We won! Finally! Why yes, those would be my liberal elite miniature Reubens in phyllo cups (with apologies to Sheila Lukins for using her cookbook as a backdrop). Each leetle cup has a few strands of my homemade purple sauerkraut, chopped corned beef that I had cooked the night before, a sprinkle of caraway seeds, a dollop of Russian dressing made from mayo, dill relish, ketchup and hot sauce, and Jarlsberg grated on top.
These nibbles were my contribution to a “liberal elite” election party last night, which featured such academic-minded delicacies as BBQ beef brisket, cupcakes, flatbread and Swedish cheese in a tube (several flavors). The cupcakes were arranged in the shape of the United States on the coffee table. Each one had frosting initials of a state on it, and when a state turned, guests were invited to take a cupcake, spoon on either blueberry or strawberry topping, and nom nom nom.
I thought about just bringing the fixins for Reuben sandwiches, that classic of days gone by, but I felt a social obligation to step up my game. It was, after all, about elitism, and what says elitism better than phyllo cups?
I’ve worked with phyllo for many years, but mainly just for recipes that called for layers layed flat, stuff like baklava and spanikopita (Greek spinach and feta pie) and that marvelous Moroccan dish, bstilla, which pairs chicken or quail with raisins and cinnamon.
I’ve never bothered with the fussy little appetizer cups. But, well, I bought a mini-muffin pan yesterday, and I had the phyllo, and I thought, the country’s in for some big changes…I should take up the challenge. Yes I can!
And I did.
The instructions I used can be found here, and are easy enough for anyone. The little cups can be filled with anything, of course, but my Reubens can inspire a wealth of sandwich fillings:
- miniature clubs (chopped turkey, bacon, aioli with microgreens)
- miniature PB&J (coarsely chopped peanuts and fresh fruit compote)
- miniature croque-monsieurs (ham, gruyere cheese, a dab of mustard)
- minature pan bagnat (olive-oil-marinated tuna, chopped roasted red peppers, capers on a slice of hard boiled egg)
In short, use your imagination, either liberally or conservatively. The results will work for any party.
OK, now for more sober business.
I am deeply disappointed, in a night of hope and change, that California passed the divisive and discriminatory Prop 8, which takes away the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state, a proposition I blogged about here. All I can say is that our country is changing, and I firmly believe that in the next generation, being happily and openly queer won’t be judged as it is now, with religious bias in our civic institutions. This is not the end; it’s the beginning.