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gsevelle

Appetizer shells

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Looking for suggestions and recipes for appetizer shells.  I've used won ton skins toasted in a mini muffin pan (bland in taste but easy to make in volume) and puff pastry cups (cost to buy pre-made is high per unit or to time consuming to make).  What have you done for serving 50 to 100 as a vessel for filling?  


Edited by gsevelle (log)

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I typically make them using mini muffin tins and rolled prepared pie crust. But it's as time intensive as the puff pastry is.

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Fillo - butter and stack 3 or 4 sheets, cut into squares, put buttered side down into mini muffin cups, bake until golden.  Ok, so fillo isn't always quick and easy, but if you get a properly thawed box that behaves, its not terrible (true confession:  I love fillo).

 

You can use a gougere or choux puff like a mini bread bowl.  A caterer I used to work with would fill gougeres with bolognese meat sauce for mini sloppy joes.

 

How about new potatoes?  Kind of retro, but at least gluten free - simmer small potatoes until tender, cut in half, use melon baller to scoop out a bowl.  Would be good with smoked salmon.

 

Narrow endive leaves are naturally cupped.  Fill with goat cheese mousse.

 

Can you bake prosciutto or pancetta in muffin cups until crispy?  Like wonton skins, but pork...

 

Are your fillings loose and saucy or needing to be baked in the vessel?  Drier toppings can go on a potato chip or potato pancake, blini, round of polenta, etc.


Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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I concur on the phyllo dough but I  cut into squares or circles and use mini muffin tins  upside-down and drape the dough OVER the molds as they keep their shape better without collapsing down into the cups.

 

 

I have also used pizza dough, stretched as thin as possible - allowing it to "relax" before doing the stretching and cutting to size.

 

For deeper cups I use my popover pan.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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You can cut cucumbers into several shapes lengthwise (planks, squares). Same with large carrots, the carrots can also be blanched to soften.

 

Those mini bell peppers are colorful and tasty.

 

Fresh mushroom caps are good, once again, you need uniformity in size.

 

You can bake bacon into cups or drape it over forms and bake it.

 

Parmesan tuiles are good but can get soggy if filled too early.

 

Choux can also be formed into mini-eclairs and filled with savory or sweet cold fillings like flavored cream cheese or mousses. Choux is nice because it can be made a few days in advance and re-crisped briefly in the oven. Baked, unfilled shapes can also be frozen for later, so, you can produce a bunch during down time for the future.

 

We used to use the roasted new potatoes all the time, toss in oil before roasting to avoid a weird white starch from forming on the outside.

 

You can cut bread with a cookie cutter (think flowers, ovals, or diamonds) then drizzle with oil, salt, and herbs for fancy croutons. You can take pound cake, slice it then cut with a shaped cutter and bake til crisp for a sweet base.

 

Ultimately, as mentioned above endive is very versatile and very inexpensive.

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gsevelle,

 

I can get small fluted phyllo cups premade at my grocery in the freezer case that are not that expensive, about $1.99 for 12 of them. They're sold right next to the packages of sheeted phyllo.

 

You want to use a drier filling, like squeezed garlic spinach with feta and dill, and cook the shells about 3 minutes before filling. They are free-standing on a baking sheet before even before the first cook. I have also used duxelles to fill these shells. Just make sure the filling is not so wet that it will make your shells soggy.

 

You could, of course make these cheaper using the sheets of phyllo, but if you are like me, the air will turn blue before you are finished with enough cups to feed 50-100 people.   :smile:  I also don't think they would be as pretty even if you have small fluted pans. 


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Once up on a time  I made croustades, but then I moved and lost  part of the  form for making them and  off course the one hardest to replace, so now I buy them and fill them with  goodies.  IKEA has actually the ones I like to buy.  

 

And for some appetizers  I used  home made knäckebröd  ( crispbread), rolled thin and then   baked and  cooled   in a muffin thin or a upside down mug.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Fillo - butter and stack 3 or 4 sheets, cut into squares, put buttered side down into mini muffin cups, bake until golden.  Ok, so fillo isn't always quick and easy, but if you get a properly thawed box that behaves, its not terrible (true confession:  I love fillo).

 

You can use a gougere or choux puff like a mini bread bowl.  A caterer I used to work with would fill gougeres with bolognese meat sauce for mini sloppy joes.

 

How about new potatoes?  Kind of retro, but at least gluten free - simmer small potatoes until tender, cut in half, use melon baller to scoop out a bowl.  Would be good with smoked salmon.

 

Narrow endive leaves are naturally cupped.  Fill with goat cheese mousse.

 

Can you bake prosciutto or pancetta in muffin cups until crispy?  Like wonton skins, but pork...

 

Are your fillings loose and saucy or needing to be baked in the vessel?  Drier toppings can go on a potato chip or potato pancake, blini, round of polenta, etc.

My latest is to use the shells for filling and not cooking.  I used mini won ton cups for both crab dip as a savory offering and a cream cheese fruit cup dusted with powdered sugar for a dessert.  I also used polenta squares, deep fried for texture, for a warm topping. 

 

I'm thinking about trying shredded potatoes in the mini muffin pan crisped up.  Need to see if that will works out.

 

thanks for the tips  :biggrin:          

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I did individual quiches for my granddaughter's christening, and since her mom is gluten-free, i used corn tortillas for the crust. Warm tortilla in a skillet with oil, cut four slits at the compass points to within 2 inches of the center, and lap the edges of the "petals" over each other in a muffin tin. These are sizeable, so may not be appropriate for appetizers, but they made a nice addition to a brunch table.


Don't ask. Eat it.

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I just thought of another appetizer I've made.

 

You can get cans of artichoke "bottoms" which are the heart with the stems cut off, already trimmed and choke removed. The brand I use is Reese and it's distributed by World Finer Foods out of Bloomfield, NJ. It's a product of Spain. Ingredients are only artichoke bottoms, water, salt and citric acid. They seem expensive, maybe at first, but considering you get about six pieces in a 14 oz. can, if you compare the price to cleaning your own artichokes from raw it turns out to be a lot more cost effective. That's even before you consider the labor savings of cleaning enough artichokes down to cups for stuffed appetizers for as many people as you want to serve.

 

These also offer the advantage of being gluten free, vegetarian and they can stand up to moister fillings that might make a wheat or other bread style cup soggy.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I found out that you can buy a  croustades maker in the USA at least,   if you want to I can translate the recipe.   It easy, dipp the maker in hot oil, then  the batter and then back in the hot oil to cook and you have thin shell.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I found out that you can buy a  croustades maker in the USA at least,   if you want to I can translate the recipe.   It easy, dipp the maker in hot oil, then  the batter and then back in the hot oil to cook and you have thin shell.

 

Had not heard the term croustade before so just did an internet search.  Did not turn up a maker but did turn up a recipe that use toasted white bread, cheep and easy, will have to give it a try.

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I just thought of another appetizer I've made.

 

You can get cans of artichoke "bottoms" which are the heart with the stems cut off, already trimmed and choke removed. The brand I use is Reese and it's distributed by World Finer Foods out of Bloomfield, NJ. It's a product of Spain. Ingredients are only artichoke bottoms, water, salt and citric acid. They seem expensive, maybe at first, but considering you get about six pieces in a 14 oz. can, if you compare the price to cleaning your own artichokes from raw it turns out to be a lot more cost effective. That's even before you consider the labor savings of cleaning enough artichokes down to cups for stuffed appetizers for as many people as you want to serve.

 

These also offer the advantage of being gluten free, vegetarian and they can stand up to moister fillings that might make a wheat or other bread style cup soggy.

The local middle eastern store carries frozen artichoke bottoms, much better than the canned and very reasonably priced.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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gsevelle.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Siljans-Croustades-Crispy-Shells-1-4-Ounce/dp/B00269WURE

 

And the batter is  thin, like pancake batter.  I know you can buy these  cheaper then amazon and Ikeas are similar.

Yes, I have a  Rosette iron, but have not used it for years, but know the batter, however in this case looking to produce small finger food.  Did a search for the Croustade irons but to $$$ for the home cook.  If I was in the business I'd of jumped on them as I could call it a business expense, but as a hobby the IRS fronds on that. :sad:


Edited by gsevelle (log)

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gsvelle it is not the same batter, but similar.   I see what I can dig up.

 

I found this_ http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Swedish-Rosettes-Timbales/dp/B00004RFPJ

 

Not the tiny cup I am used to buy maybe?

 

And this one does have the tiny cup

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nordic-Ware-Double-Rosette-No-Timbale-Iron-9-Molds-/271882736443


Edited by CatPoet (log)

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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gsvelle it is not the same batter, but similar.   I see what I can dig up.

 

I found this_ http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Swedish-Rosettes-Timbales/dp/B00004RFPJ

 

Not the tiny cup I am used to buy maybe?

 

And this one does have the tiny cup

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nordic-Ware-Double-Rosette-No-Timbale-Iron-9-Molds-/271882736443

Thanks for the links.  I'd seen the one with the small cup on e-bay but having to do one at a time seems a bit time consuming.  Anyway lots to good suggestions above so will try a few over the next few weeks.

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