Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spinach Cheese Swirls

Hello everyone!

School is over, summer is finally here, and I can breathe, bake, and blog again! I have loads of foods planned to try out in the summer and I'm super excited to share them with you.

The first thing I want to share with you is my mother's recipe for spinach cheese swirls. I'm pretty sure I've already bragged about how amazing my mother's cooking is on this blog before, but this recipe is definitely one that takes the cake. Sadly, I don't have pictures of me making the filling for these pastries but I will give you a recipe below. The assembly part is easy-peasy!

Spinach Cheese Swirls 
Makes around 45 swirls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1lb fresh baby spinach
8 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
crushed red pepper as desired
a box of puff pastry sheets

Fry onions and garlic in heated oil until the onions become translucent. Mix in the baby spinach, cheeses, and crushed red pepper. Stir on high heat until all of the liquid from the spinach evaporates and the mixture becomes a thick paste. There is no need to add in salt because the cheeses already have a large amount of their own sodium but you can add any other spices to suit your taste. Once the mixture has turned into a chunky paste, set it aside to cool.

Now onto the swirl part.

Simply defrost the pastry sheets (we will be using both) and lay them out onto a cutting board. Spread the mixture onto the sheets leaving half an inch of the longer ends uncovered. We're going to roll the pastry sheet up lengthwise so leave the sheet out hot-dog style. Carefully roll the pastry sheet up to the top. Wet the uncovered edge of pastry sheet so it sticks to the roll before you close it up, or you can pinch the seams shut. Turn your roll seam-side down on the board and pop it in the freezer for around 10 minutes or until it firms up a bit.

Once the rolls have firmed up, its time to cut them. Gently cut half inch slices using a serrated knife and lay them flat on a tray. You should get 20-24 swirls from each roll. At this stage, you can freeze them and then store them in a bag until you need them. They can last for a very long time once frozen.

If you want to eat these yummy swirls right away, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with an inch of space all around each swirl. Bake them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they become slightly browned. The center will still be soft but that's the best part!

Enjoy! Let me know how your swirls turn out. :)

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