Monthly Mystery Munchies: Appetizers in Dough

It’s the second installment of my and Ann from Grubbs n Critters‘ Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge and this month was her turn to choose, which she did well. The theme is appetizers using dough and, admittedly, this pushed me out of my comfort zone but it was a welcome challenge because I always enjoy creating new recipes and working with ingredients that I don’t use in everyday cooking. It’s exciting, it’s challenging and it’s interesting. Do yourself a favour and check out Ann’s recipe – not only is her dough homemade but she used curried potatoes! I think we have a winner!

Bundles and foldovers 1I created three appetizers using phyllo pastry and, well, they didn’t last long! Listen, give me crispy, creamy, buttery pastry any day! The first one is fried mixed mushrooms and garlic with mozzarella. I used white button mushrooms but added portabellini mushrooms to add some extra flavour. I used fresh garlic cloves and fried up the lot, added mozzarella and baked for 15 minutes. Oh. Yum! The second one is blue cheese and honey. You make the phyllo the exact same way but substitute the ingredients with blue cheese and honey. This, it must be said, was The Husband’s suggestion. I personally do not have an affinity for blue cheese, I just can’t, but he does and I decided to oblige. Scored major points! Note that for the bundles, you can use butcher’s twine (kitchen string) to tie them into parcels. I did it both ways. The third one is salami and cream cheese foldovers with Italian parsley. The reason I used Italian instead of regular is because it has a stronger flavour. You can also do this dish the same as the above bundles but I made foldovers to add variety and they’re easier to chomp on. Also, bear in mind you can double or even triple all of these recipes – I made four of each simply because I was testing them and it was just The Husband and I, but if you’re having a large dinner party or catering for several people, you can adjust these recipes to as many as you need. Here we go…

Mushroom, Garlic and Mozzarella Phyllo Bundles:

Mushroom bundles in phyllo ingredients4 sheets phyllo pastry
6 portabellini mushrooms
6 white button mushrooms
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
80g grated mozzarella
¼ cup melted butter plus 2 tablespoons
Pepper for seasoning

 

 

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 2 1Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Thinly slice the mushrooms and garlic and fry in 1 tablespoon of butter on medium-low for ± 10 minutes, until soft and cooked. Season with pepper.

Melt the butter and drizzle 1 tablespoon over one sheet of phyllo. Paint the butter, spreading across the entire sheet, lay another piece of phyllo on top of the first piece and repeat these steps until you have four layers of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, slice the layered phyllo into four squares. Spoon one quarter of the mushrooms into the centre of each square and top with grated mozzarella.

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 3 1Bunch up into a ‘bundle’ – at this stage you can either pinch it at the neck or tie with kitchen string. Paint the last of the butter over the bundles, place them in a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

 

 

 

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 5 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Cheese and Honey:

4 sheets phyllo pastry
4 tablespoons blue cheese
4 teaspoons honey
¼ cup melted butter plus 1 tablespoon

Follow the same steps as the mushroom bundles but use the above ingredients instead.

Salami, Cream Cheese and Italian Parsley Foldovers:

Salami cream cheese foldovers ingredients4 sheets phyllo pastry
4 slices salami, sliced up
4 tablespoons cream cheese
Italian parsley
5 tablespoons (70g) butter

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Melt the butter and drizzle 1 tablespoon over one sheet of phyllo. Paint the butter, spreading across the entire sheet, lay another piece of phyllo on top of the first piece and repeat these steps until you have four layers of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, slice the layered phyllo into four squares.

Salami cream cheese foldovers 6 1Place one tablespoon of cream cheese into the bottom righthand corner of each square and top with a quarter of the sliced up salami. Place four leaves of the parsley on top of the salami.

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 7 2Now, fold down the top of the square until it meets the ingredients.

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 3 2Fold the bottom right corner upwards into a triangle shape.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 4 2Fold over again (to the left).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 5 2Tuck the last piece underneath.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 10Paint the foldovers with the remaining butter, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Ann, for this lovely idea! I had so much fun! Here’s to next month!

 

 

 

 

 

Crustless Mini Quiches with Caramelized Onions and Brie

There are few things I love more than cheese. Not many, but a few. The Husband, the cat, shows about people who are ardently readying themselves for doomsday, dreaming I can fly (it only happened once but it was awesome) and, on that note, sleeping late. Actually, take the apocolypse show off the list. I definitely prefer cheese to watching people build underground bunkers in preparation for the inevitable alien invasion. If I were to do that, I know what I would take. Cheese. A lot of cheese. Probably not the best idea in the event of said aliens cutting all power, but you get the gist.

Brie is also known as “the King of Cheeses” and was believed to have been a tribute paid to French kings. I mean, if it’s good enough for royalty.

There are many ways to eat this cheese but this is by far my favourite. The sweetness of the caramelized onions perfectly compliments the gooey creaminess of the Brie. I use a medium (180ml/cup) muffin tray which gives me six mini quiches but you can use small pie dishes too.

Crustless Mini Quiches with Caramelized Onions and Brie

Servings: 6   Prep time: 5 minutes   Cooking time:  Caramelized onions 40 minutes + 25 – 30 minutes for quiches

Ingredients for mini caramelized and onon quiches

Ingredients for mini caramelized onion and Brie quiches

Ingredients:

  • 125g Brie cheese
  • 2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 250 ml cream
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick spray

Method:

Peel, halve and slice the onions. Don’t slice them too thinly, you don’t want them to burn. Usually for caramelizing you would slice the onion whole, however, the quiches are too small for this.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and butter, stirring to spread the butter.

Onions in olive oil and butter

Onions in olive oil and butter

Spread the onions evenly across the pan. Fry for 5 minutes on medium high, stirring to prevent onions from sticking, then turn the heat down to medium low and saute for another 10 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and salt and saute for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and spray non-stick spray in the muffin tray cups, making sure you cover the sides too.

Brie is too soft to grate so cut it into small pieces, keeping a quarter aside for the topping.

Cut the Brie into small pieces, keeping a quarter aside

Cut the Brie into small pieces, keeping a quarter aside

Whisk the eggs and yolks and add the cream, stirring until thoroughly combined. Add the onions and Brie to the egg and cream mixture, stir and pour into the muffin tray, filling each cup ⅔’s full.

Pour the mixture into a muffin tray, filling each cup by two-thirds

Pour the mixture into a muffin tray, filling each cup by two-thirds

Bake for 25 – 3o minutes until golden brown on top. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before gently lifting the quiches out of the muffin cups.

Caramelized onion and Brie quiches

Caramelized onion and Brie quiches

Brie onion 8 (2)

Individual ramekins also work very well

 

Crustless Mini Quiches with Bacon and Mushrooms

My mother-in-law, who is an incredible cook, gave me a recipe for crustless quiches. It’s the yummiest quiche recipe, and it’s quick and easy, and so convenient! You can serve them warm or cool, and make them ahead of time. With only 20 minutes prepping time and 15 minutes cooking time, it is the perfect recipe!

Crustless Mini Quiches with Bacon and Mushrooms

Servings: 6     Prep time: 20 minutes (inclusive of frying the bacon & mushrooms)    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g bacon, chopped
  • 250g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 250ml thick cream
  • 2 large eggs plus an additional 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cheddar, grated (or any cheese of your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (normal table salt will also do)
  • 1 tablespoon self-raising flour
  • non-stick spray

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In a large pan fry the bacon and mushrooms on a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.

Mix the eggs, egg yolks and cream together until the eggs and cream are  thoroughly combined.

Spray the muffin tray with non-stick spray. Sprinkle a little bit of self-raising flour over the bottom of each individual tray. Shake the tray well to ensure the flour lightly coats the sides as well. Add a little bit of cheese to the bottom of each tray then add some egg and cream mix to the bottom to lightly moisten the bottom.

Combine the bacon, mushrooms and cheese minus two tablespoons to the egg and cream mixture. Mix well. Fill each muffin tray to the top with the quiche filling. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops of each tray.

Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Once done, remove the tray from the oven and let the quiches cool for about 15 minutes before removing them. Serve warm or cool and refrigerate if you’re serving them much later or the next day. Enjoy!