Showing posts with label filo cups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label filo cups. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Goblin Bites

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday . . . with Easter a close second.  As you might guess, my level of enthusiasm for a holiday was in direct proportion to the amount of chocolate involved.  I eagerly awaited Halloween night, crafting a clever costume, mapping out my strategy to collect the most candy in the least amount of time.

Once I hit my 30s, I found that people were less likely to give me candy when I knocked on their doors.  In addition, my metabolism slowed to the point that 4000 calories worth of candy was no longer a good idea.  Basically, the joy of trick-or-treating was gone.  Now, for me, the best part of Halloween is the glut of horror movies on TV during the month of October.

Halloween night itself is a waiting game:  me, in the living room, staring down a huge bowl of candy, waiting for the doorbell to ring.

My only salvation--what stands between me and a two pound bag of mini-Snickers--is having some enticing grown-up nibbles around.  They may not be healthy, per se, but they're better than a major chocolate binge.

Some of my favorite seasonal tidbits:  maple and ancho chili glazed pecans, sliced crisp apples drizzled with honey, spinach dip spiked with crunchy water chestnuts, and these little treats I have dubbed "goblin bites."  They offer a wonderful balance of spicy and sweet, crispy and creamy, all in one perfect mouthful.

(Don't be alarmed the idea of jalepeno jelly.  Just look for a "mild" variety.  The number one ingredient is apple juice . . . there's plenty of sweet to cut the heat.)

Goblin Bites

15 mini filo shells (in your grocery's freezer case)
1/4 pound of brie, rind removed
jar of mild jalepeno jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Cut the brie into 15 pieces.  Lay the filo cups out on the baking sheet.  Fill each with a piece of brie and 1/2 a tsp. of the jalepeno jelly.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Allow to cool a minute or two before serving.

(Note that this recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled . . . it makes a great part of a holiday spread.)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No Work Elegant Dessert

Once upon a time, I used to rent a beach house every summer with a big group of friends. What fun! Most of the time we ate out, but our beach of choice was Sandbridge, on the Virginia coast. Sandbridge has no condos, hotels, or high-rises. There's one restaurant/bar and one tiny store for essentials. Virginia Beach is about a twenty minute drive for those craving a boardwalk, bands, pier, restaurants, stores, and nightlife.

Sometimes, though, you just want to kick back and watch the sun set while you sip a frosty drink. July 4th is that kind of day. It's more fun to stay at the rental house and grill, especially if you're located so that you can see the fireworks! So that made me think about vacation house kitchens and the fact that they're often not very well equipped. Of course, it's vacation, so a store bought blueberry pie and ice cream might just do the trick. But when I saw these cute little pre-baked fillo dough cups in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, I thought they'd make a very elegant and almost effortless dessert.

I made a blueberry filling and a lemon filling. Quite honestly, though, you could fill the fillo shells with canned pie filling or your favorite lemon curd, which would really reduce the amount of cooking involved. How easy is that? No baking, oven, or pans required!

There are 15 little fillo cups in a package, so I made very small amounts of filling. There was just enough left over of each to lick the pan. If you only make one flavor, double the recipe.

Blueberry Filling

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed but not dried
1 tablespoon minute tapioca
1/4 cup sugar
splash of lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. At first it won't look like much is happening, but after a couple of minutes, the blueberries will turn very dark, the sugar will melt and it will all cook together. Stir constantly for about five minutes while it cooks (gentle boil). Set aside and let cool. Spoon into the fillo cups.

Lemon Filling

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons water
dash of salt

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Stir the cornstarch into the cold water to dissolve. Add to the sugar mixture and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. It should become thick and almost clear. Remove from heat.

Whisk the egg yolk with the lemon juice. Add to the mixture in the pot and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and letting it boil gently for one minute. Remove from heat. Spoon into the fillo cups while still warm.

Creme Fraiche Topping

1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
splash of vanilla

1/4 cup creme fraiche

Whip the cream, adding the sugar and vanilla. When it holds a soft peak, mix in the creme fraiche. Add a dollop on top of the filling of each filo cup. If you're at home, you can take the time to pipe it on, but be sure to let a little bit of the bright lemon and blueberry colors show on the sides. In the photo below, I used dollops on two and piped the others.

From everyone at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen --

have a safe and happy 4th of July!

The day are ticking down to enter Avery's
"You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

The first book in Avery Aames's A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6! To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6: You be the sleuth!

Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page. Here is the link to Avery’s website to help get you started. Good luck!