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about 4 dozen appetizers


  • Spiced Beef or Poultry Filling
  • 1 pound ground beef or uncooked ground chicken or turkey
  • ½ cup chopped peeled onion
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil) (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup golden seedless raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  •  ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 (1.9-ounce) packages thawed frozen miniature phyllo/fillo shells or other miniature pastry shells (see note)


In a large heavy skillet, sauté beef and onion in hot oil until beef is crumbly and browned.  Drain off any excess fat. Stir in remaining ingredients for beef filling and simmer for 7 minutes.


Arrange miniature phyllo shells or other miniature pastry shells on ungreased baking sheets.  Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) of beef filling into each pastry shell.   Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 8 to 10 minutes or until tartlets are thoroughly heated. Garnish pastries as desired and serve immediately.


Note: May omit oil; lightly coat skillet with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.

Note: Omit miniature phyllo/filo shells and prepare favorite recipe for a double crust pie or use 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts (2 crusts).  With a biscuit cutter,  cut circles from the rolled out pastry to fit miniature muffin pans.  Fit pastry circles into the miniature muffin cups lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable  cooking spray.  Fill each with Spiced Beef or Poultry Filling and bake as previously directed.


Variation: Omit tomato sauce, vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, and allspice; use 1 cup  favorite tomato-base salsa, 2 to 3 tablespoons finely snipped cilantro leaves, ½ teaspoon or to taste chili powder, and 1/ 8 teaspoon ground cumin with the ground beef, onion, and salt and pepper for the filling.  Fill pastry shells and bake as previously directed.

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