At our Thanksgiving, the cocktail napkins are printed in all caps: “Forced Family Fun.” My mom bought them one year on a whim, and they’ve now become a tradition, as much as the turkey or the braided biscuits. My cousins, my sisters, and I like to laugh over them as we nibble at the appetizers and catch up. Note that this little slogan immediately becomes ironic, since we’re family and laughing and therefore having non-required amusement with our kin–exactly the opposite of what the napkins claim.
We don’t put out a huge appetizer spread at Thanksgiving, so as not to fill up before the turkey or the pie, but every few years we come up with an interesting hors d’oeuvres for people to nosh on, and I think I just created a good candidate for this year’s.
Athens Foods’ Mini Fillo Shells are a container for whatever fillings you like–classic or made-up. The sweet flavors that grace a lot of Thanksgivings’ savory foods had me thinking about mini versions of baked brie, but then I spied the bag of sweet potatoes on our counter and decided to use those for sweetness instead of dried or fresh fruit. I grated the potatoes, then sautéed them with olive oil, garlic, spices, and herbs. Sweet, but not too sweet, I piled the starchy shreds in the phyllo cups, on top of little morsels of brie. It was only afterwards that I realized I’d created little potato nests which looked a lot like potato latkes, which made me think of the hybrid holiday that will not be named.
I know we have a few more weeks of fall to breeze through before we’re having not-forced family fun over a feast that begins with appetizers like these and ends eight days later with latkes. I’m already excited.
I wrote this sponsored post in partnership with Athens Foods. Thanks for reading!
Baked Brie & Sweet Potato Bites
Makes 15 bites
1 box Athens Mini Fillo Shells (15 shells)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces sweet potato (1 small), peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, minced with salt or grated on a Microplane
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons grated parm
2 ounces brie, rinds trimmed and cheese cut into 15 pieces
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the shells on a small baking sheet.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the grated sweet potatoes, and cook until soft, 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, paprika, and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parm. Taste, adding more salt as needed.
Place a piece of brie in each shell phyllo shell. Top with a spoonful of the sweet potato mixture, using your fingers to press in firmly. Bake for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly crispy and the brie is melty.
Serve the cups warm or at room temperature.