The end of the year brings with it so many tidings. From holiday cheer to work parties to visits from friends who have moved away, there is much to do in little time.
For occasions when you truly have very little time, this recipe is here to provide relief. It’s low-maintenance, easy, and will let you show up to the cocktail party with a presentable appetizer that your vegetarian friends will be able to share.
Pro tip: always keep a package or three of these mini phyllo shells in your freezer.
I brought these tasty little bites to Thanksgiving to alleviate some of the (completely unnecessary) pressure that every host feels to time the meal perfectly. Showing up with a tray of these appetizers delayed the hanger that can set in at family gatherings. Bringing an appetizer and a bottle of wine elevates you to domestic goddess status. Flowing Ina-inspired cashmere wrap optional, but recommended.
The filling is based around a simple red wine reduction. The herb-and-earth smell of the portobello mushrooms and onions cooking in a red wine and rosemary broth will fill your kitchen with both aroma and, most likely, curious bystanders. After the mushroom mixture has cooked, it is delicately layered on top of a small slice of Brie. It’s important to put the Brie down before the filling to help reduce sogginess in the pastry.
If you run out of mini phyllo tarts, no problem, just add the remaining cheese and mushrooms to a ramekin or oven-safe dish (and add a bit of cream cheese, if needed, to make the appetizer stretch a bit further).
I think next time we make this, I am going to crumble in some of my husband’s supremely addictive smoked brown sugar and cayenne bacon. I add that detail in case you haven’t invited me to your holiday party yet. Don’t worry. There’s still time.
Red wine portobello and Brie bites
Yields 3 dozen bites
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium-sized yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 pound baby portobello mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 4 ounces Brie cheese
- Honey to drizzle (optional)
- 3 dozen mini phyllo pastry shells
- Place olive oil, onions, salt, and pepper in a large skillet or sauce pan. Set heat to medium-high heat and cook until onions begin to soften, about five to seven minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add butter and thinly-sliced baby portobello mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and cook for fifteen minutes. Stir every couple of minutes with a wooden spoon to prevent bits from burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Add rosemary, lemon juice, and red wine. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for twenty minutes, until the liquid has reduced to about half. Turn off heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange mini phyllo pastry shells on a baking sheet.
- Remove rinds from Brie and slice thinly, into about 1/2 inch squares, so that the brie will not drip out of the pastry shells. Place one slice in each pastry shell.
- Spoon the mushroom and brie filling into the pastry shells over the brie. Top with rosemary to garnish as desired, and drizzle honey on top, if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or just until Brie has softened. Serve warm.