Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Spinach Puffs!

For those of you who were not obsessed with the movie as a child, this is my ode to Kronk from the Emperor's New Groove. Along with being an assistant to the evil Yzma, he is a talented chef eager to show off his skills by preparing a diner for her and the emperor. During a crucial moment, Kronk realizes that his spinach puffs may be burning but saves them just in time. At the end of the movie it is revealed that Yzma never really liked his spinach puffs. Bitch. I did though, and I had a great time making these Emperor's New Groove inspired pastries. I'm really proud of the way they turned out and they tasted so great. They would be perfect for breakfast or brunch but being the weirdo that I am, I made them for dinner. It's really just a simply pastry dough (no yeast or rising involved) and then some cooked spinach and delicious feta cheese on the inside.

As a side note: I don't think that my dad would like these. I made him endure so many viewings of this movie that I think for a while he banned it. He does like Kronk though.

I managed to turn a huge bag of spinach into barely a cup of filling. It was pretty crazy. I also drained the spinach because I didn't want all of that moisture ruining my pastry and a lot of this green spinach water came out. I tried to get my boyfriend to drink it but he refused.
 This is where my ingenuity really kicked in. I do not have a 4 inch round cookie cutter but I do have the bowl of my food processor which is the same size. Wow!
 The pretty little circles make pretty little half moons when you fold them over. Flattening the edges with a fork and making tiny slits on top make them more adorable.
 And this is why I'm really proud of them. Look at how fluffy and light and golden brown that pastry is. Let me tell you, it tasted as good as it looks.
I got the recipe from the Rachael Ray magazine which was initially for Mini Cherry Jam Turnovers but I decided that it would be just as good with a savory filling so I used the dough but abandoned the cherry jam.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, chilled and cut into pieces
6 Tbsp cream cheese, chilled and cut into pieces
2 Tbsp ice water
1 egg beaten
1 clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 10 oz bag spinach leaves
4 oz crumbled feta cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in butter and cream cheese until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ice water and then mix by hand until the dough comes together. Make a ball and then flatten into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes*

2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, then add the spinach. Stir the spinach constantly until all of the leaves are wilted, about another 3 minutes or so. Transfer the cooked spinach mixture to a fine colander or sieve, place over a bowl and allow the spinach to drain out, pressing the spinach down with the back of a spoon (or other blunt object of choice) occasionally. When fully drained, mix the spinach with the feta cheese.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and roll out the dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. Use a 4 in round cookie cutter until you have 10 disks (I got 11 or 12.... I can't remember how many but it was more than 10) and transfer one at a time to a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper. Brush egg around the rims, then plop 1-2 Tbsp spinach mixture into the center. Fold over and flatten the edges with the tines of a fork.

4. Brush the tops of the pastry with the remaining egg. Cut two slits in the top of each puff and then bake until golden. About 15 minutes.

*This could all be done with a food processor as well. Mine is just a bit too small for dough.

Find these on Dr. Laura's Tasty TuesdayHearth and Soul Hop, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tuesday Twister


  1. I thought I was already following you because I love your blog, but I guess I wasn't, so I AM now. Sorry about the mix-up. I adore this recipe! Hope to see you around soon at Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  2. I've never seen the movie, but these are so adorable! What is it about wrapping foods in dough that makes them infinitely more appealing? I mean, I like spinach and feta, but when you turn them into a cozy little pocket, suddenly I'm mad for it! Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  3. Thanks for the idea. I love empanadas-turnovers and this love like a good way to add the spinach.


  4. I am obviously much older because my KIDS watched this movie dozens of times! Your spinach puffs just look delicious. Made me go see if I have any feta cheese (nope darn it) I would love to have one right now! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  5. I must be older as I haven't heard of that movie, but if it leads to a recipe like that one, I'm happy to join in! Those spinach puffs look awesome!

  6. Yummy Trina! Make sure you link these up and check out my shout out for you too. Yours was the only recipe I made last week and it was divine. Loved it!

  7. Thanks so much!

    Melodie: I'm glad you like these and the baked eggs too but I accidentally already linked up a different post. I guess I hope you like those too =)

  8. Awesome little spinach puffs. I'm looking forward to making them. And, want to see that movie now too. Sounds strange, but possibly enjoyable.

  9. I love simple delicious recipes and this one looks amazing. I would love for you to link this or any of your recipes to my recipe blog hop. http://homeandpantry.blogspot.com/2011/01/cuban-style-picadillo.html

    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

  10. haha. At this time in my life I think I will take the spinach puffs over the movie.


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