The Gourmet Touch: Savory snacks perfect for the game
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Dec 26, 2012 | 1922 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After having enjoyed so many wonderful desserts during the Christmas holidays, I am sure that the following savory snacks will be just what you would probably prefer while watching the bowl games.

Two of my favorite ingredients for making tasty finger foods are cream cheese and wonton wrappers. With these two ingredients on hand, I never have to worry about what to serve.

Wonton wrappers make the perfect “envelope” for the snack called “love letters.” For these tasty treats, a delicious chicken filling is placed in the center of the wonton wrapper and the corners are pulled up to form an envelope-shaped appetizer.

The cream cheese serves a dual purpose in the following tarts. It is used for making one of the easiest pastry doughs I have ever made and also for the delicious filling.

Even those who have a fear of pastry making, can make this pastry with great success. Another bonus is that there is no rolling or shaping because the dough is simply pressed into the miniature muffin pans.

Love Letters

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/4 cup finely-chopped green onions
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash garlic salt
1 (16 ounce) package wonton wrappers
Canola or peanut oil for frying

Combine chicken, chilies, onions, Parmesan and garlic salt and mix well. Put about 1 teaspoon chicken mixture slightly below center of each wonton wrapper and fold bottom corner up. Fold sides in, points overlapping. Wet edges to seal. Fold final corner down, to resemble an envelope. Wet edges slightly to seal. Deep fry a few at a time until golden and crispy around edges. Drain well on paper towels. Serve hot. Good served with sweet and sour sauce or sour cream.

Miniature Tarts

Cream Cheese Pastry:

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine butter and cream cheese. Blend well. Add flour and mix until dough holds together. Form into ball and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After dough has chilled, form into small balls (about 1-inch in diameter). Using fingertips, press into mini-muffin tins.

Savory Tart Filling:

10 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/ 8 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped, dried beef (rinsed to remove excess salt)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Combine cream cheese and black pepper in bowl of electric mixer and beat well. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream. Beat well. Stir in dried beef, green onions, and parsley. Let set for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Spoon into pastry-lined miniature muffin tins, filling about half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and filling has set. The filling will puff during baking but will go back down as the tarts cool. Remember that the pastry is delicate so be careful when removing the “cups” from the pan.
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The Gourmet Touch: Savory snacks perfect for the game by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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