. I find the olive oil version to be a lighter, more healthful dish, but I also love to indulge in my mom’s decadent, traditional version once in a while. To make it Mom’s way, replace the olive oil used to brush the phyllo with 6 tablespoons of melted butter (see tip, page 112), add an extra egg, and use 11/2 pounds of feta instead of 1 pound. It’s over-the-top delicious!

http://thefoodiearmywife.com/its-all-greek-to-me/

A complimentary copy of this cookbook was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes and for the giveaway. No other compensation was provided or requested for the writing of this review.

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Comments

  1. says

    The first time I had spanikopita, at $7 a piece, I declared that I had to go home and figure how to make it cheaper. I did and now I’m obsessed with Greek food.

  2. Linda romer says

    My favorite greek dish is spanakopita. I just pinned a great recipe to my snack board, it’s actually single rolled appetizers in phyllo. A must make.

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