Friday, 28 September 2012

Phyllo-philia! :)

There are several ingredient mixtures that just are indicative of what heaven might be like.
I've got to admit that my all-time favourite ingredient combo is mushroom-garlic-bacon. But a close second is...spinach, ricotta/feta, and phyllo pastry. A match made in heaven. Hello!

Since making a spinach/ricotta ravioli a few weeks ago, and also indulging in a spinach/feta phyllo coil from the grocery store, I became obsessed. Similarly, I give kudos to my sister-in-law, who is a fellow foodie, for inspiring me to experiment with salmon and citrus.

Citrus-glazed salmon

2 salmon fillets (skin on)
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of both halves
2 tsp Dijon
1-2 tsp honey
Season till you perceive a balance of sweet, salty, tart, and spicy
2 green onions chopped finely

Mix the sauce ingredients. Heat a saute pan with 3 tbsp olive oil on low-medium until just starting to smoke. Lay the fillets, skin-side down, on the pan. Drizzle all the sauce over the salmon. Cook the salmon till 2/3 done while skin-down. Continually baste the top of the fillet with the sauce. You'll notice that the sauce becomes sticky and gooey as you cook the salmon. Don't worry if the salmon is still slightly pink in the middle when done. As long as it's hot all through, it's fine. And what's more, it will be a LOT more juicy!

Once done, sprinkle the chopped spring onions over the fillets to add a zingy onion flavour that will balance out the citrusy tartness.

Spinach and ricotta spanakopita

DISCLAIMER: I am not Greek. I don't even know if I spelled spanakopita properly. However, I DO know that usually spanakopita is made with feta, not ricotta. And there's a good reason. Feta is much more briney, whereas ricotta is not salty at all. But since I had leftover ricotta, I substituted it. But added a LOT of salt.

1/2 package of phyllo pastry
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 clove garlic
1/2 small tub of ricotta
LOADS of salt
1/4 cup melted butter

Thaw the phyllo and spinach till room temperature.

Pull out two sheets of phyllo pastry and cut in 1/4s lengthwise and brush with melted butter. Cover the remaining phyllo with a damp cloth.

Squeeze the excess water from the spinach with a cheese cloth. Mix spinach, ricotta, garlic, and salt. Put a large tablespoon of the mix onto the bottom of a phyllo strip and fold in alternating triangles to the top. (Think   of making a child's paper ornament).

Once all the spinach and ricotta mix is packaged into neat little triangles, brush with butter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with oregano and bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven till crisp and golden brown.

I guarantee there won't be any leftovers!

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