These appetizer-sized Fillo Cups with Italian Sausage, Pine Nuts & Yellow Bell Pepper have big flavor in a small bite.
- 4 sheets fillo dough
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- .125 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ pound italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup cored, seeded & finely chopped yellow bell pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoon minced chives, plus more as garnish
- 3 ounce feta cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Prepare the fillo cups: Place the oven rack in the center position. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lay the fillo sheets flat on a cutting in front of you; all 4 stacked on top each other. Using a very sharp knife and a straight edge, trim them together as a group into a 12 x 16-inches rectangle. Discard trimmings. Then cut the stacked sheets into 48 two-inch squares, four layers thick. Leave them in place, cover them completely with plastic wrap topped with a barely damp dish towel. Pull out only as many squares as you can work with to keep them from drying out.
Brush the bottom and side of each opening of four 12 portion mini-muffin tins. Mold one 2-inch square of fillo into the bottom of each opening of the tins. Brush with butter and repeat three more times, using all 192 two-inch squares. Don’t worry if the tear or fold while you work. They will form a solid cup once baked. You may work in batches if you only have 1 or 2 muffin tins.
Bake in the heated oven until crisp and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool on a rack before removing the fillo cups from the tins.
The fillo cups may be prepared up to 3 days in advance, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the filling: Warm the oil in a medium heavy bottomed or cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the onions have softened some, about 4 minutes. Add the crumbled sausage and oregano to the skillet. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until it is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the pine nuts, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons minced chives and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
The filling may be prepared the day before. In which case do not add the 2 tablespoons chives or final ¼ teaspoon salt. At assembly time gently reheat the sausage mixture with a teaspoon of water. Add the chives and salt once the mixture is at serving temperature.
To assemble: Place a heaping teaspoon of the sausage filling into each fillo cup. Top with a bit of feta, and a more chives. Serve warm.
NOTE: You may also fill the cups without the feta and chive garnish up to 1 hour in advance. Then warm them in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes. Top with the feta and chive garnish right before serving.