Batter Licker

November 9, 2010

caramelized onion and feta pastry bites

Filed under: appetizer,cheese — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:12 pm

I blame my friend Kelsey for my consumption of Trader Joe’s has these Caramelized Onion and Feta Pastry Bites every since she introduced them to me at a dinner party a few years back. They make a perfect appetizer, not only because the fillo pastry dough is stuffed with an irresistibly yummy feta-cream cheese mixture topped with caramelized onions, but also because they go from freezer to oven to mouth in 20 minutes.

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So, of course, I had to figure out how to make them at home. After some tinkering, I’m ecstatic to report that you too can successfully recreate these at home with only 6 ingredients (fewer than Trader Joe’s) and about 15 minutes added time for caramelizing the onions (takes me 30 minutes just to find parking at my local TJ’s).

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Salty feta is combined with more melting-friendly cream cheese and just a touch of garlic powder to add some depth, and the cheesy mixture is stuffed into quick- and easy-to make fillo cups. Caramelized onions top the pastry cups, adding a buttery sweetness to each bite.

With caramelized onions being the most complicated step, this appetizer is easy to make and do-ahead friendly, so you can prep it, refrigerate it, and then pop it in the oven and enjoy a glass of bubbly with friends while it bakes … and maybe another glass once the delectable little pastry bites are ready to serve.

Caramelized Onion and Feta Puff Pastry Bites
Makes 12-ish bites (or 24-ish mini-bites)

8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. (about 4-5 oz.) crumbled feta
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 c. red onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
5 puff pastry sheets, defrosted

In large pan over medium heat, melt butter or heat olive oil. Add chopped onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Do ahead: onions can be caramelized and stored in airtight, refrigerated container up to 2 days in advance; bring to room temperature before using.

Meanwhile, in food processor, blend cream cheese, feta crumbles, and garlic powder until well combined. Do ahead: can be blended and stored in airtight, refrigerated container up to 2 days in advance; bring to room temperature before using.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut puff pastry sheets into 12 (or, if using mini-cupcake pan, 24) rectangles. Remove one 5-sheet stack, separate into 2 sheets and 3 sheets, form into cross shape (so you get the pretty edges in the pictures above), and push into cupcake tin to create a little cup. Repeat for remaining sheets and cupcake tins. Fill each pastry cup with a heaping tablespoon of feta mixture. Top with caramelized onions. Do ahead: filled fillo cups can be stored in cupcake pan, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for several hours prior to baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until top and bottom of each piece are golden. Remove, cool for 5 minutes, and serve hot. Do ahead: bake a few hours ahead of time, allow to cool, and before serving, reheat in oven at 350F for 5 to 7 minutes until hot.

4 Comments »

  1. Certainly would be easier to go to TJs and fork over the $4.99

    Comment by John — November 9, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  2. Um, John, you’re clearly not into cooking if you’d rather just head to TJ’s and “fork over the $4.99,” so I must ask: why are you reading this blog? (This is a cooking blog, just btw.)

    Comment by Confused Cookie — November 9, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  3. I’d omit puttin onions on top before baking. Would add them 3-5 minutes before removing – onions wouldn’t be burned that much.
    Also, i’d add a littlest bit of brown sugar to onions while frying them in butter, they would get that “apple-onion” taste as TJ’s bites have.

    Comment by Milla — January 22, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  4. Thanks for the suggestions. I hadn’t thought of sauteing the onions with some brown sugar, but it sounds worth a try. Regarding onions browning too much during baking: you could also cover the pan with a foil tent for half the baking time – then you still can prep everything ahead of time, and won’t have to rush to pile the onions on in the last minutes of baking. Plus, I like when the onions seem to melt into the cheese mixture a bit during baking, which won’t happen if they aren’t added until the last few minutes.

    Comment by Kristen — January 25, 2011 @ 10:40 am

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