Cheese And Spinach Tartlets
October, 2002

Makes 36 / These rich little mouthfuls are a special treat and make a wonderful addition to any tapas menu. Spanish Cabrales cheese is considered by some to be the pinnacle of all blue cheeses. Both Cabrales and its substitute, Manchego, are relatively easy to find in good grocery stores. If you're feeling decadent, substitute heavy cream for the fat-free half-and-half.

2 tablespoons chopped almonds
9 slices firm white bread
3/4-1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup crumbled Cabrales cheese or shredded Manchego cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly oil 3/4-inch-wide mini muffin cups. Toast almonds by placing in a small, dry skillet over medium heat; stir until golden, about 5 minutes.
2. With a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out 36 rounds from bread. Place rounds on a cookie sheet and bake until just pale gold, turning once, about 5 minutes. Gently press toasted rounds into the bottom of mini-muffin cups and set aside.
3. Dissolve cornstarch in half-and-half. In a medium bowl combine half-and-half, spinach, cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until blended. Spoon cheese mixture into bread cups; sprinkle each with almonds.
4. Bake until filling is set, about 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. The baked tartlets may be frozen in a tightly covered container. To reheat, place frozen tartlets on a pan in a 400° oven until hot, about 10 minutes.

Calories 40,Fat 2,Perfat 31,Cholesterol 2,Carbo 5,Protein 2