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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Goat Cheese Stuffed Fried Italian Olives

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Olives, stuffed with a savory goat cheese, breaded and fried until crisp, and topped with a shaving of sharp cheese, lemon zest, and a spritz of lemon.

24 large green olives, pitted
1/2 cup New Mexican goat cheese
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon Chipolte powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmigiano, extra to sprinkle on top
1 cup vegetable oil
Zest and juice from one lemon, for sprinkling

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese, mustard seed, rosemary, Chile flakes, and garlic. Stuff the olives with the cheese mixture (I like to use my fingers, but you could also use a piping bag if you're really classy). Put the stuffed olives on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes, to let the cheese firm up. While the olives are chilling, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan to 375 degrees. Set up three plates for your breading station. Put the flour on one plate, the beaten egg on the next, and mix the breadcrumbs and cheese on the last plate.

When the olives have chilled, roll half of them in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs and carefully drop them into the heated oil. Fry until golden brown, about one minute per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and repeat with the remaining olives. Pile on a plate and finish with a shower of freshly grated cheese and lemon zest and a spritz of lemon.