Recipe by pattikay in L.A.
From The New Vegitarian Epicure. This is named for the shape the pastry takes after folding it over and sealing it - it's shaped kind of like an alligator's head. If you want, you can make eye and nose holes to make it look like an alligator - I've never done that, but I might some day. You may want to add extra feta and kalamata olives for extra flavor. Prep time includes dough rising time.
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2⁄3 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 -2 cup chopped onion (I used the lesser amount)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large leek, chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 3⁄4 cup sliced scallion
- 1 lb fresh spinach (washed and chopped, I used frozen, thawed and pressed dry)
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons uncooked rice
- 1⁄4 cup sliced kalamata olive
- black pepper
- salt, if needed
Directions See How It's Made
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and leave it a few minutes, till it starts to bubble and foam.
- Measure 2 3/4 cups flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt.
- Beat together the egg, milk and olive oil; stir in the yeast mixture and then mix the liquid into the flour. Stir till it forms a dough.
- When the stirring gets tough, spread the remaining flour on a board and turn the dough out on it. Knead it gently, turning often at first to keep it coated with flour, till it is smooth and becoming elastic.
- Form the dough into a ball and put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or till doubled.
- While it rises, make the filling:.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet and saute the chopped onions, garlic and leek in it till the vegetables are soft and beginning to color.
- Add the scallions, chopped spinach and potatoes and toss everything together till the spinach wilts.
- Cover and keep cooking on low heat for about 10 minutes, or till potatoes are tender.
- Uncover, raise the heat, and stir occasionally for a few minutes more, till excess moisture completely cooks away.
- Stir in the dill and cider vinegar and remove from heat.
- Break eggs into a bowl, reserving 1 yolk to use for a glaze. Beat the eggs with the milk. Crumble the feta cheese.
- Transfer the hot vegetable mixture into a cool bowl, and stir in the feta cheese, the uncooked rice and the sliced olives. Season with black pepper. Taste and add salt only if needed (the cheese and olives may be saltly enough).
- Stir in beaten eggs and milk. Let the prepared filling sit for about 15 minutes, to allow rice and potatoes to soak up some moisture.
- Punch down dough and divide it in half. On a large, floured surface, pat one half of the dough into a rectangle, then gently roll it, turning it over and dusting with more flour to keep it from sticking, till you have an oval about 24 inches long and 8-10 inches across.
- Fold the dough in half cross wise and lay it down on a greased baking sheet. Unfold it and spoon half the filling down the middle, from the fold line to within an inch of the end.
- Beat the reserved egg yolk with a spoonful of water and brush the edges of the dough with it. fold the other half of the dough over again, laying it evenly on top of the filling and pressing the edges together lightly. Then fold the edges up from underneath, curling the bottom crust over the edge of the top crust, and crimping or pleating it. Pierce the dough here and there with a fork.
- Roll out the second half of the dough and fill and seal as with the first half.
- Bake the alligators at 350 for about 30-45 minutes (depending on your oven). Cool slightly before slicing.