Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Fried Stuffed Olives

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

After frying up a batch of these Fried Stuffed Olives from David Leite's The New Portuguese Table, I hereby nominate them for a place in the bar snack hall of fame. Olives, cheese, cured pork, and roasted almonds make appearances at the cocktail hour spread, but not enough like this. Stuffing the juicy green olives with all the savory components leads to fantastic results but, breading and frying them after they've been stuffed? They might just be one of the best things that I've ever eaten before dinner.

Leite gives many options for stuffing your olives. Tiny chunks of Serrano ham get warmed just enough to start rendering a little of their fat, infusing the olives with a touch of porky flavor. Slivers of sheep's milk cheese melted and oozed into the center of the olives. The olive oil packed tuna stuffed olives brought to mind a Ni├žoise salad, and the almonds provided a nutty richness. But the most exciting part about these olives is that once fried, they all look identical which means that you never know what filling you are getting when you dive into the bowl.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The New Portuguese Table to give away this week.

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