feta

Spinach and Feta Bread

Spinach and Feta Bread

Spinach and Feta Bread

My family always gets together the night before Thanksgiving for a pre-Thanksgiving meal. Since we live in different cities, it is the first night we get to catch up before the big day. We try to keep it simple. My niece makes my Busha’s Polish Mushroom Soup and I make an assortment of filled breads.

I have made these breads with plenty of different fillings, and I have posted many of those recipes. This year I made the Reuben, which was requested by my nephew.  I also made one filled with spinach, mozzarella and feta cheese, which I knew my niece would like. Several people have requested the recipe for this spinach bread, so here it is.

 

Spinach and Feta Bread

 

3¼ c. all purpose or bread flour

1 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 package quick-rising yeast

1 c. hot water

1 T. oil

Filling:

1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1½  c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. crumbled feta cheese

2 T. chopped parsley

1 T. lemon juice

2 t. hot sauce, or to suit your taste

1 t. dill weed

 

Grease a large jelly roll pan and set aside. Place a shallow roasting pan on the stove and fill halfway with water.  Start heating the water up. You’ll need it later.

Prepare filling: Take spinach and place in a medium bowl. Combine it with cheeses and remaining filling ingredients. Use your hands and squeeze the ingredients together, partly to mix them up well, but also to get them to stick together a little. Set aside and prepare the dough.

Set aside 1 cup of the flour. Combine remaining flour with the other dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in water and oil and gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle about 16 x 8 inches in size. Spread spinach mixture down center of dough.  Squeeze it a little, sort of in a tube shape. You need to fold the dough over this mixture, so pressing it together helps with the next step.  Cut one-inch wide strips of dough from filling to edge on both sides. It will sort of look like fringe. Alternating sides, fold strips up and over the filling at an angle. Pinch the ends.  Carefully lift loaf onto greased jelly roll pan and place at an angle, so it will fit. Cover with a towel, and place the jelly roll pan on top of a roasting pan, half-filled with simmering water for 15 minutes. Because quick-rising yeast is more heat tolerant, the simmering water helps the dough to rise faster. After 15 minutes, remove towel and place jelly roll pan in oven. Bake in a preheated 375-degree for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

 

Bread can be baked ahead of time and reheated, too. Wrap in foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Loosen the foil after 10 minutes so the bread does not get soggy.

 

 

Note: The variations for this bread are almost endless. Some favorite combinations are ham and Swiss with mustard, roast beef and cheddar, chicken, broccoli and cheese,, pizza, assorted fillings. You get the idea. Use your imagination and have fun. Just be careful not to overfill, or the bread will be hard to move, use fillings that aren’t too runny and always use cold fillings.

 

 

 

If you want to use regular yeast, in place of quick rising yeast, use warm, rather than hot water. Also, don’t let dough rise over boiling water. After kneading cover dough and let rise 45 minutes. Punch down and assemble as in original recipe. Cover with a towel and let rise until dough looks puffy, about 40 minutes. Bake as directed above. These breads can also be frozen.

 

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

I made this salad for a cooking class the other day. It was, as always, well received. The sweetness of the pears with the salty cheese and smoky bacon work so well together. The addition of toasted nuts adds just that extra something that works in this dish. I used walnuts this time, but love this salad with pecans, too. Serve over greens for a great and easy meal.

 

 

 

Pear Salad with Feta and Bacon

8- 10 cups mixed salad greens, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
3 ripe pears, cored and sliced thin
¾ c. crumbled feta cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ c. toasted pecans, but other nuts can be used
5 T. cider vinegar
½ c. oil
Fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In large bowl place greens. Add pears, feta bacon and pecans. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Toss over greens and divide into serving dishes. Serves 6-8.

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

For a quick and tasty salad one of my favorites is sliced, fresh tomatoes with feta cheese. This recipe also has some diced sweet onion and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to finish it off. Salt and pepper to taste and you’re done.  Sometimes less is more. In this case just a few ingredients and you are good to go.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

 

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