Hooray for Friday, the best day of the week, and I’m looking forward to this one even more than usual. When I was planning my schedule for this week, I set aside a few hours for shopping today. I’m heading to two of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s and Anthropologie, and though I’m sure my bank account won’t be a fan of either stop, I can’t wait. I hear rumors that Trader Joe’s has some of their Christmas products out – you know what that means, right? Time to stock up on Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s!
We’ve been talking Thanksgiving all week, and I’ve shared quite a few ideas for your menu: two side dishes, rolls, and a dessert option. We haven’t hit on all the major categories though. We’ve yet to talk pies, which are pretty much synonymous with Thanksgiving. You just can’t have Thanksgiving without them. No worries – next week I have two great recipes for you and there may be a few awesome giveaways too so you’ll definitely want to check back!
The other big category we haven’t touched on yet? Appetizers. I really like having a few finger foods to snack on while the meal is being pulled together. If you feel the same way, you need these Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Bites – they are the perfect finger food! Buttery, flaky puff pastry stuffed with a creamy spinach and feta mixture, it’s hard to go wrong with that combination. Spanakopita fan? I think these are even better because puff pastry is about 100x easier to work with than filo.
This recipe originally called for baking the puffs in a standard muffin tin, so I made a few that size, but also baked several in a mini muffin pan instead. The minis are a great two-bite appetizer, while the larger ones could definitely be served as a side dish or even vegetarian main course. (Size difference indicated in the photo below.) Added bonus – either size can be prepped several hours ahead of time and baked off when your guests arrive. These puffs are one of my favorite appetizers I’ve made in a while; you won’t regret it if you find room for them on your menu!
Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Bites
adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2012 (via Epicurious)
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch or two freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 small clove)
2 large eggs
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounces package), thawed
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Wrap the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer the spinach to a medium bowl. Add the feta, onion, olive oil, nutmeg, and garlic and stir to combine. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper (and additional nutmeg if desired). Crack one of the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat it with a fork. Add the egg to the spinach filling and stir until evenly distributed. Set the filling aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 3 equal strips – you only need 2 of them for this recipe so save the third for another use. You have two options at this point: To make the larger puffs, cut each of the remaining strips into three squares (for a total of 6 squares). For the bite-size puffs, cut each of the remaining strips into eight equal pieces (for a total of 16 rectangular pieces).
Place each puff pastry piece into a well of the muffin pan, pressing each into the bottom and up the sides with the four corners pointing up. Divide the filling evenly among the pastry. Fold the four corners of the pastry into the center, pressing them together over the filling. (Note: at this point you can cover the puffs and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.)
Crack the remaining egg into a small bowl and lightly beat it with a fork. Brush the egg wash over the exposed surface of the puff pastry. Bake – the bite-size puffs need about 20 minutes, while the larger puffs need about 23-25 minutes. When the pastry is puffed and golden brown, remove the muffin pan(s) from the oven and transfer to wire racks. Allow the pastry to cool for a few minutes, then remove to the rack (if the puffs are sticking to the pan, run a small paring knife around the edges to loosen).
Makes 16-18 bite-sized puffs or 6 larger puffs