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Camping, Princess Style


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Nice looking greens assortment. With those I prefer your lemon, olive oil dressing but with a hint of Dijon mustard.  I've never done the spinach filling in puff pastry. Any concerns about texture or sog? Look forward to your result.

As to the wind - I like it on occasion, watching the trees sway and play but not day after day. A friend moved from here to outside Boise and she thought she would go mad. She is back here. 

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19 minutes ago, Smithy said:

the days are getting longer

Even here in the depths of winter the days are starting to get longer — by microseconds — but when you’ve been trapped inside for almost a year every little helps. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I feel you on the wind.  For two days we had gusts of 60-70.  Blew our grill over.  It's calmed down today and I'm glad.

 

You're smart to deal with your greens like that.  I have a ton and I have just shoved them in the fridge --I'd save much more room and frustration if I was more like you.

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3 hours ago, heidih said:

Nice looking greens assortment. With those I prefer your lemon, olive oil dressing but with a hint of Dijon mustard.  I've never done the spinach filling in puff pastry. Any concerns about texture or sog? Look forward to your result.

 

I've never tried this in puff pastry before now, but the last time I used phyllo I decided it was too fussy for me: getting the layers painted with melted butter, or painted or sprayed with oil, was a lot of work. Puff pastry already has the fat in between layers. I'm sure there are other differences, and I'd be outraged if I bought, say, baklava and it came in puff pastry. I think puff pastry worked reasonably well here for my purposes.

 

I worried a bit about sog and blowouts, but it was unnecessary. The key probably was that I followed the instructions to squeeze out every last bit of moisture from the spinach before mixing it with the rest of the filling. I used a fine-mesh bag and got it quite dry. Here is the filling before the final mixing:

 

20210116_155339.jpg

 

I had intended to use only 1 puff pastry sheet from the set of 2, but there was a LOT more filling than I'd realized. The first sheet went to the size of hand pies I'd originally planned. I got 4 pies and used less than half the filling.

 

20210116_132650.jpg

 

Once I decided to use the other sheet of puff pastry, I also decided to try smaller, appetizer-sized folds. I overloaded a few, and decided to see how they behaved with open ends. They did just fine: no sog, no ooze. The collage below includes a couple of the first, larger pies for comparison.

 

20210116_132907.jpg

 

The smaller bites are better, because the ratio of pastry to filling is better. There's too much pastry around the filling in the larger pies. As for the filling itself: I don't like this version as well as one I used last time, from The Olive and the Caper (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). A few crucial differences might be the ratio of parsley to spinach and the number of eggs used, but I think the biggest difference is that Olive and Caper uses green onions and the recipe I tried this time uses regular onion. I used one labeled as "Sweet Onion" but we've noticed around here that "sweet" doesn't necessarily equate to Walla Walla or Vidalia-style sweetness. I used less onion than the recipe called for, and it's still too strong. The other, very surprising thing, is that this filling needs salt! Who would have expected that, with feta cheese? So it's back to the Onion and Caper version next time, but I will use the shortcut from The Mediterranean Dish and buy frozen cooked spinach. It has to be chopped and cooked down anyway.

 

I'll post a "money shot" of the large and small pies' cross-sections if anyone's interested in seeing the pastry to filling ratio.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

 

I've never tried this in puff pastry before now, but the last time I used phyllo I decided it was too fussy for me: getting the layers painted with melted butter, or painted or sprayed with oil, was a lot of work. Puff pastry already has the fat in between layers. I'm sure there are other differences, and I'd be outraged if I bought, say, baklava and it came in puff pastry. I think puff pastry worked reasonably well here for my purposes.

 

I worried a bit about sog and blowouts, but it was unnecessary. The key probably was that I followed the instructions to squeeze out every last bit of moisture from the spinach before mixing it with the rest of the filling. I used a fine-mesh bag and got it quite dry. Here is the filling before the final mixing:

 

20210116_155339.jpg

 

I had intended to use only 1 puff pastry sheet from the set of 2, but there was a LOT more filling than I'd realized. The first sheet went to the size of hand pies I'd originally planned. I got 4 pies and used less than half the filling.

 

20210116_132650.jpg

 

Once I decided to use the other sheet of puff pastry, I also decided to try smaller, appetizer-sized folds. I overloaded a few, and decided to see how they behaved with open ends. They did just fine: no sog, no ooze. The collage below includes a couple of the first, larger pies for comparison.

 

20210116_132907.jpg

 

The smaller bites are better, because the ratio of pastry to filling is better. There's too much pastry around the filling in the larger pies. As for the filling itself: I don't like this version as well as one I used last time, from The Olive and the Caper (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). A few crucial differences might be the ratio of parsley to spinach and the number of eggs used, but I think the biggest difference is that Olive and Caper uses green onions and the recipe I tried this time uses regular onion. I used one labeled as "Sweet Onion" but we've noticed around here that "sweet" doesn't necessarily equate to Walla Walla or Vidalia-style sweetness. I used less onion than the recipe called for, and it's still too strong. The other, very surprising thing, is that this filling needs salt! Who would have expected that, with feta cheese? So it's back to the Onion and Caper version next time, but I will use the shortcut from The Mediterranean Dish and buy frozen cooked spinach. It has to be chopped and cooked down anyway.

 

I'll post a "money shot" of the large and small pies' cross-sections if anyone's interested in seeing the pastry to filling ratio.

YUM!!

 

Will you guys eat them all or do they freeze well?

 

On the feta, 100%....you think no salt is needed but in salads etc. it is IMO.  But I have to say we are salt people.....

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5 minutes ago, Shelby said:

YUM!!

 

Will you guys eat them all or do they freeze well?

 

On the feta, 100%....you think no salt is needed but in salads etc. it is IMO.  But I have to say we are salt people.....

 

Thanks! We won't eat them all at once. I'm going to try freezing some and leaving the others out. I remember my spanakopita last time around (using phyllo) lost its crispness. I think people told me I could have frozen and reheated it. We'll see!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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When I have frozen spanakopita, I have frozen them pre-cook and that worked out very well. But I make mine with phyllo dough... not sure how well it would work to freeze puff pastry spanakopita pre-cook. They look yummy!

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We've never lived with constant wind but from what I have learned, it is pretty awful.  We thought some years ago about moving to Alberta and were warned to make certain that we did not move to somewhere where the wind blew constantly.  It is awful to bear. 

 

Love Spanakopita.  

Edited by Darienne
stupidity (log)
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13 hours ago, curls said:

When I have frozen spanakopita, I have frozen them pre-cook and that worked out very well. But I make mine with phyllo dough... not sure how well it would work to freeze puff pastry spanakopita pre-cook. They look yummy!

Refreezing puff pastry works very well.  I've done it for years with my sausage rolls.  I thaw it to make the rolls and refreeze before baking.  I take them out of the freezer and thaw and bake.  I think it would work perfectly for this.  

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I think after all this talk about phyllo dough and puff pastry and Spanakopita, I have to put the ingredients on the grocery list.  (Ed does all the shopping now.)  And as a matter of fact, I'll add the ingredients for Moussaka also.  

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Darienne

 

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8 hours ago, Darienne said:

We've never lived with constant wind but from what I have learned, it is pretty awful.  We thought some years ago about moving to Alberta and were warned to make certain that we did not move to somewhere where the wind blew constantly.  It is awful to bear. 

 

Love Spanakopita.  

 

The low humidity may be another factor. Right now our hygrometer is showing 14% inside the Princessmobile. I am drinking a lot of water and using a great deal of skin cream.

 

(Look on the bright side, she says to herself: many RV's carry a warning not to live in them for extended periods because they aren't built to take the buildup in interior moisture. Not a factor here! )

 

6 hours ago, IowaDee said:

If you have ever watched the film, The Homesman, you know what constant wind can do to a person....

 

I just read the synopsis. Yowza. I hadn't heard of that one. I remember some detective story writer -- Dashiell Hammett? -- writing about the manic and murderous effect of the Santa Ana winds when they start blowing in the L.A. Basin. When I lived there, some scientific studies suggested that there might be something to it: something about the increase in positive ions in the atmosphere. I've not thought about that in a long time. It's probably been debunked. 

 

All this dryness didn't help the spanakopita bites, though. The ones I stored out on the counter are soggy. Still good, and still best with the highest filling-to-pastry ratio. Storing them in a closed container probably didn't help. Sometime around lunchtime I'll fire up the oven and see whether the remainders get crisp again. I'm sure this would be a good use for a Cuisinart Steam Oven, but our CSO is sitting at home.

 

@Kim Shook, I don't know why I thought I'd need to cook the puffs first. I've used your trick of making and freezing sausage rolls, then baking from frozen, more than once. I'll try that NEXT time around.

 

Last night I could have cheerfully chowed down on spanakopita bites, but we had other, more decadent plans for dinner. Remember that last ham? It was the star of the evening.

 

20210117_084355.jpg

 

It's funny about this skillet. Until this year, it was the preferred campfire cooking skillet because of its size, and it lived outside once we were set up for the season. My darling's daughter gave him another skillet with about the same bottom area but with squared sides. He prefers that one because he can push stuff up against the sides without pushing it overboard. I generally prefer the rounder edges so I can do "that flippy thing" with the contents, but I rarely need such a large skillet. The other day he was kvetching about how many skillets we have. Did we really need them all, he grumped.  If I'd actually thrown one out in a fit of pique, this would have been the one. It's earned its place in the kitchen again.

Edited by Smithy
Word revision: "rarely" instead of "don't usually" (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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@Shelby, this is to inspire you: my leafy greens and today's lunch salad. The greens that I washed and stored the other day make it really easy to make a salad on the spot. The spinach and leaf lettuce have been wrapped in tea towels and stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator. All I have to do is pull them out, unwrap and tear as needed. 

 

20210117_133437.jpg

 

In other news: the soggy, countertop-stored spanakopita puffs crisped up very nicely in the oven on a rack, yay! 400F (probably cooler, since I didn't preheat much) for about 14 minutes. Sorry that the photo doesn't show texture.

 

20210117_134828.jpg

 

We're both still agreed that the smaller "bites" are better than the large turnover sizes. 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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6 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

@Smithy, would you wash hydroponically grown lettuce? I see it at the store sometimes and have purchased it before. I'm lazy to wash lettuces & spinach and maybe hydroponic is a solution for that. TIA!

 

What an interesting question! I don't think I've ever seen hydroponically grown greens at the grocery store, so I can't say for sure - but since I even wash the "triple washed, ready to eat" stuff I probably would. I am almost as concerned about contamination during the handling and packaging steps as I am about contamination in the field.

 

Does anyone else reading here have an opinion about MokaPot's question? 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I buy those living lettuces -often gorgeous and reasonably priced. Roots attached and come in a clamshell type house.  I wash if someone is in the kitchen watching me and if not -  don't. However that is me. Not to get into a bilogica discussion but I find the rinse more mental than pathogen significant. Many opinions may vary from mne. 

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Don't feel alone, Heidi.  I'm not great about washing either.  I even have a salad spinner , which I strangely use on our home grown greens religiously, but not store bought.  We aren't dead yet so that's a plus.  The lettuce I'm getting from Misfits and Imperfect I rinse, though...I guess I feel like more hands have touched it???  I dunno.

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14 hours ago, Darienne said:

  We thought some years ago about moving to Alberta and were warned to make certain that we did not move to somewhere where the wind blew constantly. 

Decades ago I made a field service call to a small town about 1/2 way between Calgary and Edmonton in March. I had to be out-of-doors part of the day. I remember the wind, and when snow was falling it was being blown parallel to the ground. Not the sort of weather a Southern California guy is used to.

 

ETA: The people who worked at the plant admitted that it was cold that day.

 

Edited by Porthos (log)
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I'm incredibly lazy about washing greens. You'd need to use a perpetual calendar to measure time between my greens washing,  and my Sweetie and I are still alive into our retirement age.

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

Decades ago I made a field service call to a small town about 1/2 way between Calgary and Edmonton in March. I had to be out-of-doors part of the day. I remember the wind, and when snow was falling it was being blown parallel to the ground. Not the sort of weather a Southern California guy is used to. 

I lived in Lethbridge Alberta for a couple of years. I remember people there going a bit crazy with the wind - as a sailor I quite liked it. It could get a little dangerous on the small bodies of water we had to sail on though. But in the winter when everything was knee deep in snow the Chinooks would blow through and you could play tennis in your shorts for a few days. 

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29 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I lived in Lethbridge Alberta for a couple of years. I remember people there going a bit crazy with the wind - as a sailor I quite liked it. It could get a little dangerous on the small bodies of water we had to sail on though. But in the winter when everything was knee deep in snow the Chinooks would blow through and you could play tennis in your shorts for a few days. 

Yeah, your first chinook is always a "WTF?" experience. :)

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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