Habanero Hors D’oeuvres


Pastry dough
2 12 oz jars of whole habanero peppers
8 oz package of regular or low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat sour cream
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 oz unsalted, unoiled cashew nuts, chopped fine
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp coarse-grind black pepper
approx 1/8 cup water
approx 1/8 cup milk

How to prepare

Wear rubber gloves and work outdoors or in a well-ventilated kitchen. Pour off the vinegar in which the habaneros are packed and save it to use in seasoning salads. Rinse the peppers well several times in water, remove and discard the stems and seeds, and set the peppers aside on paper towels to dry.

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together thoroughly. Add parsley, chopped cashews, salt and black pepper and stir until well blended. Using an espresso spoon or your gloved fingers, stuff the habaneros with this mixture.
Roll pastry dough out thin, and use a cup or lid to cut it into circles approx. 3 1/2″ in diameter. Place one stuffed habanero in each circle. With your finger, apply a light coating of water to the edge of the dough, fold over, and seal. Prick an air hole in the top of each tart.

Place the tarts on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees until crust is golden brown (approx. 15 minutes). About 5 minutes before they are finished, brush the top of each tart lightly with milk; discard any remaining milk. Remove tarts from the oven and allow to cool for up to 2 hours before serving. Makes approx. 50 hors d’oeuvres.

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