There’s this website called Pinterest. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s… addicting. Just ask S – he’s all over it right now. I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed or proud. Probably a little of both. Maybe more the former than the latter. I guess that might be the pot calling the kettle black – I get sucked in for hours/days. Just daydreaming about the recipes I want to make and the crafts I’d love to tackle. I am not very good about actually “pinning” things. I like to peruse and then I curse myself when I can never find anything I want. I think that’s more of a personal problem.
When I’m short on inspiration, it’s a great source of ideas. Take these spinach and artichoke bites, for example. I’ve seen them a couple of times – with wonton wrappers. I wanted to try something different. I have been itching to work with phyllo dough for years, and I recently stumbled across it at Trader Joe’s. Kismet, obviously. I thought filling with spinach and artichoke filling was the perfect way to get my feet wet. Full disclosure: I’m not sure I was all that successful…. I might just go with the pre-made phyllo cups next time.
Spinach and Artichoke Bites
1 package phyllo sheets
1 block cream cheese, softened (light works just fine here)
4 ounces artichoke hearts, marinated
1 package frozen spinach, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cups white cheddar cheese
2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco or hot sauce
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise (but it adds a nice creaminess), and I like some kick. I also don’t love huge pieces of artichoke, which is odd. I put the artichokes in a food processor and ground them up. What can I say? I’m weird about texture, and artichoke isn’t my fave.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix in cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, Worcestershire, Tabasco, lemon juice, grated cheeses, salt and pepper.
Add drained spinach and mix to combine.
Now the tricky part. Phyllo. I have read multiple articles about how you should cover your phyllo dough with a damp towel when you aren’t working with it to ensure the dough doesn’t be come hard and brittle. I thought that covering the dough with a damp towel made the layers stick together more. Maybe it was too wet… I’m not sure.
I set up a station. Phyllo. Damp towel. Foil for layering the phyllo. Melted butter/brush. Mini muffin tin. Knife for trimming. Layer the phyllo, brushing each sheet with melted butter generously before adding the next. This is what gives the pastry its flaky and toothsome texture. I layered 6 pieces before cutting. I think you could do with fewer layers, but I wanted there to be a definitive crust/crunch to my spinach and artichoke bites.
Cut into 2 square inch pieces (ish- that’s a total guesstimate) and push into greased mini muffin tin to form cups.
I had to trim some pieces. Apparently I’m not very exact. Go figure.
Fill the phyllo cups with rounded tablespoons of filling.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until brown. The phyllo edges will brown early, but will keep without burning (in my experience) until the filling is bubbly. Keep an eye on them just in case I’m horribly wrong.
I’m pretty sure you’ll be the hit of every party if you bring these. Almost positive.
Have a fabulous week!