06 September 2010

Artichoke and Red Pepper Bites

Don't you love going to a good cocktail party where the nibbles rival the drinks? I have to say ... having a small little evening thing where you don't have to put on the long dining table and time all the courses is a welcome change.

The thing is you have to have a few (or in our case, several) stellar recipes for finger food. Those little bites of savories, cheeses, warm nibbles, and dips make for satisfied guests and safeguard everyone from too many cocktails and not enough food to soak them up. Hence, I tend to look for and set aside plenty of finger food and appetizer recipes so that I can lay out a 'groaning board' of snacks when we spring for a cocktail party. We've been thinking about having a fun little thing in October, so recipes have been on my mind.

Which leads me to today's post ...

I went to the antique stores and consignment shops yesterday,  looking for treasures. I ended up coming home with a lovely little Japanese tea set, a cast iron saute pan, and a little cookbook published by The Afternoon Tea Society of Leesburg, Virginia .... and a couple surpises for my daughters (which will remain surprises!). Now, in this little cookbook, I found a recipe that I think will be added to that trove of cocktail party offerings.

For your inspection ... Artichoke and Red Pepper Bites! This recipe is written as a small egg-based square. I, however, love the idea of small phyllo dough cups filled with the egg-y savory mixture. The recipe ingredients are listed just as published by the ladies of the tea society. To make my version, simply line mini-muffin tins with phyllo dough squares (or buy the pre-made tartlet cups) and bake the cups, then fill them with the egg mix and finish baking. I did revise the recipe to reflect that option.

Artichoke and Red Pepper Bites - printer friendly
The Afternoon Tea Society’s
Artichoke and Red Pepper Bites


¾ c. oil- marinated artichoke hearts
¾ c. roasted red pepper
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs
4 c. grated Cheddar cheese
¼ c. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
dash hot pepper sauce
ground black pepper
package phyllo dough

Making the Bites:

1. Lay three sheets of phyllo dough on a cool flat surface and cut into 3-inch squares.

2. Gently place the phyllo dough into the mini-muffin pans and bake for 5 minutes at 400 ° F.

3. Remove when they begin to turn golden and set aside to cool..

4. Drain the marinated artichokes well, and reserve 2 tbsp. of the oil. Finely chop the artichokes and place in a small bowl.

5. Drain prepared roasted red peppers well and finely chop. Add to the bowl of artichokes.

6. In a sauté pan, cook the chopped onion and minced garlic in the reserved artichoke oil.

7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until lemon-yellow. Add the sautéed onion and garlic, the artichokes and red pepper, the bread crumbs, parsley, and cheese and hot pepper sauce and black pepper.

8. Turn into a lightly greased  8 x 8 inch pan or into the phyllo shells and bake in a 350° F for 30 minutes ( pan) / 15-20 minutes (shells). Cool slightly before serving.

9. Cut pan bites into small squares and plate or place shells on a cool platter.

Makes: 60 bites or 30 + phyllo cups

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