Fried Cheese Stuffed Olives

Last week I was dining at ZIN Restaurant in Palm Springs and ordered the fried green olives stuffed with blue cheese. They were so amazing I asked the Owner Mindy what the basics were and then I was on a mission to make these at home for my mother in law. She loves green olives. We thought the panko crusted one’s turned out the best. These are great because you can prepare them a day ahead of time and then just fry them up as guests arrive. They taste good cold as well.
What to drink: A glass of bubbly would be perfect with the olives. Try Domaine Chandon Brut Classic (California, $20).
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce (about) mild blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese
  • 24 pitted Spanish olives, patted dry (you can also buy pre-stuffed from Cost Plus)
  • Peanut oil (for frying)
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs or ½ cup Panko Crispy Plain Bread Crumbs (I thought Panko crumbs were the best and were more crispy)
Preparation
Roll small amount of cheese into log shape narrow enough to stuff into 1 pitted olive; stuff olive with cheese. Repeat with remaining olives and cheese. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to measure depth of 1 inch. Heat oil to 350°F.
Roll stuffed olives in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs to coat.
Fry olives until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer olives to paper towels to drain. Serve hot. You can make the delicious red pepper dipping sauce below to dip the olives in. The olives do taste amazing all by themselves.
Red Pepper Dipping Sauce
Ingredients:
1 Cup toasted almonds
4 cloves garlic
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 Cups red bell peppers, charred and peeled- Jarred is perfectly fine
Red Pepper flakes to taste
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Directions:
Add all ingredients except red pepper flakes, pepper, and salt to food processor or blender and blend until smooth, season to taste with flakes, pepper and salt
Inspired by:
Mindy Reed, Owner at ZIN Restaurant in Palm Springs, California
Adapted from: Bon Appétit  | August 2007

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