Thursday, June 14, 2012

Triangle Shaped Finger Foods

Next Thursday is a very, very, VERY special day.  Not only is it the longest day of the year, which we Alaskans both celebrate for its magic and mourn because it marks the long decline into darkness.  Much more importantly, however, next Thursday is wedding day for my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law.  They are simply perfect for each other.



In addition to being blessed with the opportunity to make their wedding cake (pictures to follow), I also will be providing the finger foods prior to dinner.  The beautiful bride has requested her favorite dip ever, which of course will be enjoyed, but we need something in addition.  Insert: triangle shaped finger foods.  I was inspired by the spanikopita I made for my best girl friend's bachelorette party last year and decided to enhance that recipe and then create a complimentary one of my own in the form of mushrooms, peppers, onions, and spices.  I can't wait to celebrate!

The enhanced spanikopita incorporates the traditional flavors of spinach and feta cheese with onions, pine nuts, parmesan, fresh mozzarella, and lemon all wrapped inside a glove of phyllo dough and baked to crispy perfection.  Salty, crunchy, smooth, flaky, and delicious. 




The mushroom, peppers, and onions triangles I invented managed to even impress me.  (Sorry for the not-so-humble statement...they are just that good.)  Carmelized onions, sauteed red and yellow peppers, portobello mushrooms, rosemary, sage, and thyme all marry (pun intended) to create an earthy, slightly floral, and slightly tart triangle of deliciousness.  These too are enveloped in flaky phyllo dough.





These triangle finger foods are for special celebrations.  They take an awful lot of love to make and are worth every second.

Triangle Shaped Finger Foods:

Spanikopita:
  • a box of phyllo dough 
  • approximately a pound of frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
  • about a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • between 1/4 and 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • a few grinds on the pepper grinder
  • one egg
  • 1/2 cup (at least) unsalted butter 
  1. Saute the onion until tender.  Cool slightly.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the thawed and very well drained spinach and onion.  Mix to combine.
  3. Add the feta, parmesan, mozzarella, pine nuts, and lemon juice.  Mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the pine nuts, lemon juice, and pepper.
  5. Taste.  Adjust if necessary.
  6. Add the egg and mix.
  7. Melt the unsalted butter.
Assembling the Triangles:
  1. Working quickly, unwrap the phyllo dough.  Have a lightly damp kitchen towel on hand to use to cover the phyllo dough if it starts to dry.
  2. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface.  Use a spoon or a brush to lightly cover with butter.  Place another sheet of phyllo on top.  Again lightly cover with butter.  Place a third sheet of phyllo on top.
  3. Cut the buttered phyllo sheets into four strips.
  4. Add a heaping teaspoon (or whatever will fit) to one end of a strip.
  5. Turn up the corner to make a triangle with the filling inside.  Continue to fold in a triangle manner until the end.  
  6. Repeat with the other three strips.
  7. Repeat the layering, cutting, and filling process until you run out of the spinach mix.
  8. Seal the triangles using your buttered brush.
  9. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  
  11. Cool slightly and eat!
Mushroom, Peppers, and Onion Triangles:
  • 1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • about a pound of portobello mushrooms, diced 
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons each (I didn't measure and did it by taste) of dried rosemary, thyme, and sage
  1. Saute the onions and peppers until soft.  
  2. Add the mushrooms and spices and cook until soft.
  3. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  4. Follow the directions for assembling the triangles above. 

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