Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fried Olives

Have you had fried olives? I ask because Amamda Hesser writes in The Essential New York Times Cookbook "If you've never had a fried olive, do not let another day pass without tasting one." And, I couldn't agree more. I had enjoyed fried olives at restaurants, but when I saw this in the Hors D'Oeuvres chapter of TENYTC, I knew it was time to make them at home. In each chapter of that book, the recipes are listed chronologically according to when they appeared in the newspaper. I was charmed by the Hors D'Oeuvres chapter from the earliest entries. The salted and deviled almonds from 1897 and eggs suffragette from 1909 made me want to start planning a cocktail party. By the time I got to the fried olives from 2004, I was ready to start cooking and then mix some drinks. Having to fry something for a party never sounds like fun, but these crispy, little orbs hold up well for a few hours. You can do the frying in advance, and then re-warm the fried olives in the oven. There are suggestions for serving them with wedges of lemon, fennel slices, radishes, or a dusting of parmesan cheese. I liked the idea of a parmesan garnish and added some chopped parsley as well.

At our two grocery stores that I visit every week, and often several times a week, we have really good selections of olives. I can buy various types of olives stuffed with all kinds of ingredients, but since I was going to the trouble of breading and frying them, I decided to buy plain olives and stuff them myself. I chopped marcona almonds and piquillo peppers into thin strips and stuffed pieces of both into each olive. Other options might have included blue cheese, anchovies, other nuts, pickled vegetables, spicy chiles, or whatever sounds good in an olive. The stuffed olives were breaded by rolling them in flour, dunking them in egg, and then coating them with breadcrumbs. You can bread the olives in advance and refrigerate them until you're ready to begin frying. I heated olive oil in a saucepan and fried four or five olives at a time. They become golden in a minute or less and should then be drained on a paper towel-lined sheet pan.

Crispy and salty goes perfectly with bubbly. Champagne would have been an obvious choice, but instead, I poured a glass of sparkling, hard cider and it was a great match. The warm, crunchy-coated olives disappear quickly, so if you're serving a crowd, make more than you think you'll need.



40 comments:

  1. I've had them! Great bar/party food.

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  2. Those are for sure great party food!

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  3. Oh my gosh, I love olives and I've NEVER had fried ones!!! How can that be!

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  4. A great idea! They look really tempting. I love the ingredients you used.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. I have NOT have fried olives, but I've wanted to try them since forever! You would think that, as a chef, it would have occurred to me by now to make them at home. I'm going to make some asap. My version will be made with the blue cheese and spicy pepper olives.

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  6. Those looks fabulous! I'm pretty sure, though, that they woudln't make it all the way to party time for me.

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  7. These are gorgeous with the sprinkling of parsley...and sound darn tasty, too!

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  8. Holy Lord Almighty. Drooling from Dublin... (And making when I get home!) Perfect Super Bowl food too!

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  9. Nice one, Lisa! So they don't give you any problems with moisture leaking back out of the olive and softening the shell? I think that is what would have intuitively stopped me from trying it.

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  10. Michael: I drained the olives first, and no, no moisture leaked. Also, I used panko for extra crispiness in the breading.

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  11. Oh My God. These look like the most amazing things I may ever eat. I am going to make them tomorrow. You really aren't helping my diet Lisa!

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  12. Those look incredibly tempting. I would never have thought you can fry olives. It just never occurred to me..;)

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  13. How have I eaten olives my ENTIRE LIFE and not ever known that fried olives even exist! I feel cheated. And incomplete. Obviously I need to get on this.

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  14. Love them!
    I see 'olives' and instantly my mouth starts to water. I'm one of those weird people who will spend 20 minutes hanging out at the olive bar.

    Btw, until now, I had never thought of frying olives. Looks like a delicious concept.

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  15. Lisa, I LOVE fried olives. Never made them at home, but we have a small Italian restaurant in town with so-so food, but FANTASTIC fried olives!

    addictive stuff...

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  16. What a delicious recipe! Sounds like a great food to serve at a cocktail party.

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  17. What a great idea with fried olives -- i love the uniqueness of ingredients used. Need to search for marcona almonds ;)

    Happy 2012, sweetie!

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  18. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

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  19. the only times I eat olives is in sandwiches and pizzas. Your photos are nudging me to try out fried olives someday.

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  20. I'm not sure where I have been lately, but I have never had a fried olive. Between you and Jen (Use Real Butter), I'm definitely putting them on my next party menu.

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  21. there are several foods i absolutely don't like, and olives fall into that category. the idea of frying them, though, changes things completely! :)

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  22. Fried Olives! Whoda thought? I absolutely love this idea, Lisa. I don't know what rock I've been hiding under but I had better get out and buy me some olives. My mind is going a mile a minute just thinking of all things I can stuff them with. I am so saving this link!!!

    I'm also intrigued by that book. I better check it out quick. It sounds like my "cup of tea" for sure.

    Thank you so much for introducing us to the book and me to fried olives which I have never heard of before...

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  23. Those little suckers look so delicious- it's hard to improve on an olive but stuffing and frying it must surely. I shouldn't read food blogs while hungry- now I'm absolutely starving after seeing these!

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  24. This recipe looks awesome! Thank you for sharing!

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  25. Well it seems I will be making these soon since I should not let another day go by without trying these little bites of goodness. They look delicious.

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  26. I've been on such an olive kick lately. How did you know? :) Hope I have the privilege of trying one (or more) of these soon!

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  27. These look absolutely delicious and very addicting! I think olive frying is on the menu this weekend! Love.

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  28. Lovely! I have used olives for almost all types of stews,braises,garnishing...I thought I have tried everything until I saw this post. Interestingly yummy! Great idea, Lisa!

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  29. OMG I love fried olives - we used to eat them in Italy as often as was reasonably possible - but they were stuffed in meat then breaded and fried. I like yours (Amanda's) better. Delicious!

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  30. I love fried olives and I absolutely adore that cookbook - got it for Christmas last year and it has been such a treasure trove of information and history.

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  31. I'm so happy to have found your blog. I have had fried olives at restaurants. I would love to serve them at a party but didn't want to fry during the event. Knowing that they can be prepared in advance is great...will be doing so very soon. Thank you.

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  32. I was not keen on olives till I saw these! Looks like the crisp batter really has done its magic :p

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  33. Olives are one of my all time favorite foods. I could simply have a bucket of olives for dinner. I've never even thought to bread and fry them. My stomach is growling just thinking about it!

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  34. Oh! I never had fried olives...they sure look great as appetizers.
    Have a great week Lisa :-)

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  35. OMG, never had friend olives before and they sound delicious. In Cyprus we put them on a skewer and barbecue them.

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  36. Fried olives?? I have never heard of or seen these before, but they look awesome!

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  37. I just made them and they were amazing!

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