Yep, just one more thing I had never tried before attending the World Cuisine Bootcamp at the Culinary Institute. I know, spanakopita isn’t even all that unusual…I just never ate it. But one day in class we prepared popular “street foods” from around the world, and this was one of the items on the roster. So I had my first bite.
I’ve been stupid.
Spanakopita will now be a staple around here – from larger versions to serve for dinner, to smaller, hors d’oeuvres appropriate sizes, to dessert worthy pockets of yumminess. I have fallen in love with those flaky, buttery layers of phyllo wrapped around oozing, delicious fillings.
Last Saturday we had our friends up for dinner, and Jon helped me make the appetizers – these incredible goat cheese, onion and sausage spanakopita. Okay, I stretched the truth. I actually helped JON make them – I was too busy making other things, so I turned the spanakopita making over to him. He did a fabulous job! Perfect for men to get in on, too, ladies, as they are made in the exact same way that a paper football is made. Men and football go hand in hand.
Put those boys to use, girls.
Especially when the results are as delicious as these!
Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion & Sausage Spanakopita
- 1/2 Box Frozen Phyllo Sheets, defrosted
- 8 ounces Sausage, pan fried
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 6 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chiffonade
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
Pan fry the sausage until just done, set aside. Leave drippings in pan, then sauté the onions until aromatic and caramel in color. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add in the spinach, onion, and sausage. Stir to combine.
Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Flatten one sheet of phyllo dough, and brush with melted butter. Place another layer of dough on top of the first piece, brush with butter. Repeat with a third layer. (If desired, you can do 4 layers, but we chose to do 3 and got great results.)
Using a sharp knife, divide the prepared phyllo sheets into 3 even strips, roughly 2-3 inches wide and 10-12 inches in length, depending on phyllo brand. Place a large spoonful of filling at the bottom end of each strip. Fold over, like making a paper football, triangular shaped, until you reach the end of the strip. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush with a bit more butter. Repeat process until all filling or phyllo sheets are used up. Refrigerate until ready to use, or, bake right away.
When ready to bake, place in oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove, serve, and enjoy!
While I was in New York, the Dutchess County Tourism Board set me up an several wonderful excursions. One excursion was to Sprout Creek Farm for a cheese tasting, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The cheeses were fantastic (I purchased a goat cheese called “Sophie”, which I used in the above recipe, and a smoked harder cheese. Both yummy!
My favorite thing about the farm was how honest it was. I know, strange thing to say. But I don’t know how else to describe it! Two young people were working the shop when I was there – 20 somethings – and they obviously loved working there! They had nothing but great things to say about the nuns who run the farm (yes, really!), especially Georgie, who I happened to run in to while taking pictures of these cute little babies!
According to Georgie, the lambs and sheep are just for educational purposes – not milk. Sprout Creek is dedicated to teaching kids about farms and sustainability…they even have overnight camps in the summers! (I told her to look out in about 8 years when Seven is old enough to stay over!)
It’s definitely something to look in to if you are anywhere in the vicinity and have children. They would really love the camp, I’m sure, but at least a day trip should be in the plans!
If you’d like to just sample the fantastic cheeses, they ship! You can order from their site…and you should! I loved the Sophie and Doe-Re-Mi, the Smoked Touissant, and the Bogart – all so good!
A WORKING FARM, AN EDUCATIONAL CENTER, A RETAIL MARKET, A PEACEFUL SANCTUARY, A SUMMER CAMP, A PLACE FOR INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY… SPROUT CREEK FARM IS ALL THESE THINGS
Encompassing 200 acres in Dutchess County, NY, Sprout Creek Farm is really three different entities, distinct yet dynamically intertwined. It is a working farm, raising free-ranging cows, sheep, goats, wild turkeys, guinea fowl, chickens, and pigs. It is a market, selling our internationally award-winning cheeses and farm-produced meats, as well as local Hudson Valley milk, eggs, vegetables, crafts, and gifts. And it is an educational center, offering day, weekend, and summer programs that help connect young people to the land, the seasons, and the plants and animals that co-exist here in harmonious rhythm.
As well as producing and selling our meats and cheeses, the purposes of the farm are:
- to provide educational experiences for children and adults that will foster appreciation for, and understanding of, our place within the natural world, and thus encourage responsibility for the future of our environment
- to offer programs that will reconnect people to the rich agricultural heritage of the United States
- to offer an experience of community as a model of peaceful living
- to offer programs in spiritual development, using the agricultural resources of the farm as both setting and starting point of such programs