It's not the Pillsbury Bake-off

(which I've failed to crack altogether)

...but I'm honored to have made it into the "recipes that were in the running throughout the narrowing-down" category at Pioneer Womans Dairy Recipe Contest.

She said, "Probably one of the best recipes entered, as yogurt is used in both the dough and the filling. I love the looks of this one." High praise in my book!

I had a feeling I'd hit on something that would appeal to her--an unusual (to me), but easy dough that only requires your flour/meal (you could substitute whole wheat flour for the corn meal I chose) and yogurt, and a yummy, savory filling that takes the best of Spinach Artichoke dip and ups the healthy quotient by using yogurt in place of cream cheese or mayo.

So if you don't want to go in search of recipe #2063 on her site, here it is:

Spinach-artichoke Pick-ups

Who knew that yogurt added to flour makes a tender, soft dough? Double-dipping isn't an issue when you wrap a cheesy, savory spinach-artichoke filling in a nearly fat-free corn pastry.

2 1/2 cups white flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) plain yogurt
dash salt

1 shallot, minced (1/4 white onion will work)
1 clove garlic, crushed (use 2 or 3 if you've done roasted garlic, see PW's instructions 5/08)
6 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed according to directions (canned would probably work too, drained)
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze extra moisture out with paper towels)
A couple shakes of Worchestershire sauce, to taste
4 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese or Colby Jack cheese
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt

Additional yogurt for brushing tops of pastry
Additional grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling over top.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix flour, corn meal and salt together with fork. Add yogurt, blend well. Dough should come together in loose ball. Break off small pieces of dough and roll into golf-ball sized balls. Cover with towel or waxed paper and set aside.

Into bowl of food processor, put shallot, garlic, artichoke hearts and spinach. Pulse until well mixed and finely chopped, but not pureed (there should be some small chunks of artichoke and spinach remaining).

Add mixture to small bowl containing Monterey Jack and parmesan cheeses. Stir together. Add several shakes of Worchestershire sauce to yogurt, mix well. Add yogurt mixture to spinach/artichoke/cheese mixture and stir until well blended.

Flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll pastry balls into approx. 4 inch circles. (Roll dough thin, but not so thin that there are weak spots or breaks.) Place approx 2 teaspoons of filling in center of circle. Fold over to make half moon. Seal by pressing edges with fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush tops with yogurt and sprinkle with finely grated parmesan cheese. (You can pretty up the edges of your pastry by trimming with a knife, if desired.)

Place on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes, until pastry is lightly golden and edges are crisp. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a minute before removing to serving tray. Makes about 18 pick-ups.

Note: This is a really forgiving recipe; the filling can be adjusted to include mushrooms, red bell pepper, jalapenos, etc as desired. For a little more texture, pastry can be rolled on surface dusted with corn meal rather than flour. These could also be fried if you're really looking for a crisp texture for the crust.

I think I'll be experimenting a lot with this one; by changing the fillings and cutting the dough into large squares, I think I can get healthy, cheaper versions of Hot Pockets, calzones, etc. The dough is very soft and sticky, but if you flour your surface well enough it's really very easy to work with.

PS--If you roll the dough out thin, cut it into small squares, brush with yogurt and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt, you get a healthy, homemade cracker! How cool is that?! (I'm going to try that with whole wheat flour or even ground flaxseed in place of the cornmeal I used in this version.)

If you give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think!


MrsProverbs31 said...

How I wish I have to time to try your recipe. I have so many deadlines to meet but I just may try because I like challenges and following recipes is definitely my challenge.

I just want to say, I followed you here from Renee's. Your comment struck me: My summer has definitely been a wash-out,too. But, I can't wait til the children returns to school. I can get more done while they're gone.

Anonymous said...

WOOT! congratulations!!

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