I’m not just a clown, people. I cook, and pretty seriously too. Most days you can find me in the kitchen making any variety of complicated dishes. This is the first of a weekly column called, “Tasty Tuesday.” I’ll start with a classic Greek street treat: Spanikopita, or in English: Spinach Pie.
I lived in Greece for 9 years and ate these all over the country- but the one I make at home is easily the best. Spanikopita is sold on every street corner in Greece, about the size of a grilled cheese, and usually from a guy with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth staring at your boobs. He then notices you’re not Greek and makes a comment about your boobs and laughs, but you’re a smart one and learned Greek. You then tell him in your best broken Greek, “Just give me the spinach pie, you mama’s boy…” and that hurts old Spiros, because he is indeed a mamma’s boy. He then calls you a “foreign whore.” You hand Spiros a couple Euros and he gives you the spanikopita. You thank him by saying, “Go garden yourself” you meant to say, “Go fuck yourself” but like I said, your Greek isn’t that great yet.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup dill
4 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup good quality freshly shredded Parmesan
4 cups crumbled feta cheese (good quality, goat milk)
30 sheets filo dough
1 LARGE bottle good quality Pinot Noir
- Tragically, you’ll remember your Greek mother in law and how much she hated you because the first time you had spanikopita it was in her stupid house. You were an Awful American and were trying to steal her “perfect Greek boy” and you’ll never cook it like his mama. You’ll consider never making Greek food again because she was a hateful twat, but push forward because you love spanikopita, and let’s be honest, food in general…
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 13×9 inch square baking pan.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine, you’ve earned it
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned
- Check Twitter. This is a good time to drink some more wine
Several hours later…….
- SHIT, the onions are burning!
- Start over, put the wine down for a bit- remember last time you got drunk and cooked? Your hand was red for a week, dummy
- Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Drain excess water from spinach thoroughly
- Congratulate yourself again- drink some more wine. You’re cooking, it’s a lot of work. I know what would be fun right now, “Danger” by Mystikal. I love this song. Wow, this wine is excellent….
- You know what? You know WHAT? I was incredibly nice to my mother in law, so. fucking. nice, overly…and she was evil. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I found out right… I found out, OK hold on, I love this part…
- OK, what was I saying? Oh yeah, she told people [fuck, I spilled my wine] that she would send me home crying back to America BEFORE she even met me. God damn it.
- whisk eggs in small bowl
- DANGER! YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS, BITCH! I wish this song was out when I lived in Greece, I totally would have sang that to my bitch mother in law. Or Breaking Bad…I would have gone Walter White on her, “I AM THE DANGER, MALAKA”
- In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan and feta. Stir in spinach mixture.
- Do you know what she said to me the FIRST day I met her? I’m not kidding, she said, “I can count the number of good Americans on one hand” and I was like, “Bitch, there are like 6 people in my immediate family, learn to count you old hooker” I didn’t say that, no, of course not, I just smiled and nodded like a dummy and wished I was back in Chicago…think I need more wine….
- Lay 1 sheet of filo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of filo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with 10 more sheets of filo.
- I mean, how can it be MY FAULT that she didn’t like me? She made her mind up before she met me. Who does that? I would never, OK, NEVER do that to my son in like 20 years when he gets married, OK, maybe if she’s a right wing Christian conservative….no, no, not even then…
- The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling.
- Can you believe she had a lady call my house to make it look like my husband was having an affair? I’m not kidding. You can’t make this stuff up…
- Brush with oil, then layer remaining 15 sheets of filo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
- But before I left…oh my god, this is SO FUNNY, she was super materialistic, wore a lot of gold and bragged about being rich, so one time she put on her [gag] fur [gag] coat and spun around to model it for me and ripped a huge fart…OH MY GOD THAT WAS HILARIOUS…and she just ran out of the room. It was that day I realized there might be a God…because my evil mother in law farted in her 3,000 Euro fur coat. Hey, you see God in a a sunset, I saw it in a mean old woman farting…don’t judge me.
- With a very sharp knife, score the top of the filo into squares
- I think I’ve had too much wine
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares. let cool. That Greek bitch was crazy, but spanikopita is delicious…
- Goddammit, I burned my hand again…red for another week…