Karin and I met two years ago in London at Food Blogger Connect. We got on well for the first time we started talking. Karin likes talking a lot… and I love listening to her stories for hours. She is lively, friendly and funny. She writes the wonderful blog Yum and More.
Hers she is sharing a delicious struder recipe. Karin says: “I am very excited about doing this guest post on Zita’s wonderful blog Zizi’s Adventures for two reasons: it means that Zita and Ivan’s precious child has arrived into this world and because it is an honor.
I have chosen a simple recipe for spinach gorgonzola strudel with sesame seeds. It is delicious and elegant, a perfect combination of tastes and can be ready within an hour and 15 minutes. Although we never ate spinach when I was a child and I didn’t like it as a teenager I really love it’s versatility now and will buy it fresh whenever I see nice spinach at an acceptable price. I then wash it and shrink it in olive oil as described below and freeze it in portions of around 300 grams about the amount left over from 500 grams of fresh leaves. I prefer Turkish spinach to the local German kind, its stems are longer and the leaves are thinner and don’t leave that thickness on your tongue that some spinaches do. I use spinach in pasta sauce, on quiche or pizza, and in this lovely spinach strudel that makes a perfect light meal for three with a side of tomato or other salad, a dollop of yoghurt. It is also perfect as an appetizer for a larger crowd.”
Spinach Gorgonzola Strudel With Sesame Seeds
– 270 g puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle
– 120 g ripe Gorgonzola cheese or other blue/green cheese
– 500 g fresh spinach or 300 g cooked spinach leaves
– 6 large mushroom, cleaned and cut into pieces*
– olive oil
– 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
– 1 teaspoon Arrabiata spice mix (a spicy chili based mix used for pasta sauce usually contains: garlic, tomatoes, hot chili, carrots, celery, basil and salt)
– 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
– 1/2- 1 clove of chopped garlic, optional to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– flour for dusting while rolling pastry dough
– 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
– plain yoghurt for serving
* You can leave out the mushrooms if you prefer.
If you are using fresh spinach, cut off the stems and wash the leaves 2-3 times until no sand or dirt remains. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner to shake off excess water.
Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Now place all the spinach leaves into the pan at once, squish them in or pile them up, don’t worry they will shrink. Cover with a lid or other top. After 3 minutes lift the top and add some salt, mix and stir gently until all leave have collapsed. Do not overcook you just want the leaves to shrink together. Remove from the heat and put spinach in a colander to let any further water drip off and to cool it.
Cut the Gorgonzola into smaller pieces.
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Wipe down the pan you used to shrink the spinach and reheat on medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put in the chopped shallot, the mushrooms and the garlic if using, stir-fry for 4 minutes lowering the heat so that it doesn’t burn. Squeeze the spinach one last time to remove any excess water, roughly chop it and put it in the pan. Add the Arrabiata mix. Stir the mixture carefully to blend and remove from the heat.
Roll out the dough on baking paper to the size of a baking sheet – use some flour if needed. Place the spinach mixture on the dough carefully making an even mound of it on one end of the long side of the baking sheet. Leave a spinach free rim of dough on either end of the mound. The spinach will still be warm and will make the dough soft so you need to be fast and careful.
Distribute the chunks of Gorgonzola along the spinach and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Now roll up the strudel carefully. Start by folding in the short sides and then rolling up the long way. Use the baking paper and a dough scraper for help. The dough will be soft because the spinach is warm.
Turn the strudel over if necessary so the seam is on the bottom, and the strudel in the middle of the baking sheet on the baking paper. Cut two small slit in the top to release steam or make 2 holes and decorate them with pastry cut-outs. Brush the roll with egg wash and bake for 35 minutes until the pastry is done and golden brown.
Serve in slices – use a bread knife to cut the slices – with a dollop of yoghurt and enjoy!
Interview to get to know Karin more…
Where are you from?
K: I am orginally from the United States I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in New England and in France living with my French Grandmother outside of Paris.
Where do you live?
K: I live in Frankfurt am Main, Germany since 1984 and have lived in Germany since 1977. I really like living in Frankfurt but hope to retire to the United States some day.
What is the name of your blog?
K: Yum and More.
How long have you been blogging?
K: Since September 2010
When did you start cooking/baking?
K: As a child and for my family as a teen.
Who (where) did you learn cooking/baking from?
K: From my Grandmother, my mother and from my own curiousity.
What is your signature dish?
K: My “Leaning Towers of Peaches and Tomatoes”. My lasagna is the most asked for but it is not my personal favorite although delicious. My best dishes definitely contain lemon, tarragon or cilantro, mustard and vinegar and are composed salads or veal dishes such as “blanquette de veau”, my sauces are pretty awesome too.
What is your favorite vegetarian/vegan meal?
K: This strudel or something with fresh peas. I detest green beans!
Where do you get inspiration from?
K: Everywhere! The market, my travels, magazines, blogs, cookbooks…. I soak up inspiration through my eyes and it goes straight to my taste buds and my food inspiration memory.
What was the most memorable food you have eaten during your travels?
K: Definitely whole crab in thick curry sauce on Lankayan Island in Malaysia. I also found Singapore to be an amazing city for food inspiration.
Name three things you always have in your fridge!
K: Mustard, cheese, fresh herbs
Is there a food that always reminds you of home?
K: Lobster, clams, steak and cheesecake
What would people be surprised to find in your kitchen? Is there anything you want to share?
K: I have 30 types of mustard and 15 types of vinegar. I prefer cooking with gas to induction and I love my built-in steamer. My kitchen would not be complete without the frog picture.