Buttery puff pastry bites are filled with capicola, a cured meat, and topped with soft mashed potatoes before being baked to perfection. A blissful appetizer.
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup shallots, diced fine (about 1 large shallot)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
12 slices capicola (dried cured meat), found in the deli selection of cheeses and meats packaged as thin round slices. Can also use prosciutto or soppressata
1 – 2 puff pastry sheets
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 2 – 3 inch muffin tin. Pull out Puff Pastry to thaw.
In a medium saucepan filled 1/3 full of water, add about 1 tablespoon salt and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and gently boil until tender.
While Potatoes are cooking, in a small skillet over medium high heat, melt the Butter and olive oil together until hot, add in the finely diced shallots, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Cook until shallots are translucent and starting to get a little color, be careful not to scorch them.
After the potatoes are cooked, drain and allow to steam dry for about 1 minute. Using a potato masher or the backside of a fork, mash the potatoes. Add in the cream cheese and milk and continue to mix and mash until well blended. Once you have the consistency you like, fold in the sautéed shallots and mix until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, carefully unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet, using a rolling pin, roll it out to give it about 2 extra inches on all sides. Using a round 3 inch cookie cutter (straight or fluted), cut out circles (do not twist cutter, only press firmly).
Place circles into each muffin cup and top with 1 slice of capicola per muffin cup. Using either a piping bag with a fluted tip or simply use a spoon, pipe about 1 tablespoon of the mashed potatoes per muffin cup, add pinch of pepper over the top of each appetizer.
Bake in 400°F preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes or until pastry is evenly puffed and flaky and the tops of the potatoes are starting to color. Remove from oven and cool for about 1 minute.
Garnish with a fresh thyme leaves scattered over top and enjoy.
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