Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Spinach And Cheese Strudel
Honestly, "strudel" is a bit of a stretch. It is rolled like a strudel, but that's about it. I adapted it from a recipe in Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by, Rose Friedman. This is a British vegetarian cookbook as well, which if you know anything about British vegetarianism, particularly in the 70's, you'll know that it makes use of some oddball combinations. Thankfully, this didn't call for any mashed parsnips, or the like.
I was concerned the pastry would be difficult to work with, but it went quite smoothly. I needed dramatically less water than the recipe called for, but with pastry you should always add it sparingly until your dough comes together. If you've been looking for a way to ease into using whole wheat flour, this might be a good transition. The boys both really liked the dinner. Because it does not have any meat substitutes, re-heating should go fine. I imagine they will probably just get eaten cold for lunch tomorrow. The recipe makes four substantial "strudels."
You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tablespoons shredded Gouda cheese (I used Swiss)
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs (I used thyme and parsley)
1/2 cup margarine (I don't buy margarine, so I used butter)
2/3 cup ice water ( I needed about half of it)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine flour, cheese and herbs in a bowl. Cut in butter. Combine lemon juice with water and add a tablespoon at a time tossing it over the dough until it comes together in a ball. Gather it up and roll it out quickly into a rectangle. Give it three turns like making puff pastry (in both directions) and then wrap in cling film. Chill until needed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
For The Filling:
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup butter
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon paprika (I used a tablespoon-we really like paprika here)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup "curd cheese" (I used cottage cheese I drained and put through a food mill)
1/2 cup Gouda, shredded (I used Swiss and Cheddar)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups cooked and drained frozen spinach (Squeeze out excess water through a dishtowel)
In a large pan, cook the onions and garlic in butter until golden. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley and salt/pepper, and paprika. Cook a few minutes to blend, then remove from heat.
Reserve about a tablespoon of the egg for brushing the tops. Add the rest to the cheese, cottage cheese, spinach, and onion mixture. Blend together well.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each into a very thin rectangle. Spread the filling in the centre of each, leaving a good margin around the edges. Roll-up like a strudel. Pinch closed and place on a well-greased, or parchment lined baking sheet. Combine reserved egg with a bit of water and brush on strudels. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.