Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Bite Munchies, Container and All

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks' April 2011 hostes. Renata challenged us to think "outside the plate" and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!

It is so wonderful to be posting something after all this time! Our house is for sale, so I have to limit my cooking to quick and easy. If I get a call saying someone wants to see the house in 30 minutes, I cannot be in the middle of prepping an elaborate meal or baking some complicated bread or dessert. Meals have been old standbys that I can pull together quickly and without a lot of mess.

This challenge was very quick, so fit into my "don't make a big mess" criterion very well. I decided to use kataifi, which is shredded phyllo dough, to make little appetizer nests. The kataifi is prepped in a way similar to phyllo sheets: use some melted butter or oil to lightly coat, keep unused portions covered so they don't dry out, and cook until golden. I formed the shreds into little nests which I placed in mini-muffin tins. I baked them for about 10 minutes and when they were cool, I filled them with a variety of toppings.

Right out of the oven
The forming and baking took no more than 15-20 minutes. I had lots of phyllo left over but it can be refrigerated or refrozen, so I can try other fillings another time.

One bite treats!

I filled the little nests with salmon mousse, hummus with a Kalamata olive garnish and mini-caprese salads - mozzarella, tomato and basil. They were so good, all of them, but I liked the salad and mousse the best. They truly were one bite - we just popped the crispy (and somewhat fragile) bites in and savored them.

I loved this challenge because it is something I might not have thought of or tried on my own and it is also something I will use again. Twenty minutes is not much time to invest in creating a dozen appetizers and since the phyllo can be held for a while, you could easily make larger quantities and just fill them at the last minute. I thought of many other bites that might be good: mini-bastillas, mini-eggs benedict (quail eggs would work for that, if I could get them!), guacamole, even chicken or shrimp salad. What fun to try them all!


  1. Such a fun, easy idea! You could even do a dessert version. Good luck with the sale!

  2. I have always wanted to use the shredded phyllo pastry. This looks like a great idea and will impress your guests.

  3. Theses look exactly like something I'd like to snatch up off an appetizer tray! I agree with Barbara, they would very easily translate into desserts. I love how you can make a bunch of them and then fill them with a huge variety of fillings. :-)

  4. These bites are really mouthwatering! Your filling choices sound so delicious, and the shredded phyllo looks so crunchy, I could eat many of these on one sitting :)
    Thanks so much for participating!