Snappy Apps

I love to have people over, and to cook, and to host any kind of party! People are always telling me that I am a great cook, but really I have everyone fooled. Most of the things I serve are so easy it should be a crime but the result seems like I really put a lot of effort into it. I thought I would share a few of my favorite hor d'eouvres that work great for a crowd. They are are inexpensive, easy and quick! If you have any of your own - please share!

Stuffed Mushroom Caps
2 boxes Baby Bella Mushrooms, washed and stems removed
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 sour cream
1 Tbl mayo
1 can of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
( you can also add crab meat to this and it's delicious!)

Grease a baking sheet and spread out caps so that they are not touching. Mix remaining ingredients together and stuff each cap with a heaping spoonful. I top with a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly ground pepper and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked.

Mini Brie en Croute
1 package frozen mini phyllo shells
1 small round of brie, room temperature
1/2 cup jam or jelly (I like raspberry preserves or orange marmalade)

Place mini phyllo shells on a greases baking tray. Put a small chunk of brie in each shell and a small spoonful of jam on top of that. Cook according to the phyllo directions, but usual 3-5 minutes at 350.

Bruschetta Cups
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 medium yellow tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 onion minced
1/2 Tbl minced garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl basil, cut into ribbons
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Melted Butter
1 package frozen phyllo sheets, thawed

In a large skillet heat about a tablespoon of EVOO over medium and add onions with a little salt & pepper. Saute until onions are soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes), then add garlic and saute for another 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Then add all of your tomatoes and the vinegar and stir to incorporate. Let this mixture saute over medium low while you prepare the cups.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo down on a work surface. Brush with melted butter and lay the next sheet down on top of the first. Repeat until you have 5 layers and do not butter the top of the last layer. Cut the sheets into 6 sections. Repeat with more phyllo sheets until you have enough squares for your entire muffin tin(s). Pick up each section and stuff into a greased mini-muffin tin. You may have to trim the sections down, you want the pastry to stick up out of the muffin tin but not be so big that it flops over to the other cups.

Drain the tomato mixture and spoon into each cup. Bake according to the phyllo instructions, usually about 10 minutes on 350. Once the phyllo is browned, remove cups and top with shaved parmesan & basil.

I hope that you enjoy these tasty little treats but,  if all else fails, put some Cheese whiz on a Ritz cracker and call it a day!

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