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Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favorite Vegetarian Appetizer - Easy for the Holidays!

Wow three days before Christmas & your relatives and friends could already be galloping in route to your house for the Holiday/Christmas day festivities. You got everything covered so you think... but need a delicious - EASY vegetarian appetizer for your Auntie Trudy who always complains there's nothing for her to eat. There's always one in every group but not to worry. Here is one of my favorite appetizers that works for everyone, even the staunch carnivores in your pack.  These are so easy to assemble,you can put your children in charge...but not the baby.   Let me know what you think please.  And good luck with your holiday culinary prep.

Makes 30
8 Ounces of Brie Cheese
1 Fuji Apple  (Cut into small cubes & wedge the bottom. It's easier to push into the cheese.)  
1 Cup Mango Chutney
30 Whole Pecans
2 Packages Mini Phyllo Cups or Shells (Can buy in frozen section: The Fillo Factory or Athens Brand)
3 Scallions (Slice diagonally & about an inch long to make 30 tiny spears)

Preheat oven 350F.   
When filling the phyllo cups, I leave them in the packaged plastic container to hold in place then transfer to cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Add to each shell about a ½ teaspoon of mango chutney, ½ teaspoon of Brie.  Don’t over fill or they will collapse.  Place colorful edge of apple, wedged at the bottom, into brie and place whole pecan standing straight up to the side of apple. Bake for 10 minutes or when cheese is bubbling, as soon as they come out the oven add scallion spear while cheese is still soft.

This appetizer is one of the favorites of all appetizers.  It is the most frequently called for at my events and has been displayed with almost every color imaginable.  Again solids are where you want to stay. The photo above shows the tiny brie and Fuji apple hors d'oeuvres presented on a combination of orange and fuchsia colored glass plates purchased from Target about six years ago.  When I spotted these lovely French style glass plates, I had to get out my bloody pressure cup and checked my pulse from the sheer excitement.  I then proceeded to purchase all I could find in the New Jersey area and yes at full price.  This was a one shot deal and I knew it.  I haven’t been able to find anything like them since.  So if you see something you must have in these big box stores, bite the bullet and go for it because more than likely that’s the end of that product.  My regret is that I didn’t get more of them. 

You might notice in a lot of my photos the use of tiny Pears and Lady Apples. These are an attractive and relatively understated touch to boost the appearance and add a little class to your display.

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