Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Fried Olives with Gorgonzola, Walnuts & Rosemary


Fried olives are a new taste sensation for me. I hadn't even heard of them until I was idly typing random food-related words into Google during my lunch hour (typical search terms: 'unusual things to do with chorizo'; 'quick easy wow food'; 'fast recipes for small food'; 'can you make jelly from peanut butter'), and happened upon Queen Martha's recipe for blue cheese stuffed fried olives. Oh Martha, I thought, these look very nice indeed. Oh Martha, I then thought, I could make these better.

Yes, gentle reader, my fried olives, with a melting middle of gorgonzola, walnuts and rosemary, are better than Martha's. Gorgonzola is the obvious choice of cheese, being as it is very squishy and open to being prodded into small holes. You could, however, go for a brie-like cheese, some feta, or indeed a bit of grated cheddar. The walnut adds a lovely internal crunch, but again - do it your way. Any nuts will work!

These fried olives make a lovely snack with a cold beer or a glass of wine - they're best eaten hot, but will keep in the fridge and can be enjoyed cold, too. They're super-easy to whip up, and are done before you can even utter the words 'tax evasion'. Although why you would be uttering that, I just don't know.

Fried Olives with Gorgonzola, Walnuts & Rosemary (makes 25)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 5 minutes
You will need:
  • Around 25 large, pitted olives 
  • 60g gorgonzola
  • 20g walnuts, finely chopped
  • A couple of sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • About 50g fine breadcrumbs
  • A generous glug of oil, for frying
Make it!
  1. If your olives are in brine, drain them and soak them in cold water for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the gorgonzola, walnuts and rosemary using the back of a spoon or your clean hands.
  2. Remove the olives from the water and pat dry with some kitchen roll. Use your fingers to stuff each one with the cheese mixture, pushing it right into the gap. Your pinkie should suffice, but if you're blessed with man-hands like mine, a chopstick is a good pushing implement!
  3. Once all the olives are stuffed, put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three different bowls. Roll an olive in the flour, dip into the egg, then coat well with breadcrumbs. Set aside while you finish the rest.
  4. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, then fry your olives for about 2-3 minutes until golden. I did mine in two batches, sifting the burned breadcrumb bits out of the oil for the second batch.
  5. Leave the newly-fried olives on a piece of kitchen roll to drain, then serve while still warm - although they're just as delicious cold.

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