Sip and Snack

Posted on: Saturday, April 21, 2012

To unwind on a balmy Friday evening, there’s nothing better than sipping a gin cocktail and nibbling on a bowl full of salty bite-sized treats. We love all kinds of marinated olives, from Spanish to Greek to Italian. While we seek olives on a tapas menu and could eat a whole bowl in one sitting, many are turned off by the pungent taste and slippery texture. To transform the briny orbs, we decided to fry them and serve them with a creamy aioli. Instead of a classic Gin and Tonic to sip alongside, we revamped the libation with the addition of citrus and our favorite flavoring, elderflower liqueur. Both delicacies will tantalize your taste buds, and disappear quickly, so make sure to plan ahead if serving for a crowd!

Fried Green Olives 

2 c pitted green olives, drained and patted dry
1/4 c flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 c breadcrumbs
1 c canola oil

Set up your dredging station: 1 plate of flour, 1 shallow bowl of the beaten egg, and 1 plate of breadcrumbs. Lightly dip the olives in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, making sure to cover all sides.

Heat the canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the olives until golden, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the olives to a plate covered with paper towel. Serve warm with aioli for dipping.

Tangy Aioli

2 large egg yolks
1 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 t Tabasco sauce or Chipotle powder
1 c EVOO
1 T chopped fresh parsley

Place the first five ingredients into a food processor and mix. While the mixer is running, slowly add the oil through the spout. The mixture will emulsify and become thicker as you add more oil. Once it reaches a thick consistency you’re set. Stir in the Tabasco sauce, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before serving.


Citrusy Elderflower Gin Cocktail

2 parts gin
1 part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 part fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
club soda

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice. Shake well and pour into two ice-filled Collins glass. Top with club soda and garnish with grapefruit wedges.

Simply breading and frying the olives transforms them into crispy, salty marbles further enhanced by the lemony, spicy aioli. To add yet another flavor boost, feel free to fill the olives with your favorite cheese or a cured meat before frying. They’re the perfect pop alongside a Citrusy Elderflower Gin Cocktail or a flute of bubbly Prosecco.

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