Tag Archives: feta

Lamb And Spinach Gozleme – The Cheats Way

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The Turkish gozleme stall at the Addison road markets in Marrickville churns out perfectly cooked gozleme grilled to an exact goldenness with crisp dough and deliciously salty cheese filling. On lazy sundays, when I can’t be bothered cooking, I go there for lunch.

I admire the women who run the stall (not sure why it’s only women, but it is). They gather around large tables with their white bakers caps and roll the dough hour after hour until finally, early in the afternoon, they run empty of dough and late comers miss out. The line for their stall is always long, and offers plenty of opportunity for crowd gazing, dog spotting, and child dodging fun.

But this is not a post about their gozleme. This is a post on how to cheat when making your own gozleme; it’s a ‘I can’t be bothered going to the markets and lining up and fighting the crowds’ kind of recipe, and ‘I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all afternoon’ kind of recipe.

Some times short cuts are necessary, right? Some times there’s not enough hours in the day to get every thing done. Some times you have to cheat!

You will need to buy a good Pita bread. I get a Greek one that I’m fond of. It fries well and has a nice taste. Next, you need some free range lamb mince (if you’re going to cheat, you might as well cheat in style). I go to my local butcher and buy it from there because they ground the mince while I wait, that to me is worth the extra dollars. A few simple spices, cinnamon, cumin, and a pinch of chilli, (my kids don’t even notice the chilli), onion and garlic, that’s it. Then you need a tasty, salty feta, and some washed, picked and sliced English spinach. Oh, don’t forget the lemon. This is for squeezing over the gozleme at the end, and lots of it.

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Unlike the talented Turkish women at the markets, who use a large barbecue style grill, you can take another short cut and fry it in a pan. This does require a lowish heat so as to not burn the pita bread before the spinach has a chance to wilt. And oil. You must use oil (I go for Rice bran or Grape seed). This will need to be brushed onto the pita bread before cooking, and again on the other side before flipping. A gentle hand is required so the filling doesn’t tumble out of the (cheats) gozleme as there’s no sides to fold over and hold the filling in.

I won’t pretend that this is as good as a gozleme made from scratch, but for a cheats version, it comes pretty close!

Cheats gozleme – lamb, spinach and feta

Makes 4 gozleme

Ingredients 

1 brown onion

1 clove garlic

300g free range lamb mince

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Salt

Cracked black pepper

4 Greek pita breads

1 bunch English spinach, washed and picked

150g feta cheese

1 lemon cut into wedges

Rice bran or Grape seed oil for frying

Dice the onion and chop the garlic.

Heat a frypan with 1 tbsp oil, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook gently for several minutes.

Add the lamb mince and fry till cooked through.

Add the spices and stir till fragrant. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

Lay out one Greek pita bread on a clean bench, place a quarter of the lamb mince on one half of the bread, sprinkle with 1 quarter of the washed, picked and sliced spinach, then crumble over the feta. Heat a non stick fry pan. Brush one side of the pita bread with oil, place the oiled side down into the warm pan, fry gently till golden. Before turning, brush the remaining side with oil and cook till golden, flip another time on each side. When the spinach is wilted and the feta melted, place gozleme on a board, and cut into 5 pieces. Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper and squeeze a wedge of lemon over the gozleme; eat whilst hot and fresh.

Kale and feta triangles

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Agh… a sigh of relief as I write this post. We’ve successfully moved house and it feels wonderful. Of course at the time it was all happening it didn’t feel so wonderful but the upheaval is over now, and I love our new home.

The kitchen has a combined dining area and, wait for it, bright orange benches and large patterned seventies tiles. It’s fantastic! It’s a large functioning space that looks out onto the back garden.  There’s no gas on in the house (you cant have it all) so my cooking is now on a flat top electric cooker with a basic electric oven. Getting to know a new oven is a little like getting to know a new friend – it takes time to understand how they work.

I was fretting about the oven because there is no fan forced option on it. The first meal I cooked, as much to fill the house with a homely smell as to feed us, was a roast leg of lamb, closely followed by these kale and feta triangles.

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After a few hectic days of un-packing and setting up, the urge to eat green vegetables was strong. I wasn’t even sure what I was cooking when I grabbed a bunch of kale, whilst shopping at the local fruit store. I knew I had a box of filo pastry in the freezer and some feta cheese in the fridge so these triangles came together and they were the perfect nibble for feeding friends and family who popped by.

Kale’s bitter flavour works perfectly with the flaky, buttery filo pastry, a good measure of onions and garlic, a pinch of – one of my favourite spices – hot smoked paprika, some salty feta cheese…

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A few tips for using filo pastry – defrost the pastry in the fridge overnight and leave in the box at room temperature for 2 hours before use (If you’ve ever tried to use filo pastry that hasn’t quite defrosted properly, it tends to break and fall apart and the whole thing becomes difficult and fiddly).

Also you must work fairly quickly with filo pastry as it drys out fast. In between use, cover the filo with a sheet of baking paper then a damp tea towel, this keeps the pastry soft and pliable.

You can use four or six sheets of filo pastry (I made a batch with 6 sheets and a batch with 4 sheets, the latter was a little less flaky). Brush between every second sheet with melted butter. This helps the pastry crisp and go flaky.

 

 

Kale and feta triangles – makes 12 triangles

Ingredients

1 bunch kale

Olive oil

2 red onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp hot smoked paprika

150g Greek feta

2 free range eggs

1 pkt filo pastry

100g melted butter

Salt and cracked black pepper

 

Wash the kale. Use a sharp knife to cut away the inner woody stalk and discard. Roughly slice the kale leaves. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large pot. When the pot is hot, throw the kale in, stir and cover with a lid, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly to help wilt the kale. Drain and set aside.

 

Wipe the same pot clean, heat with 2 tbsp olive oil, add onions and garlic and cook on a low heat for 3 minutes, add hot smoked paprika and cook for a further 2 minutes. Place cooked onions in a large bowl.

 

Once kale is cool enough to handle, add to the cooked onions, with feta, eggs, and a large pinch of salt and a large pinch cracked black pepper, mix to combine. Set aside. Pre heat oven to 210C.

 

Take two sheets of filo pastry and brush the top sheet with melted butter. Place another 2 sheets on top and brush again with butter, place the final two sheets on top and brush with butter. Cut sheets equally into 4 strips. Divide 1/3 of the kale mix between the four strips. Roll the first piece of pastry over to form a triangular shape, fold the next roll, keeping the triangular shape, roll a third and final time. You’ll be left with a rectangle piece of pastry at the top, fold this over and seal with melted butter. Place triangles on a lined tray and brush the out side of the triangles with more melted butter. Repeat twice more with remaining sheets of filo pastry and kale mix.

 

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Cook triangles for 25-30 minutes or till golden and crisp looking. Allow to cool slightly. To serve, cut triangles in half and place on a tray or platter. They can be eaten warm or cold.