A Hero To Rescue You from Your Appetizer Fears

by Maile on August 6, 2010

Here’s the scenario: You’re invited to a get-together and when the hostess starts passing out dishes for everyone to bring, you get tagged with the elusive “appetizer”. I don’t think there is any other course of a meal that can send my insecurities into a flurry than appetizers, and here’s why.

You certainly don’t want to be the schmuck that shows up with a jar of salsa and a bag of tortilla chips because, well, frankly, when the main course of beautifully seasoned salmon hits the table, your offering looks like a pile of wood chips with a motor oil dipping sauce. But preparing a good appetizer can seem overwhelming because a lot of really good, and impressive, appetizer recipes take time, especially if you’re really hoping to “wow” your friends.
To everything there is a season. There may come a day, once again, when I have 4 or 5 extra hours just floating around in my day where I can spend time making fancy little apps without children shimmying up and down my legs and asking for snacks on a continuous basis. That day will come. But it isn’t a reality in my life at the moment so I’ve gotta find shortcuts that get me what I want but with half the effort and time. If you’re looking for the same sort of deal, for similar or very different reasons, I’ve got a little something special for you.
This recipe is a beautiful, yet easy, little appetizer that my sister-in-law passed my way, and I got to try it out a couple of weekends ago. These individual quiches are so tasty and cute, and, bonus, there are no troublesome pastry crusts to get you all worked up into a lather. You do some simple sautéing, a brief mix of all the ingredients, and pour into your tartlet pans. A word of caution, however. To make your life easier and these little babies as cute as they can be, make sure you rub down your tartlet pans with plenty of butter to help the tartlets come out easier.
Suzanne’s Mini Spinach Quiches

1 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1, 10oz., pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 eggs, beaten
½ c. heavy cream (This ingredient was not in the original recipe but I just can’t pass up a chance to add a little extra creaminess to any recipe.)
2 c. shredded Colby-jack cheese
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Give your tartlet pans a good coating of butter.
In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic until soft. Stir in spinach and continue cooking till excess moisture has evaporated. Let mixture cool slightly while you mix eggs, cream, cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Pour into mini tartlet pans and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
When I made these a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t really have time to experiment with garnishes. I was literally scooping them out of the pans while my husband and kids were waiting in the car, ready to leave for the dinner party. But I imagine that a side of fresh salsa or even a small dollop of sour cream and a tiny sprig of cilantro would gussy up these little ladies even more.
Thanks, Suzanne, for this great recipe! Have a delicious weekend, everybody!

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