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Traditional Spanakopita

If authentic Greek cuisine is something you are hankering for, the Memphis Pellet Grill can take a few simple ingredients and make it happen without the extra cost of airfare. Spanakopita is a Greek savory pie that uses filo pastry and a spinach filling, generously complimented with feta cheese and seasonings. Spanakopita delivers a mouth-watering meal that will be the envy of friends and family. Pair this spinach pie with a simple Greek Salad of tomatoes, cucumber, black olives and red onions. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, throw on some crumbled feta cheese and you have a superb lunch!
Preparation
1. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced cooking onion and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the chopped green onions and continue to sauté until all the onions are translucent.

2. Wash and dry the spinach. Remove any thick stems and coarsely chop the remaining leaves. Stir the chopped spinach into the cooked onions. Cover tightly and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and add the parsley, dill, black pepper, and salt. Continue to sauté while stirring this mixture for another 8 - 10 minutes. You'll want to thoroughly cook the spinach mixture so that it is dry by the end of the cooking period. If the mixture is too wet the finished pie will be soggy, so don’t skimp on the cooking time during this step.

4. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the milk, and set aside to cool at room temperature. Add the crumbled feta cheese and beaten egg. Stir to combine the mixture well.

5. Preheat oven to 300 F.

6. Coat the bottom of a 9”x13”x2” pan with the melted butter and line the pan with one sheet of filo, letting the excess pastry drape over the edges. Brush the top of the filo with more melted butter and repeat this process until 8 sheets of filo have been used. Note: Filo pastry is very thin and the sheets will dry out quickly when exposed to the air. To keep them from becoming brittle during the layering process, cover the unused filo dough with a slightly dampened tea towel while you are brushing butter on top of each layer.

7. Spread the spinach/egg mixture evenly into the pan on top of the last layer of buttered filo. Top the mixture with another sheet of filo and continue the buttering /layering process until the last 8 sheets of filo are used. Trim off the excess filo and brush the top with the remaining melted butter. To this point the pie can be made four hours ahead of time and held in the fridge until you are ready to pop it into the oven.

8. Bake on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven until the filo is nice and flaky and has turned a lovely golden brown color. This will take about an hour. Let the spanakopita cool for fifteen minutes before serving.

Ingredients
¼ C olive oil
1 yellow cooking onion, medium dice
6 green inions, chopped
2 lbs fresh spinach leaves
1/3 C Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/3 C fresh dill, chopped (or 2 T dried)
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1/3 C milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C feta cheese, crumbled
16 filo dough pastry sheets (about ½ lb)
½ lb butter, melted (olive oil can be used instead of butter)
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