There are two things that I love about being invited to a dinner party. First, I don't have to clean the house. Second, I don't have to worry about the main course. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore having people come over whom I get to feed. But there's a delightful ease to being a guest...the host assigns you to appetizer/vegetable/dessert duty and all you have to do is take your assignment and run with it. It's a great time to try new dishes, knowing the weight of the meal doesn't rest alone on your shoulders. So when the hubs and I were assigned to appetizer duty for a dinner party last night, I was tickled Greek. Literally.
The hubs and I are planning a getaway next weekend to Savannah, Georgia. He has a medical conference to speak at while I have a deep yearning to be in a climate free of snow piles and sub-freezing temperatures. I'm taking a day off work and we're making a weekend out of it...and with forecasters currently predicting days around 70 degrees, I think we picked the perfect weekend. Now since we'll be out of town, we are of course working to eat through all the tidbits of our refrigerator. Love little tidbits of cheeses and jam on crackers with salami, roasted red peppers and mixed vegetable
Pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and feta...mediterranean was the obvious choice here. And since there are far better things to do at dinner parties than slave away in the kitchen (play games, drink wine, etc.) a make-ahead app was a total bonus. Thankfully I still had a roll of phyllo dough in the freezer, meaning the time was perfect for Mediterranean Chicken Cups.
Me and edible food vessels...we're like bff's. I could literally start and end a day with stuffed peppers and be a very happy woman. And at parties, finger foods are always a huge hit. No worrying about pesky middlemen such as plates or napkins, just grab and *pop* into your mouth then continue to fabulously circulate. Or not so fabulously...however you roll.
The pic above is a phone shot from the dinner party, where per usual these little bites were a huge hit. I forgot to bring my pesto for the post-bake drizzle, but besides that they were perfect. The cups offer the toasty crunch of baked phyllo dough, the savory richness of sun-dried tomatoes and feta, the herbaceous brightness of pesto and just enough mozzarella to hold all those delicious ingredients in place. A little lean chicken breast is always great in an app as well, offering just a touch of substance to hold you over until dinner is served. And if you're a wine-o like the hubs and I, you will find these cups are spectacular with a nice Chianti or Italian blend.
Mediterranean Chicken Phyllo Cups
- 30 phyllo cups (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 c cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
- 2 tbs pesto
- 1 c sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 2/3 c feta, crumbled
- 1/2 c mozzarella, shredded
- pine nuts & additional pesto, to garnish
Make your phyllo cups. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lay the prepared cups across the sheet, placing very closely together.
To make the filling, combine the diced or shredded chicken with the pesto in a small bowl and toss together until the chicken is evenly coated. Place a small piece of chicken into each cup, then nestle 2-3 slices of sun-dried tomato into the base of the cups next to the chicken. Sprinkle a little feta into each cup, then sprinkle the entire pan with mozzarella. Cups can be assembled and stored for up to three hours in advance.
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Transfer the cups into the oven and bake until the mozzarella is melted and the presto is fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving plate and garnish with toasted pine nuts and additional pesto. Serve with pride.