Party nibbles: spanakopita crackers

Yield: 30 Appetizers

Measure Ingredient
1 tablespoon Butter
½ cup Shallots, finely chopped or onions
1 pounds Frozen chopped spinach thawed
1 pinch Nutmeg
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
1 pinch Pepper
1 cup Firm goat cheese, crumbled
8 Phyllo pastry sheets
¼ cup Butter, melted

These spinach and cheese filled crackers can be made ahead, ready to pop into the oven at show time. For an even more artistic presentation, tie up with chives. The phyllo dough can be cut on the diagonal and the edges ruffled up.

In non-stick skillet, melt butter; cook shallots over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Press out excess liquid from spinach and chop finely. Add to skillet; cook, stirring, over medium heat just until moistened. Stir in nutmet, cayenne pepper and pepper.

Transfer to bowl; let cool. Mix in cheese; season with salt to taste.

Press mixture into tiny log shapes. Place 1 sheet of phyllo pastry on work surface, keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp cloth.

Brush 1 half of pastry from 1 short end to centre with butter. Fold over, aligning short ends. Cut pastry in half crosswise to make 2 pieces. About ½-inch in from long edges on each piece of pastry, place 2 log-shaped mounds of filling. Roll up each piece loosely from short edge to enclose mounds completely. Cut pastry between the 2 mounds to separate into 2. With fingertips, gently press pastry together at each end of mount to form Christmas cracker shape [ed: Christmas crackers are those amusement items that are formed from a hollow tube, stuffed with a party hat and "Cracker-Jack" type prize.

They produce a loud snapping sound when two people pull on either end).

Repeat with remaining filling and pastry. (Can be refrigerated, separated by waxed paper in layers, in covered container for up to 3 days.)

Place on nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.

Brush with butter. Bake in 375F 190C oven for 7-9 minutes or until pastry is golden. Source: Canadian Living magazine - Nov 95 author: Iris Raven


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