Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Night Bites | Brie Cups with Grape Salsa + Cocktail Party Tips

With festive parties abundant this time of year, it the perfect reason to celebrate the season and throw a fun cocktail party.  The party can scale from half a dozen friends to an extravagant bash for fifty. Honesty by preference is the more intimate affair with 6 to 12 people in attendance.  It gives me the opportunity to really socialize, converse and enjoy my guests. The idea of simply serving a signature cocktail as a starter then a variety of new and old world wines along with tasty bite sized delights is pure perfection in my book.

At the moment, I am in the final stages of planning such an event for next week.  A long time friend is visiting over the holidays so why not host a celebratory cocktail party in her honor.  The invitations have been sent, RSVP’s completed and the menu is nearly complete and now I just need to settle on the signature cocktail.  I can hardly wait for next week.  Quite frankly, one of my favorite parts of throwing a party is the planning and of course the actual event is the piece de resistance.

Among my favorite appetizer recipes to share with my guests is the Brie Cups with Grape Salsa, which pairs perfectly with the Grgich Hills Chardonnay.  With the grape being the common denominator, the compliment of the wine and tartlet was a match made in heaven.  These appetizers are super simple to make and pack a lot of flavor.  I highly recommend that you make the grape salsa ahead of time, so the flavors have time to marry together.  For the tart cups, I purchased Athens brand Mini Fillo Shells since they are simply perfect each time.  If you are feeling creative, you could use store bought wonton skins. Simply brush with a bit of olive oil and place into a mini muffin tin.  Cook at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes or until crispy golden brown. 

If you are hosting a cocktail party soon, would love to hear about it!

Brie Cups with Grape Salsa

1 C. Red seedless grapes, cut in half
1/3 t. Salt
2 T. Green onion, finely chopped
1 T. Balsamic vinegar
2 T. Olive oil
1 t. Rosemary, finely minced
1 Small clove garlic, minced
6 Grinds of fresh ground pepper
30 Pre-made Athens mini phyllo shells
6 oz. Brie, rind removed

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the grapes and salt in to a food processor and pulse until grapes are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a strainer and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.  In a bowl, mix the green onions, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic pepper and strained grapes together.  Let sit to marry the flavors together for at least 15 minutes.

To assemble, lay the 30 shells out onto a cookie sheet and place about ½ t. of brie in each cup and then about a half to full teaspoon of the grape salsa.  Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Cocktail Food by Mary Corpening Barber & Sara Corpening Whiteford


  1. Planning a party is definitively the best part! (It's the clean-up I detest!). :D

    These brie cups look delicious!

    1. You are like me when it comes to parties! Smile. Hope your day is going well!

  2. oo how interesting. I like smaller get togethers as well. Love your tips for Cocktail parties!

  3. wow looks amazing and what a lucky friend

  4. fresh grapes with brie-yum!!
    Lucky guests who will enjoy your fine cuisine;-)

  5. Lisa, you are certainly the hostess with the mostest, how fun it would be to be a guest at your house! I think I would be oohing and ahhing through the entire evening! I won't even go into being a mouse at your house .......... :)

  6. Love these bites, Lisa! The flavors sound perfect together!

  7. What a beautiful & unusual appetizer! These would be perfect for a wine-tasting party.

    I just discovered your blog & look forward to exploring it!

  8. Very interesting...I've never made grape salsa - never tried to mix sweet grapes with savory ingredients! It does make sense as a topping for Brie, though. Traditionally topped with sweet-and savoury, Brie is a great vehicle for opposite flavours, as it actually ties it together! Love this recipe! Will have to try it soon!

  9. I've said it before, and I'm going to say it your Friday Night Bites!!! Thanks for all the party tips! Have a wonderful weekend, Lisa!

  10. Grape salsa?! What a great idea. These look like delicious little bites!

  11. I really need wonderful for a party or gathering!

  12. Lisa, the grape salsa is brilliant and I love it with the brie. What a wonderful appetizer.

    Merry Christmas to you and hubs!!!

  13. I love the idea of a grape salsa and can't wait to try it. So lovely for a holiday cocktail party-these cups look wonderful:)


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