Middle Eastern Spinach Pie

Spinach and cheese pies can be found in a variety of locations, but they are common in the Middle East where they are made as a single serving pie called Fatayer. We made ours as a larger pie that serves about four people. It is quite tasty and while we had it for a main dish, it can also be served as a side dish with a meat such as lamb. We have seen variations of this using Filo dough as well as Feta cheese, but we used puff pastry sheets and a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. It can be made as a Vegan dish with some slight modifications. We cooked down fresh spinach, but it can be done with frozen spinach if you prefer. We found it to be quite delicious.

Melting the Cheese into the Spinach


  •  2 lbs Fresh Baby Spinach – stems removed
  •  2 Medium Shallots – finely diced
  •  2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  •  4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese – grated
  •  4 oz Mozzarella Cheese – cut into small cubes
  •  1 tsp Dried Dill
  •  1 Pinch of Fresh Nutmeg
  •  2 Sheets of Puff Pastry (cut to fit the baking dish)
  •  1/8 cup Roasted Almonds
  •  1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  •  1 tsp Cumin Powder
  •  1 large Egg – beaten
  •  2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
Baby Spinach


Toast the coriander seeds in a small sauté pan over medium heat for about 1 minute. In a spice mixer or blender, combine the almonds, coriander seeds, and cumin and pulse until the ingredients are blended and the almonds are ground into small bits. Don’t grind it to a powder as you will want to have the crunchy texture. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, sauté the shallots and garlic in the butter until the shallots are soft, being sure not to burn the garlic. Add the spinach in batches until it is fully cooked down (you might need to add additional butter). Stir in the dill, nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper. Turn the heat off and let it cool slightly, then add the cheeses and stir until the cheese is fully integrated. Spray a glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place a sheet of puff pastry on the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the spinach mixture over the pastry sheet, leaving about an inch border. Place the second puff pastry sheet on top of the spinach and pinch the edges of the top sheet with the edges of the bottom sheet. Brush the edges of the top pastry sheet with the egg wash. Cover the center of the pie with the almond-spice mixture. Cut into individual size pieces and bake in the oven until golden-brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.

DSC_3916 (2)
Baked Spinach Pie
Nut and Spice Mixture
Fresh Cheese
Sauté the Shallots and Garlic
Wilt the Spinach
Spinach Mixture on the Pastry Sheet
Ready to Bake
Delicious Dinner


Delicious Chicken Pot Pies

Many of us grew up eating the pot pies that you can find in your grocery store’s freezer section, but making your own pot pie is certainly worth the extra effort. As with any food, making it yourself is usually healthier and tastes better. We had a delicious chicken pot pie when we were in Strasbourg and it was rustic and simple. Obviously you can make pot pies with turkey or beef as well, but chicken works out really well. It is a perfect way to use leftovers this holiday season in a way that doesn’t really feel like a leftover. We happen to have a mini-pie maker, which helps, but you don’t have to have one in order to make your own pot pies. You can buy premade pie crusts that are personal size in tin trays and just top with store-bought pie crust. The key to a really good pot pie is the stock that you use, so making a homemade stock is certainly worth the effort. Chicken pot pies are a perfect dinner for a cold winter evening.

Pot Pie Ready to Eat


  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg – egg white only
  • 1/2 cup Carrot – diced
  • 1/2 cup Onion – diced
  • 1/2 cup Celery – diced
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Corn – off of the cob (or peas)
  • 1 cup Russet Potatoes – parboiled and diced
  • 1 cup Cooked Chicken – diced
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 sheets Pie Crust (store-bought) – one package
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Diced Vegetables
Miniature Pie Maker


Be sure to cut the celery, carrots, and onion into equal sized pieces. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter along with the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and then finally add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Remove the vegetables from the pot, leaving any drippings. Add the remaining butter and heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk until it is slightly brown and nutty, do not over cook. Heat the stock in a microwave until hot and then add the stock to the roux, making sure to whisk frequently as pouring it into the pot. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, and continue to heat until it reaches a slight boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, corn, and chicken and cook until heated thoroughly and the stock has thickened. Spoon the mixture into the bottom sheet of pie crust (if using store bought pie pans, prick with a fork and partially cook in an oven before adding the mixture). The mixture should be about a quarter of an inch from the top of the crust. Cut the pie crust to fit the top of the pie and place over the mixture being sure to crimp the edges together with a fork or with your fingers. Brush with egg white and cook in the pie maker (or in the oven) for the directed amount of time, 12 to 15 minutes in our case. Let them rest a few minutes before serving.

Cook Vegetables
Flour and Butter to Make a Roux
Chicken Pot Pie Mixture
Pies with Filling
Brush with Egg White
Finished Pot Pie


Sweet Rewards

We don’t usually eat sweets or desserts, but occasionally we do indulge in something a little decadent. During our time in Europe, we did allow ourselves to have a few special treats. Obviously, we couldn’t leave Germany without having apple strudel, but we also love a good cheesecake, so that is often our go-to dessert when we do decide to have something sweet.

Apple Strudel
Traditional Cheesecake
Custard Tart with Fresh Fruit

Even though we may not have dessert very often, one thing we learned was that European’s definitely make wonderful cakes, pies, and other sweets. We would have loved to try even more of the incredible sweets that we saw, but we were too often full from the heavy meals of the season. We will just have to schedule a return trip so that we can try even more specialties.

Strudel Variation
Raspberry Cheesecake
Apple Cake

Perhaps in the future, we will skip the main meal so that we can concentrate on the various pastries, cakes, custards, and pies. Until then, we will just have to look back fondly at what we were able to enjoy.

Sweet to Share
Sticky Delight
Simple but Delicious