FRIED STUFFED OLIVES
(This recipe is part of "A Tapas Experience.")
Camino de Santiago - A Life-Changing Experience
The Camino de Santiago is a life-changing experience for those that take on its challenge. There is a magnetic force resident in the Camino that, once you hear about it, you are unable to resist the attraction. At least that is how it played out for me.
The Compelling Force of the Camino
I remember when it lured me in. My husband and I went with some out-of-town friends to see the movie starring Martin Sheen called “The Way.” I had never heard of the film and wasn’t particularly interested in seeing it, other than desiring to be with my friends. It is a movie about a father's 500-mile hike across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago. I teared up through the entire movie as I felt this compelling pull. I knew right then and there, come hell or high water, I would make this trek someday. I carried that aspiration in my heart for five years and never once let it dissipate. It is interesting because I heard this same sentiment from people that I met along the trail. They all had felt compelled to come.
The Camino Attracts All Walks of Life
The Camino attracts people from all walks of life. When I was on the trail, I encountered 70-year-olds desiring something more than just sitting on their front porch sipping a strawberry lemonade waiting to enter the sweet by and by. There were many from a younger generation (20 somethings) longing to break out of a boxed-in, comatose existence of just surviving. I met mid-lifers, in the “professional” rat race climbing the corporate ladder, needing to shake themselves from bitter disillusionment. There were adventurers desiring a unique challenge, those that could not get enough of the great outdoors, others just wanting to forge a new start in life. I could go on and on about those I had met along "The Way" as this is just a smidgen of the diversity. What a beautiful converging of humankind for a moment in time that changed my life forever.
A Beautiful Story Waiting to be Told
Day one of this 42-day trek found 400 other pilgrims initiated into this unpredicted adventure. Each would make this journey at their own pace and for their specific reasons. None of us had any idea of what we were about to encounter. Although everyone came from different backgrounds and various countries of the world, we would all share in common experiences. The highs, the lows, the struggles and the breathtaking views would all play into the beautiful drama about to unfold. Burning blisters, amazing people from around the world, pouring rain, aching, sore muscles, and long, intense days, all became a part of this story. There was no written script, no defined plot, no final curtain in sight. And although there were many other characters, in the end, this became my story, and mine alone.
Immerse Yourself Into a Culture by Their Food
Part of immersing yourself into another culture is experiencing the various foods of that particular country. Which you better believe, I did. My favorite Spanish food “experiences” were unquestionably the tapas. These Fried Stuffed Olives, high on my list of "I have to make these when I get back home," took center stage when I began pulling together recipes for my "Tapas Experience" posts.
Fried Stuffed Olives - Salty Little Nuggets
Like most tapas, these salty little nuggets, are not complicated or time consuming. I choose olives already filled with blue cheese. You can fill them yourself, but why when you can buy them already stuffed. I prefer the bulk bins when purchasing olives. They seem to be more plump and fresh. Dredge them in flour, then in egg, and finally in bread crumbs before you fry them in the olive oil. The only issue you will have is how messy your hands get. I like to pat the bread crumbs nice and thick around the olive; therefore all the coating ingredients ended up as a sloppy glob all over my fingers.
The Spicy Aioli Adds Dimension to the Olives
Fried Stuffed Olives can be made ahead of time and brought to room temperature before serving them. The frill of the dish is undeniably the spicy aioli sauce. You can eat the olives by themselves sprinkled with some parmesan cheese and be completely satisfied, but the aioli adds a whole new dimension to these treasures.
View the full "Tapas Experience" here.
According to www.softschools.com
- The olive branch is a symbol of peace. People were using the olive branch during the history of mankind to declare a truce by giving it to their enemies. Olive branches crowned the champions at the Olympic Games in the past. The Olympic Games in Athens of 2004 revived this tradition.
- Olive trees can live from 300 to 600 years. Several trees managed to survive a couple of thousand years. Some of them still produce fruit.
- People around the world consume 2.25 million liters of olive oil each year. This oil is much healthier and has more delicate flavor compared to the regular vegetable oils. It takes 7 liters of olives for the production of one liter of oil.
- Popeye's famous lady love "Olive Oyl" has appeared in close to 30,000 comics strips, more than 500 animated cartoons and innumerable comic books.
- The Mediterranean diet offers a host of benefits which prolong life and improve health. It is mainly because of olive oil, which is a major component of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains a unique compound called oleuropein which offers many disease-fighting health benefits. However, it is the olive LEAF which contains the most oleuropein. Did you know the olive leaf is best known for its blood-pressure lowering ability, in addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties?
Fried Stuffed Olives
Tangy and salty, these blue cheese stuffed fried olives are a perfect complement to any Spanish tapas table. They can be made ahead and served at room temperature.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 30 Olives 1x
- Category: Spanish Tapas
Spicy Aioli Sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ cup prepared mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Stuffed Fried Olives
- olive or canola oil for frying
- 30 blue cheese stuffed olives
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs
Spicy Aioli Sauce
- Wisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until completely combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fried Stuffed Olives
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside. Place the flour in small bowl. Beat both eggs in another bowl.
- In an assembly line process, take each stuffed olive, roll it in the flour to cover completely. Dip the olive in the egg and finally roll it in the bread crumb mixture.
- Check the oil to see if it is hot enough by dropping a couple of bread crumbs in the oil. If it sizzles, it is ready for the olives.
- Using tongs, carefully add 4 to 5 olives at a time in the oil. Fry the olives while turning them to brown on all sides, about a minute or two. You may need to adjust the heat either up or down according to how quick they are frying. When done, remove the olives with the tongs. Set them on a plate with paper towels to drain. Repeat each batch.
- Serve them either warm or at room temperature with the smoky aioli sauce.
- Serving Size: 3 Olives with Aioli Sauce
- Calories: 260
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 583 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 15 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 27mg