I think I set myself up for a failure. What came out of the oven was so at odds with what I imagined it should be that I couldn't help be be disappointed. It was too rich and homogeneous. To me, it felt kind of like eating a big block of cream cheese. After a few forkfuls, I was done.
I picked the recipe because it came from Jim Botsacos’s The New Greek Cuisine. Every other recipe I've tried from him has been right on. And I loved how the recipe looked. The leeks and feta cheese were paired with thick Greek yogurt and freshly chopped dill. This combination couldn't possibly fail.
What I had wanted was something savory and eggy, kind of like a Spanish tortilla. You know, the ones from which you could snatch off a slice or two for dinner, and then set aside the rest for some other time. I apparently don't have the mind of a baker, or at least not yet. As soon as I closed that oven door I realized I was at the mercy of the baking gods—and we don't have a very good working relationship. I'm pretty good at imagining how a recipe will turn out if I cook it in a pan. But I'm useless at baking right now. I should look into that.
That said, my wife loved it and thought it was perfect little side dish for a crisp salad. And that's probably where I went wrong. I probably would have liked this had I just been given a slice.
Leek and Cheese Pie
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced and washed
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 3 large eggs
- 7 ounces greek yogurt
- 11 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the leeks, and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until very soft. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, turn off the heat, and set aside to cool.
Rub the butter on a 10-inch cake pan.
Add the sifted flour and baking powder to a large bowl.
Whisk together the eggs and yogurt in another large bowl. Add the feta and dill and fold in. Then whisk in the flour and baking powder. Finally, fold in the cooled onion and leek mixture. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Pour into the baking pan, and set in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Turn the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the pan and let cool for 10 minutes. Then dig in.