Home Cooking

Easy Appetizer Bites Two Ways – Mushrooms & Spanakopita Recipes

January 25 2012 - 10:30 AM

App_bitesI've always thought that homemade anything tastes better, and I can usually feel better about eating something when I know exactly what's in it. Appetizers are easy enough to grab from the freezer aisle. Resist the urge. For your next Superbowl party, holiday gathering or dinner party, try your hand at this simple concept. Buy some frozen puff pastry dough, arm yourself with a few mini muffin tins, and you're ready to go. 

I made a mushroom and caramelized onion version as well as spanikopita. Spanikopita can be a pain to perfectly fold in phyllo dough, so this method was much easier. These don't need to follow an exact recipe and can really follow your personal taste. With these proportions, I used all of my puff pastry and nearly all of my filling. 

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Appetizer Bites

1 8 oz. package crimini mushrooms
1 small yellow onion
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
About 3/4 cup fresh, grated parmesan cheese (I used the asiago-parmesan blend from Trader Joe's)
Salt and pepper to taste
Puff pastry sheets (Defrost for 20 minutes before using)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Finely dice your mushrooms and onions. In a small pan, heat your olive oil and add onions. When they have slightly browned, add the vinegar and sugar until they are evenly coated and caramelized. 
  2. In a separate, larger pan, saute your mushrooms in butter until they are soft. It is very important that you use butter instead of oil to create a richness in the sauce. 
  3. Stir together mushrooms and onions, folding in the cheese. Add salt and pepper. 
  4. Cut your defrosted puff pastry into even, small squares. Spray muffin tin well, and push puff pastry into each one so that some of the dough is hanging over the top. Fill with mushroom mixture to the top. 
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is browned. If you are making these to serve later, undercook them a bit, so that they are very slightly browned and will not burn when they are reheated. 

 

Spanikopita Appetizer Bites

1 8 oz. bag of frozen spinach
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (seasoned or unseasoned is fine)
1 small lemon
1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (may omit)
Puff pastry sheets (Defrost for 20 minutes before using)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice onion finely and saute in a large pan in olive oil until lightly browned. Add in frozen spinach and continue to cook until it has thawed. 
  2. Stir in feta, garlic, Sriracha and juice your lemon on top. Salt is not necessary because of the saltiness of the cheese. 
  3. Cut puff pastry sheet into evenly sized squares. Spray mini muffin pan well, and put in puff pastry so that a bit hangs over the top. Fill with spinach mixture. 
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is browned. If you are making these to serve later, undercook them a bit, so that they are very slightly browned and will not burn when they are reheated. 

 If you only want to make one recipe, feel free to double it and use all of the puff pastry. These were a huge hit at my New Years' party. Just make sure if you somehow have any leftovers that you reheat them in your oven in your oven or toaster oven so they maintain their crispiness. 

–Marly Schuman

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