Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pie and Bulgar

Good evening bloggers. I want to apologize for my disappearance. There was a recent environmental disaster in Massachusetts yesterday. I would have had a blog entry for you, however, with worrying for friends and family I was unable to provide that for you. Everyone is doing fine though. There were a few reported deaths and many injured. Downtown Springfield suffered a lot of destruction and the National Guard is to be called in for relief efforts. I'm 100 percent positive that they will bounce back, but in the mean time, all we can do is pray and stay updated. For now, we will occupy ourselves with a nice and hearty entry! Let's gather out aprons and meet back in the kitchen.

Spanakopita Pie

You will need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian-style herbs, undrained 
  • 12 sheets frozen phyllo (filo), thawed 
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 
  • 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  3. In a 10 inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then drain. 
  4. Stir in spinach, parsley, salt, pepper, and all but 1/2 cup of the tomatoes. 
  5. Cook and stir until hot and set aside.
  6. Cover phyllo sheets with damp paper towel. 
  7. Arrange the sheets, layering 3 at a time, in an "X" shape and then in a "plus" shape to create a spoke pattern on your work surface, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with 1 teaspoon of the bread crumbs as it is added. 
  8. Transfer all the layers of the phyllo to a pie plate, gently easing dough down the sides of the pie plate and allowing excess dough to hang over edge. 
  9. Place beef mixture in the pie plate and top with feta cheese. 
  10. Fold overhanging phyllo up and over the filling, leaving 2 to 3 inches of the center of the filling uncovered. 
  11. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes in the center. 
  12. Brush the phyllo with butter. 
  13. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. 
  14. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Mediterranean Shrimp with Bulgar

You will need:

  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic wine 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 pound uncooked small (30 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, heat water to boiling. 
  2. Add bulgur, then reduce heat to low. 
  3. Cover and simmer about 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. 
  5. Add the onion and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
  6. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  7. Stir tomatoes, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley, the capers, black pepper and red pepper flakes into onion and cook 3 minutes. 
  8. Stir in shrimp. 
  9. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.
  10. Stir the cooked bulgur into shrimp mixture and sprinkle with cheese. 
  11. Cover and cook for 2 more minutes. 
  12. Sprinkle with remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons parsley.
  13. Serve!

 Pictured Above: Mediterranean Shrimp
Pictured Above: Spanakopita Pie

Enjoy both of these recipes and I will see you all soon. I will keep you updated with the bounce back of Massachusetts. For now, have a great evening and I will see you as soon as I can. Good night!