It’s hard to believe that a month has passed since our last Progressive Eats post! I hope you remember Progressive Eats – it’s our online version of the progressive dinner party where twelve bloggers join together each month to create an online event based around a theme. This month – cocktails! That’s right, we’re having a virtual cocktail party! And for our cocktail party, we’re serving several appetizers, four unique cocktails, and some luscious desserts. Be sure to read all the way through to the end to find the links to all the participating bloggers and their recipes for this month. Plus – because this month’s host, Barb, is celebrating her third year of Friday Cocktails, she’s giving away a gorgeous wine bottle opener to one of our Progressive Eats readers. Details at the end!
I always think that it’s nice to have a spicy appetizer to serve with cocktails. My feeling is that a tiny bit of heat enhances the taste of a great cocktail. Not so much heat that it assaults your tastebuds, but just enough to awaken your senses. That’s what I was trying for with this appetizer and, according to my chief taste tester (a.k.a. BeeBop), this recipe for Pepper Jelly and Brie Phyllo Cups is a keeper! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I really enjoy recipes that allow me to showcase our uniquely Southern ingredients. Take “country ham” for instance. It’s certainly pork, but it’s so much more than that. A country ham is salt cured and has a flavor that I can only describe as “tangy.” If you can’t get country ham, proscuitto is a good substitute. We can purchase country ham in the South in packages with just a few slices so when I need some for a recipe like this, I don’t have to make an investment to purchase an entire ham. I only used a few ounces out of this package so I still have plenty to put between some biscuits for breakfast this weekend :-)
Place the pecan halves and ham on a baking sheet. Bake until the pecans are golden brown and toasted (7-8 minutes). I line my baking sheet with parchment, but that’s just because I’m lazy and it makes clean up easy. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
Remove the pecans and return the ham to the oven to continue cooking until the edges begin to curl (4-5 additional minutes). A little crispness around the edges is a good thing.
Set the ham aside until it’s cool enough to handle then break it roughly into small pieces.
In each phyllo cup, place 1/2 teaspoon pepper jelly and a 1/2” cube of brie. Note: I used Braswell’s brand red pepper jelly for this recipe. It’s a mildly spicy pepper jelly and that’s what I’d recommend. There are others, such as jalapeno pepper jelly, that are much hotter but those will overwhelm the delicate taste of the brie used here.
Bake until cheese is melted (approximately 10 minutes).
Optional only if you want to add a tiny bit of heat to the recipe for those who enjoy it. While the phyllo cups bake, slice the jalapeno paper thin using a very sharp knife or mandolin. I can’t over emphasize how important it is to slice the pepper paper thin. You’ll see some slices in the photo that are a little thicker and some that are so thin you can see through them. We tried the recipe with both and found that the thicker slices really over took the entire taste and were just too much. The tissue thin slices were just right!
Remove the phyllo cups from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Top each with a piece of ham, a pecan half, and a slice of jalapeno if using.
More phyllo cups appetizer recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Caprese Phyllo Cups from Gimme Some Oven
- Spinach and Feta Phyllo Cups from The Perfect Pantry
- Creamy Sriracha Shrimp in Phyllo Cups from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles
- Mini Blue Cheese Quiche Phyllo Cups from Averie Cooks
- Mini Brie Bites from She Wears Many Hats
What I was up to…
- One Year Ago: Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake
- Two Years Ago: Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese
- Three Years Ago: Apple-Pear Salad
- Four Years Ago: Caesar Salad Pizza
- Five Years Ago: Chicken and Dumplings
Follow all the links below to visit the blogs of this month’s participants. There are some delicious recipes in this list!
- Pepper Jelly Bites
- Smoked Salmon Roses with Endive and Creme Fraiche
- Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp
- Pepper Jelly and Brie Phyllo Cups
Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
GIVEAWAY!! This month’s theme is a Cocktail Party celebrating Creative Culinary’s 3rd year of Friday Cocktails. Be sure to hop over to Barb’s post where she is giving away a gorgeous wine bottle opener to one of our Progressive Eats readers.