Saturday, October 8, 2011

Easy Appetizer: Fall Phyllo Cups [Zack]

Many people feel a twinge of panic when they are invited to a dinner party and are asked to bring a simple appetizer.  I’m included in this group.  It’s difficult to come up with a creative appetizer that doesn’t take a lot of time to make.  You also don’t want to take over your host's whole kitchen and make a huge mess.  Luckily, almost every grocery store has phyllo cups in their freezer aisle.  You can fill these suckers with anything and bake them, and you will always receive compliments.  And a major upside is that since they are pre-formed, you don’t have to work with the notoriously finicky phyllo sheets yourself.


Defrost your phyllo cups and pre-heat your oven to 200 C / 400 F.  The temperature isn’t very important – you just want to heat it through and melt the cheese, There is plenty of flexibility on the oven temp if you watch them.

Dice ½ of an onion and place in a frying pan on low heat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Add 1 T of olive oil and cook slowly until caramelized.  Stir every few minutes and add 1 T of water if you think it needs to cook down more without browning first.  It should take about 20 minutes, so you can do other things while they are cooking.  If you are inclined to have the onions sweet, don’t add sugar until they are finished cooking.  You’d be surprised by how sweet they taste when they are a nice golden brown. 

Dice an apple into ¼ inch dice.  Add these to the pan once your onions get pretty close to being finished to soften them up.  Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Take the phyllo cups out and place them on a baking sheet or in a mini-muffin tin.  The mini-muffin pan really helps keep things in place.  Place the apples and onions into the phyllo cup and top with the brie cheese.  You can cover with plastic wrap and finish doing your hair for the party now.

Bake until the cheese is melty in your host’s oven – don’t be picky about the temperature, just toss it in there with whatever else is cooking. 

Top with honey and a few leaves of thyme and serve.

makes ~24 cups
24 phyllo cups (haha obvi)
1 diced apple any is fine
1 diced onion, caramelized
brie cheese
sprig of thyme

These little cups are perfect vehicles for your creativity:

  • goat cheese, bacon, peaches or pears
  • minced steak, red onions, parmesan cheese
  • ground beef, taco seasoning, hot sauce, queso fresco
  • pesto, chicken, buffalo motz
  • diced shrimp, bacon, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese
  • scallops, curry powder, cream cheese, chives
  • etc.
Song to jam to - Jamiroquai – Spend a Lifetime (this will relax you!)

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