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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

SPINACH & CHEESE TRIANGLES





These petit pockets of punchy flavour have the perfect mix of cheesy heaven with a lovely little bite of spice all wrapped up in flakey buttery pastry.

An elegant morsel of deliciousness these make for the perfect canapé for parties as they can be easily eaten in 2 bites and held in one hand leaving the other hand free for a beverage. What’s more they can be cooked hours in advance and simply warmed up when needed making you look like you just whipped up some magic in minutes. If you don’t like the spice or the kids can’t handle it no biggie simply remove it or if you do like spice and don’t want to miss out then just sprinkle a little Creole seasoning on top of the filling before you wrap them and keep them on a seperate tray, that way it's a win win for every one. You can also make these as giant versions and serve it sliced as part of a buffet style for a vegetarian dish.


Don’t bother going to the trouble of making your own puff pastry for this dish simply head to the freezer isle of your favourite supermarket. Once you give this a go and see just how easy they are to make you will never buy a cheese and spinach roll from the bakery again. You can also start to get really creative with the fillings to use up things in the fridge to stop them going to waste, try adding some pepperoni for pizza cheese puffs or add a little fried mince or shredded cooked chicken and they can become Mexican inspired. Just experiment, have fun and let your imagination run wild.


Did you know? This recipe is inspired by the iconic Greek dish Spanakopita. A mouth watering pie made with phyllo (filo) pastry, eggs and lots of spinach. The Greeks have been eating baked pies from way back in antiquity. One of the earliest references to one comes from the poet Philoxenos in the fifth century B.C. Philoxenos writes that at the end of a banquet the hosts served a cheesecake made with milk and honey that was baked like a pie. Before the arrival of the paper thin phyllo pastry in the byzantine, Greeks originally ate cheese pies wrapped in fig leaves, which is why they called the new pastry phyllo. The literal translation for phyllo is leaf. Spinach originated in the Middle East and merchants brought it to Spain. From there during the Byzantine Empire it spread to the rest of Europe. Farmers in the area of present-day Greece discovered that they could cultivate this leafy green very easily and it thrived in the Mediterranean climate and consequently was used in their cuisine.


Chef Dylan tips: The main thing to watch is to make sure you wring out as much water from the spinach as possible. 2. Leave the pastry on their plastic sheets while slicing, this stops the pastry sticking to your work surface and makes it easier to fold over the filling. 3. Don’t put too much filling in each square or let any juices get on the edges or the pastry will be harder to seal and will stick to the fork.


Campbelltown Sydney 1999

“Dylaaaaaan!” Comes the shrill voice of my mother from the kitchen awaking me from my slumber. “Dylaaaaaan!” It comes again like an alarm clock without a snooze option. “Coming!” I shout back. I sit up and fling off the blankets and swing my legs to the edge of the bed and shiver as my feet touch the cold wooden floor. I quickly pull up the blankets to make my bed and head down the hallway towards our kitchen.


It’s 9.30 am on a Monday and its my one day off from my chef apprenticeship that I have just started. I’m bleary eyed as Im still getting used to the late finishes because the restaurant is 2 hours away which means I don’t get home until sometime around 1 am each night. All my 4 other siblings have long left for school except for Seth my 3 year old brother who now runs toward me arms outstretched with spinach all over his mouth. I bend down to pick him up just in time to hear another ear piercing “Dylaaaaaaaaan!”.


“I’m here for gods sake” I mutter as I make my way into the kitchen to see my disheveled haired Mum still in her Pjs slightly bent over the counter. “Put him up here on the counter” she turns and says “I need you to help me make these spinach and feta triangles for Nana’s dinner party tonight”. So much for day off I think to myself as I head to the kitchen sink to run some warm water and lather up my hands with soap.


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 30 mins

SERVINGS: 2


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach 210 g fresh and cooked or frozen and thawed

  • ¼ block or 60g Greek crumbly style feta cheese

  • ¾ cup shredded tasty cheese, or mozzarella cheese

  • ⅓ cup fresh parmesan cheese grated

  • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets

  • 1 egg

  • 1tbs milk

  • 2 tbs sesame seeds

  • 1 tbs CREOLE


METHOD

  1. Cook your spinach by either gently frying it or wilting it in the microwave for ~1 min.

  2. Squeeze out any excess water by wrapping it up in a tea towel and wringing it out.

  3. In a large bowl add the spinach and crumble feta over the top and gently stir it through.

  4. Sprinkle in the shredded cheeses and CREOLE. Mix well to combine.

  5. Slice puff pastry sheets into even quarters by slicing down the centre vertically and horizontally to make 4 smaller squares.

  6. Place around 2 tbsp of spinach and cheese mix into the centre of each square, being sure you leave enough space around the edges to seal the triangles.

  7. Fold one corner over the spinach mix to the opposite diagonal corner to make a triangle shape.

  8. Using the tip of a fork, press the edges together to seal. This will also give a nice decorative effect to the edges.

  9. Repeat until all spinach mix is used.

  10. You can cook them now or freeze to eat later.

  11. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

  12. Place the triangles onto a tray lined with baking paper.

  13. Whisk the egg and milk then brush some on each triangle. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  14. Bake the triangles for around 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown (Note: You can also cook them in an air fryer at the same temperature and time).

TO SERVE


Serve freshly baked from the oven.

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