Ground Beef Skillet Spanakopita Remix

I could apologize for not giving you a completely new recipe today but I think that I am also gifting you with something delicious that is easy so I’m not that sorry.

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Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe

When I first planned to make this, I got to make the discovery that my main grocery store no longer carries phyllo dough. Just phyllo tart shells. Not super helpful for most times I want phyllo dough. What to do? Well…let’s start with how it is supposed to look.

This was made with some help from my sous chef.

He insisted on helping to make it, and since most of it is a stove recipe I recruited him for the phyllo dough. He did pretty well, especially since he hasn’t been helping as much recently (he helps by entertaining the Chiplet and keeping him out of trouble when I cook).

Now back to the first time I made this. I used the tarts because it’s all I had. I crumbled them into pieces, then drizzled some melted butter on top before baking.

Not quite as good since there wasn’t as much phyllo from the shells, but it was delicious enough that we remade it multiple times after finding phyllo dough from a different store. Yay!

Oh, and please don’t forget the dill. It really adds something special to the dish.

Directions for Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe

Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 16 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided (I used a butter alternative), with possibly more
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (I used almond milk)
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 to 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and covered with a towel

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large cast iron skillet or in a Dutch oven (what I used), heat a tablespoon of the butter and cook the spinach in batches, allowing each batch to wilt, then removing to a colander. Drain and press out the excess water in the cooked spinach.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook in the butter to lightly brown each side. Set the chicken aside.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add the garlic, cooking for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Then, add in the flour, whisking to make a paste. Whisk in the chicken broth.

Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the half-and-half.  Add the feta, green onions, and dill. Stir until the feta melts. Remove from the heat, stir in the chicken and spinach.

Melt the remaining butter. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay it on a work surface. Brush some of the butter on top, then scrunch it and place it on top of the skillet.

Continue with more sheets of phyllo until you cover the whole top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

Directions for Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe (without pictures)

Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 16 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided (I used a butter alternative), with possibly more
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (I used almond milk)
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 to 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and covered with a towel

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large cast iron skillet or in a Dutch oven (what I used), heat a tablespoon of the butter and cook the spinach in batches, allowing each batch to wilt, then removing to a colander. Drain and press out the excess water in the cooked spinach.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook in the butter to lightly brown each side. Set the chicken aside.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add the garlic, cooking for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Then, add in the flour, whisking to make a paste. Whisk in the chicken broth. Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the half-and-half.  Add the feta, green onions, and dill. Stir until the feta melts. Remove from the heat, stir in the chicken and spinach.

Melt the remaining butter. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay it on a work surface. Brush some of the butter on top, then scrunch it and place it on top of the skillet. Continue with more sheets of phyllo until you cover the whole top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

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Chicken Meatball and Bean Soup

Nothing groundbreaking today, but this is a nice soup that can be fine on a warm or cold day. It is light enough to not feel too heavy on a summer day, and is a warm soup which can feel great on a chilly day. It is also a fairly complete meal with the protein and vegetable. If you wish, you can have some bread on the side.

 

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Chick Pea “Soup” with Pasta and Chicken Meatballs

This was made during a stretch of many successes. I had a feeling this soup would not be soup since pasta always tends to soak up all of the liquid. I realized later I misread and was supposed to add another 2 cups of broth but I really don’t know if that would have been enough. But it is fine since it still tasted really good. So, still a success since everyone loved it.

When reheating it I added extra water to help keep it from becoming dry.

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Baked Ziti with Crème Fraîche and Spinach

Maybe I should be sharing a spooky recipe for today, but I wanted to share this because it is recipe you can make ahead. Basically you can follow the recipe below right up until the step where you bake it, and then just refrigerate it until you are ready to bake it. It might take a little bit longer to bake since it is cold, but I did it the day before and it was still great. So, if you’re getting kids or yourself ready for trick or treating, you can assemble this the day before or in the morning, then pop it in the oven while you get ready. Eat, then go enjoy some treats!

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Spinach and Ground Beef with Walnuts and Pasta

One weekend I decided to see what I could make with some ground beef I had in the fridge. I liked a recipe I found in my Back Pocket Pasta cookbook, but I didn’t really follow any of the ingredients…hers used escarole, sausage, pine nuts, and garlic. So, I was inspired and made my own pasta dish.

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Quiche with Bacon, Feta, and Spinach

Even though I had a little oops moment with the filling for this quiche, it was still a delicious quiche that I will make again. There was something about the salty, creaminess of the feta that really made me love it.

This is the new one versus the one below is the original.

As you can see from these pictures, I had a bit too much filling for my pan. Next time I will just leave some of the custard mixture out and maybe bake it in a ramekin.
 
Update from Future Aly: I remade this in a springform pan with modified recipe amounts and it turned out better. But, it definitely took much longer to bake. However, I really enjoyed it, as did the family.
Directions for Quiche with Bacon, Feta, and Spinach
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Tart dough

  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
  • 8-10 Tablespoons ice water
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, your hands, or a food processor mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter on medium speed/pulsing to cut it into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Add the ice water and mix until the dough comes together (I had to add a bit more water). Shape into a disk with your hands, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes (up to 3 days).
Roll the dough into a circle until it is about 13 inches in diameter, if using a 10-inch tart mold or 9 inch springform pan. Brush off excess flour and transfer the dough to the mold. You can use a rolling pin along the edges of the pan to remove the excess dough. Chill the tart until ready to use.

Quiche Filling

  • 7-8 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1.75 cups milk
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped basil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • About 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by cooking the bacon in a large pan until not crispy but cooked through. Chop the bacon once it is cool and set it aside. Remove excess oil from the pan, then cook the onion until softened. Add the spinach with some salt and pepper. When the spinach is softened, turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, salt, chives, basil, and paprika.

Put the bacon pieces in the bottom of the tart shell. Add the spinach/onion mixture next. Crumble the feta on top. Pour the milk mixture on top to make sure it is evenly spread, but if you have extra milk mixture as it gets to the top, don’t try to fit it in. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top, then bake until set (about 20-30 minutes).

(oops)

Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it.
Directions for Quiche with Bacon, Feta, and Spinach (without pictures)
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Tart dough

  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
  • 8-10 Tablespoons ice water
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, your hands, or a food processor mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter on medium speed/pulsing to cut it into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Add the ice water and mix until the dough comes together (I had to add a bit more water). Shape into a disk with your hands, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes (up to 3 days).
Roll the dough into a circle until it is about 13 inches in diameter, if using a 10-inch tart mold or 9 inch springform pan. Brush off excess flour and transfer the dough to the mold. You can use a rolling pin along the edges of the pan to remove the excess dough. Chill the tart until ready to use.
Quiche Filling
  • 7-8 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1.75 cups milk
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped basil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • About 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by cooking the bacon in a large pan until not crispy but cooked through. Chop the bacon once it is cool and set it aside. Remove excess oil from the pan, then cook the onion until softened. Add the spinach with some salt and pepper. When the spinach is softened, turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, salt, chives, basil, and paprika.

Put the bacon pieces in the bottom of the tart shell. Add the spinach/onion mixture next. Crumble the feta on top. Pour the milk mixture on top to make sure it is evenly spread, but if you have extra milk mixture as it gets to the top, don’t try to fit it in. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top, then bake until set (about 45-60 minutes). Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it.

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