Thursday 24 May 2012

Dark arts and academic publishing

Berg Design and Culture  Danielle Inga May 2012

Berg Design and Culture  Danielle Inga May 2012

Berg Design and Culture  Danielle Inga May 2012

The virtual world dominates.  3D has been seconded into another film format as opposed to how we experience the physical universe. Seeing your work in print is a moment to behold. As the hours, days and months spent writing, editing and re-editing to finally produce an article that fits the requirements of peer review and academia is laid bare before you, a nascent pleasure surfaces. The realisation that this physical artefact exists in a physical world - ensconced in libraries and academic institutions but in time scholars may happen upon it, read it, reference it. Your words and research may be included in the work of another  - in the bibliography, footnotes or endnotes perhaps, justified by the academic accreditation of being published but exist they do in the physical form of the journal.

Design and Culture

Friday 11 May 2012

Spinach Pie - a recipe for success

Spinach, ricotta, feta cheese filo pie

Spinach, ricotta, feta cheese filo pie

A few days in Cornwall is usually preceded by an attempt to consume all random ingredients in our tiny freezer in preparation for the dozen or so Cornish Pasties and various fillets of fish that will hot foot it home with us. Prawns are coerced into a spicy tuna and tomato sauce, a pot of veal ragu, left over from Arancini, makes a quick pasta sauce. But amongst the ingredients in need of consumption was a packet of filo pastry. I have memories of feta, spinach and filo pie and in all honesty they were slightly disappointing. Often too dry or too wet, too under seasoned or over salted. The results were not edifying enough to tempt me. But with a recent diagnosis of an iron deficiency and the desire to free up valuable space it seemed a good time to attempt my own version.

After scanning the net for various interpretations I plumped for with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Spanakopita. As this was an impromptu decision I didn't have the full range of ingredients and adapted it so the bias was with the cheese as opposed to the pastry - using the same quantities of cheese as Hugh but for half the amount spinach and pastry. I added chilli to give it another dimension and sesame seeds on top for added crunch and flavour.

Spinach Pie

700g fresh spinach - washed, wilted in a pan, well drained and cooled
1 bunch of spring onions finely chopped
1 pot of ricotta cheese
1 packet of feta cheese
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 small dried chillies
1 large egg lightly beaten
6 sheets of filo pastry

Heat the oven to 180C

Put the cooled spinach into a bowl with the spring onions, feta and ricotta.

Add the nutmeg and chilli - season to taste.
Stir gently until well combined, pour in the egg and stir again.

Brush a 30cm x 20cm x 5cm ovenproof dish with olive oil and lay in a sheet of filo lengthways
Brush with more oil and add another layer of pastry crossways. 
Repeat, brushing with oil between the layers. 

Spread the filling evenly over the filo, fold over the crossways layers, then any edges from the lengthways layers.  Brush the top with oil and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until until golden.