A few weeks ago I hosted some friends for a laid-back and much overdue “Wine:30″ ladies’ night. Since we hadn’t seen each other in ages and had lots (new jobs, graduation, boyfriends, etc.) to catch up on, I wanted to limit my time in the kitchen and keep everything simple and stress-free.
I browsed my “Ideas for Entertaining” board on Pinterest and chose this recipe for mini Spanakopita bites. I decided to build upon the Mediterranean theme and added a simple Greek salad, marinated olives, and hummus and pita to the overall spread. The gals each contributed dessert, which included decadent pastries from The Continental Greek Restaurant & Pastry Shop.
I modified the mini spanakopita bites recipe just a tad: I had a bunch of fresh spinach to use up, so I swapped it for the frozen that’s called in the actual recipe. And since I have the attention span of a gnat, I took a shortcut by using frozen phyllo shells instead of the sheets. The idea of buttering, stacking and molding several layers of delicate pastry made my head spin. The end result was delicious — the pre-made shells were the perfect bite-size vehicle for the creamy, cheesy filling. Needless to say, we inhaled these in no time.
Mini spanakopita bites
Adapted from What’s Cooking Chicago?
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells (there’s usually 15 shells per box)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 6-oz package fresh baby spinach
- 4 to 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove phyllo shells from freezer and place onto a lined baking sheet. Remove stems from spinach and discard; chop spinach. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and green onions and sauté until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
Meanwhile, mix feta, cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl. Add the cooled spinach mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste (Note: If you are prepping this ahead of time, cover and refrigerate this mixture until ready to use). Fill each phyllo shell ¾ full with the filling mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.