I am always on the lookout for hors d’oeuvres recipes. It always seems like that is the last thing you think about and then finding one that is tasty, easy to manage while holding a cocktail and trying to carry on a conversation without getting it all over yourself is alway a challenge. And for me, given my dislike of fussy little recipes that seem to take hours to put together, it is even more of a challenge. I was invited to a cocktail event this past weekend and was asked to bring an hors d’oeuvres to pass. While I was digging through my recipes for something that would be easy and good to eat I came across this recipe. I had made these several times many years ago and had completely forgotten about them. It had been so long in fact that I can’t even remember where I found the recipe or I would give credit here. I am sure it came from one of the magazines I subscribe to. At any rate, they are great. I remember them as being really good and quick to put together. Even better for me, all the components can be made the day before and then they just need to be popped in the oven for a few minutes before you leave and by the time you arrive at the event they are the perfect serving temperature. So, out came the recipe and I whipped up a batch of them in no time. They are even better than I remember and the Tangy Tomato Cranberry Preserve is a perfect complement for them. It makes a large portion so you can have it on hand for topping grilled chicken or for dipping vegetables. The recipe calls for ground pork but I have done them with hot Italian sausage and they were equally good. I imagine they can even be done with ground beef and just adjust the seasonings to compliment the beef. They are easy to handle as finger food and the pastry case makes them a neat little one bite tidbit for serving with drinks.
For the filling
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried savory, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup whole milk
Make the filling
Cook pork with onion, garlic, savory, salt, allspice, and pepper in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently and breaking up lumps with a fork, until pork is no longer pink (5 to 7 minutes). Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, until thickened.
Make pastry while the filling cools:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Blend in shortening and butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and stir with a fork just until dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 10 to 12 times.
Roll out dough into a rough 18 inch round (1/8 inch thick), dusting with flour just to keep dough from sticking. Cut out 24 rounds with a 3 inch cutter.
Fit each round into a miniature muffin cup and fill with a rounded tablespoon of filling.
Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Lift pies out of muffin cups and transfer to a rack. Cool to warm, about 15 minutes, and top with Tomato Cranberry preserves.
Spicy Tomato Cranberry Preserves
1 small red onion, chopped
1 can whole tomatoes, in juice, including juice, 14 – 16 ounces
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 strips orange zest
1 strip lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried red hot pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up tomatoes.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thick, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool preserves, then chill, covered at least 8 hours for flavors to develop.