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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 November 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2015 13 FOOD has never been easier Gluten-free spanakopita Spanakopita is a traditional Greek savoury pie filled with spinach and cheese. The plain cheese version is called tyropita and is equally delicious. Helen’s mum is known as the ‘queen of spanakopita’, a deserving title given the perfect unison of golden hand-rolled pastry and melt-in your mouth cheese filling. This is a recreation of that pita with a gluten-free pastry, probably the most challenging baking technique for a gluten-free chef. The trick to achieving a crispy gluten-free pastry is to roll out the dough as thinly as possible without breaking it between two sheets of baking paper. If you are pushed for time you can use a storebought gluten-free pastry, but just remember to roll it a little thinner. Makes 12 pieces. Ingredients For the savoury pastry: 200g gluten-free flour, plus extra for dusting 1/2 tsp xantham gum 1 tsp salt 100g cold butter, chopped 1 egg 80ml cold milk For the cheese & spinach filling: 300g ricotta 200g Dodoni feta 1 cup English spinach, chopped 2 shallots, finely sliced 2 tablespoons chopped dill 1 egg 1 tsp salt pinch of cracked pepper beaten egg for brushing sesame seeds (optional) Method Pastry: 1. Put the flour, salt and xantham gum in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 2. With the motor running, add the egg and milk. Shape the mixture Assembly 5. Remove pastry from fridge and place on a dusted surface. If the dough is too dry you can add some milk to moisten and if it is too sticky dust with more flour. Slice the square into three long strips and roll each strip out thinly between two sheets of baking paper. A thinner pastry will deliver a crispier texture. 6. Place a strip of cheese filling along centre of pastry. Brush long pastry edges with beaten egg and fold over each edge to seal. Brush the top of pastry with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 7. Place pie strips on lined baking tray. Cook for 35 minutes in 200°C oven or until golden brown. 8. Slice each strip into four pieces and serve. Pastitsio with lamb, rosemary & oregano Pastitsio is a traditional Greek baked pasta dish, and Greece’s answer to lasagna. The key differences are lamb mince instead of beef and the use of tubular pasta as opposed to sheets. Helen’s hearty glutenfree version is made using gluten-free penne and is wonderfully comforting on a cold winter’s day. Serve with a Greek salad when entertaining friends to showcase a traditional dish that captures the heart of the Greek kitchen. Serves 6. Ingredients 300g gluten-free penne pasta 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 500g lamb mince 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 tablespoons rosemary, chopped 2 x 400g tin crushed tomato 2 tablespoons tomato paste cinnamon quill pinch of grated nutmeg sea salt and cracked pepper to season Bechamel: 100g butter 100g gluten free plain flour 800ml full cream milk 100g cheddar cheese 100g parmigiana reggiano 1 beaten egg pinch of cinnamon Method 1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, toss in olive oil, set aside. 2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot, add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. 3. Add mince, oregano, rosemary and brown. Gluten-free Greek meatballs Greek meatballs (keftedes) are extremely versatile and absolutely delicious. They can be served as an appetiser on a sharing plate, with a side of rice for dinner or in a pita bread wrap for lunch on the run. They are perfect for kids lunchboxes and extremely popular at parties. Keftedes are traditionally made with breadcrumbs, but Helen’s gluten-free version replaces breadcrumb with finely-grated potato to achieve a crisp exterior with a light and fluffy centre. These meatballs will quickly become a staple in your household and a favourite among kids. Bite size + delicious = huge crowd pleasure. Makes 12 meatballs. Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 egg, beaten 1 sebago potato, peeled 1 brown onion,grated 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 1 tbs mint, finely chopped 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp sea salt flakes pinch of cracked pepper olive oil to fry lemon wedges to serve Method 1. Finely grate potato and squeeze out excess moisture firmly with both hands. Combine with all other ingredients in a bowl. 2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out into small balls. 3. Fry in oil rotating frequently until browned all over. 4. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle extra salt if required. 5. Serve with lemon wedges. 4. Add crushed tomato, tomato paste, cinnamon quill and nutmeg and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. 5. For the béchamel, melt butter over low heat in a saucepan and stir in flour until a smooth paste is formed. 6. Slowly pouring in milk stirring simultaneously. Keep stirring until a thick consistency is achieved. 7. Remove from heat and whisk in both cheeses, beaten egg and pinch of cinnamon. Season to taste. 8. To assemble the pastitsio, oil a rectangular casserole dish. Place pasta into dish and pour the meat sauce on top. Stir to combine and add extra kefalogaveria cheese. Top with béchamel sauce. 9. Bake in preheated oven at 200°C for 40 minutes or until golden. into a flat square, wrap in cling film and rest in fridge for one hour. Cheese & spinach filling: 3. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly with hands.
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