The point of having a party is getting to spend time with your friends … not be slaving away in the kitchen. Your guests will appreciate all the time you spend preparing for their arrival … but I can guarantee that they will appreciate spending time with you more.
When designing a menu, always look for items that can be prepared ahead of time. And remember, just because a dish can be prepared in advance, doesn’t mean it can’t be impressive.
Phyllo cups can help make a simple dish look extraordinary on your table.
What is phyllo you may ask? It is the flaky, paper-like dough most of know from baklava. Phyllo is very easy to work with and can be found in the frozen food section of most supermarkets.
The phyllo cups in this recipe can be made up to a day in advance. Just store them at room temperature until ready to use.
You can fill your phyllo cups with just about anything. Chicken salad, crab salad, shrimp salad … even chocolate ganache … are tasty options.
To take the stress out of entertaining, I usually just pick up my favorite chicken salad from a local cafe. (I normally use the Curried Walnut Chicken Salad from Cheffie’s Cafe.) I assemble the appetizers a couple of hours before serving (stored in the refrigerator of course to keep the salads fresh) and my work is done. It’s a bite-size treat that is infinitely easier than it looks.
Phyllo Cups stuffed with Chicken Salad
2 cups chicken salad (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 sheets frozen phyllo dough (9”x14”), thawed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Lightly brush mini-muffin pans with butter-oil mixture.
Layer 5 phyllo sheets, brushing each with the butter-oil mixture. Cut four, 4-inch squares from phyllo stack. Place phyllo squares in the pan. Carefully push phyllo into pan, leaving the points sticking up. Repeat process to make 24 shells.
Bake empty phyllo shells in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove shells from pans.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into each shell.
Makes 24 appetizer portions.