Posts Tagged 'appetizers'

Phyllo Cups with Chicken Salad


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.



Pimento Cheese Tartlets with Pepper Jelly and Crispy Bacon

Ok!  These cute little tartlets may be these easiest appetizers ever!

The secret is using store-bought ingredients to help you take the stress out of entertaining.

This simple appetizer was inspired by a amuse buche I had at one of my favorite restaurants … Felicia Suzanne’s in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.  Chef Felicia Willett not only makes her own signature pimento cheese using Tennessee sharp cheddar, but she also makes her own Five Pepper Jelly from peppers she procured at the local Farmers Market. Even her tartlet shells are made from scratch using locally sourced cornmeal.  It is a heavenly little bite of all things Southern.

Recently, I decided to have friends over for cocktails before dinner at the last minute.  I made an emergency run to the grocery store to see what munchies I could whip up … and I remembered the little bites of goodness I had enjoyed from Felicia. My local grocery had all the ingredients I needed to quickly pull this appetizer together.  The only cooking that would be needed was to fry up some bacon … the rest would be just assembly.

It took me minutes to assemble these little tartlets … and even less time for them to be devoured by my friends!  They were the easiest to prepare item on my menu … and probably the most popular.

Hope your friends enjoy them as much as mine did!


Pimento Cheese Tartlets

1 cup pimento cheese (store-bought or homemade)
16 dozen mini tart shells (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup pepper jelly
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

Spoon pimento cheese into the tart shell. Top with a dollop of pepper jelly and crumbled bacon.

Makes 16 bite-size tarts.


Jennifer Chandler

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