Kreatopita – meat and leek pie

KreatopitaKreatopita – meat pie [or more correctly, Kreatoprasopita – meat and leek pie] is what my Mother made to celebrate the New Year. She would hide a coin in one of the corners of the crust for one of her 4 children. The child that chose the piece with the coin was said to have good luck in the coming New Year.  Kreatopita ingredients
Ingredients: ground beef [or lamb], leeks, eggs, butter and phyllo…oregano & basil
…salt, pepper, oregano and basil.

leeks and butter
Sauté the washed and finely cut leeks in butter. Melt butter for phyllo.

ground beefIn a separate pan, brown the ground meat. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Set aside to cool.

golden leeksSauté leeks until wilted and golden. Set aside to cool.

While leeks and meat are cooling, place 10 individually buttered phyllo pastry sheets on the bottom of a baking pan. Butter each one of the phyllo sheets with a pastry brush. Be gentle, but know that the phyllo is forgiving. Similar to papier-mâché or wallpaper. Have courage! Work fast. Don’t let it dry out.
Kontos phyllo comes in different thickness:
#4 = thin and pliable – ideal for panned pastries and small hors d’oeuvres
#5 = thin and crispy – for wrapped triangles or baklava
#7 = thicker but flexible – for large entrées or desserts
#10 = thickest – more rustic for country style pies and spanakopita

If you are very brave you can make phyllo from scratch. See Chef Diane Kochilas’ Greek Food TV – Classic Greek Phyllo Dough.

meat leek egg mixtureCombine cooled leeks and ground meat with eggs. Pour meat, leek and egg mixture into the phyllo.

phyllo layersTop with 10 individually buttered phyllo pastry sheets. Remember to score/cut the phyllo into desired pieces with a sharp knife before baking [because I forgot]. Bake at 350 degree F for 30 minutes.


Maybe a bit too flaky and broken apart on top [because I didn’t score it] but still delicious!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Kreatopita - meat and leek pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kreatopita / Kreatoprasopita Meat & Leek Pie with phyllo dough
Recipe type: Savory
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 16
  • 4 cups of finely sliced leeks
  • ½ cup of butter of butter melted
  • ¼ butter for sauté
  • 1 lb. ground beef or lamb
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ lb. phyllo pastry sheets - approx 20 sheets per box
  • Dried oregano and basil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Sauté the washed and finely cut leeks in butter until wilted and golden.
  2. Salt and pepper leeks.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a separate pan, brown the ground meat.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Combine leeks and ground meat with eggs.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Place 10 individually buttered pastry sheets on the bottom of a baking pan.
  10. Pour meat, leek and egg mixture into the phyllo.
  11. Top with 10 individually buttered pastry sheets.
  12. Score/cut the phyllo into desired pieces with a sharp knife before baking.
  13. Bake at 350 degree F for 30 minutes.


Catalan Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon Thyme & Pears

Roasted Chicken w Cinnamon Thyme Pears plated with QuinoaWe’re not cooking Greek. This time it’s Spanish. Here’s my recipe for Catalan Roasted Chicken with onions, carrots, cinnamon, thyme, pears, orange juice and zest, raisins and dried cranberries. I adapted this recipe from one in Sur La Table’s** cooking class, “Date Night: Tapas Party. I served it with quinoa. There’s a printable recipe at the end of this post. Be sure to check it for coupons.

1 IngredientsIngredients: Chicken thighs, salt and pepper, olive oil, onion, carrots, cinnamon stick, thyme, chicken stock, garlic, pears, raisins, dried cranberries, orange juice & zest.

2 Searing the chicken

Chicken thighs seared until golden brown in olive oil and a little butter.

3 Chicken in oven dish

Golden brown chicken in ovenproof dish set aside. 1/4 cup of pan liquid reserved.

4 Onions carrots cook until soft

Onions, garlic and carrots cooked until soft.

5 Stock mixture over chicken

Stock added and mixture poured over chicken – ready for the oven.

6 Pears browning cut side down

Pears frying cut side down, until just slightly brown. Combined fruit mixture.

7 raisins cranberries zest juice & reserve liquid

Fruit mixture with juice, zest and reserved pan liquid and browned pears.
I used orange zest strips for a more rustic look or you can zest with a microplane.

8 Baked chicken after 20 minutes

Chicken after 20 minutes in 350° oven

9 Adding fruit to baked chicken

Pears and fruit mixture added

Roasted Chicken w Cinnamon Thyme Pears

Finished after baking another 15 minutes in 350° oven.

Catalan Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon Thyme & Pears
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Roasted Chicken with cinnamon, thyme & pears recipe is a Catalan specialty of poultry and fruit, traditionally served with duck.
Recipe type: Savory
Cuisine: Spanish / Catalan
Serves: 4
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 TBLS olive oil
  • 3 TSP butter
  • 1 medium onion, cut into fine slices
  • 2 mediums carrots, cut into ½ inch long slices or 2 cups mini carrots
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 TSP thyme
  • 1½ cups of chicken stock
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 firm ripe pears, cored and quartered
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 TBLS orange zest
  • 4 TBLS orange juice
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper then set aside
  2. Place large heavy bottom saucepan over medium high heat
  3. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan
  4. Add 2 TSP butter
  5. Sear chicken until golden brown about 5 minutes per side
  6. Place chicken in ovenproof dish and set aside
  7. Remove drippings/fat/oil from pan and reserve ¼ cup of pan liquid
  8. Set pan liquid aside
  9. Return pan to heat
  10. When pan is hot, add onions, garlic and carrots
  11. Season with salt and pepper
  12. Cook until soft about 5 minutes
  13. Add cinnamon stick, thyme and stock
  14. Increase heat and bring to a boil
  15. Pour the rest of the stock mixture over the chicken in ovenproof dish
  16. Bake covered for approximately 20 minutes
  17. While chicken is baking, combine raisins, dried cranberries, orange zest, juice and reserve liquid and set aside
  18. Add remaining olive oil and butter to pan until it just starts to simmer
  19. Add the pears, cut side down, until they start to brown
  20. Add fruit mixture to chicken
  21. Place browned pears, cut side up around the chicken
  22. Return to oven and bake uncovered until pears are tender, about 15 minutes

** ICYMI I work at Sur La Table Cooking School.

My 1st Cheese Souffle

Today I made my first Cheese Souffle. It was a recipe adapted from Julia Child’s by Sur la table. At the Cooking School** the students make small individual souffles.

Cheese Souffle

Here’s my baked souffle. It would have risen higher if I used a smaller baking dish.

Souffle step 1

It’s important to get all your ingredients ready before you start any of the cooking. Here is the melted butter before I added the flour, hot milk, seasonings and the prepared baking dish.

Souffle step 2

Separated eggs and cheese at the ready.

Souffle step 3

The finished béchamel slightly tinted by the paprika…

Souffle step 4

The whipped egg whites… should have kept whisking a bit longer for stiffer peaks.

Souffle step 5

The egg whites and cheese mixed into the béchamel

Souffle step 6

The mixture poured into the prepared baking dish ready for the oven. Unfortunately, too big of a dish.

My 1st Cheese Souffle
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Julia Child's cheese souffle recipe adapted by Sur la table.
Recipe type: savory
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2½ tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F
  2. Set rack on the lower ⅓ level
  3. Measure out all ingredients
  4. Butter a 7½ inch diameter x 3 inch deep baking dish
  5. Roll the grated cheese in the buttered baking dish
  6. Melt butter in 2½ quart saucepan
  7. Stir in flour until smooth about 2 minutes
  8. Let cool for a moment
  9. Pour in hot milk
  10. Whisk vigorously to blend
  11. Return pan to heat
  12. Stir with wooden spoon
  13. Boil slowly for 3 minutes until sauce is very thick
  14. Whisk in seasonings
  15. Remove from heat
  16. Whisk in 4 egg yolks one at a time
  17. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks
  18. Scoop a quarter of the egg whites into the sauce
  19. Stir them in with a wooden spoon
  20. Add some of the remaining egg whites
  21. Rapidly but delicately fold egg whites in with a spatula alternating egg whites with some of the grated cheese until all are incorporated
  22. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F
  23. Put mixture into prepared baking dish
  24. Bake until the souffle has puffed 2 to 3 inches and the top has browned
  25. Bring to table as soon as it is done

You can see in this how-to video, Jacques Pepin and Julia Child making a souffle.  There are some commercials in the middle but keep watching. It’s much easier with 2 people/4 hands. Pepin is such a Master. I now know I used too big of a baking dish and didn’t have stiff enough egg white peaks. Next time I will also use a “collar”. I need some copper pans. All in all, not bad for a Greek Gal’s first try at a French Cheese Souffle.

** ICYMI I work at Sur la table Cooking School.