"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fried stuffed olives

Olive all'Ascolana
Prep: 25 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 minute per batch
Makes: 2 dozen
Freelance food writer Jennifer Day wrote about the first cookbook crowdsourced online with recipes gathered from home cooks across the country. "The Food52 Cookbook," by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, has 140 recipes, including these addictive olives from Arielle Arizpe of Austin, Texas.

1/2 cup soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
24 large green olives, pitted
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or panko)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Zest and juice from one lemon

1. Mix the cheese, mustard seed, rosemary, pepper flakes and garlic together in a small bowl. Stuff the olives with the mixture, using your fingers or a piping bag. Refrigerate to let the cheese firm up, 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to 375 degrees. Put the flour on one plate, the egg on another and mix the bread crumbs and 1/3 cup Parmesan on a third.

3. Working in batches, roll the olives in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs; carefully lower them into the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Shower with Parmesan and lemon zest; spritz with lemon.

Macadamia and coconut crusted fish w/Crunchy pineapple relish

By: JeanMarie Brownson 
Macadamia, coconut crusted fish
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

"Crispy-crunchy gets our vote every time," wrote JeanMarie Brownson in her column Dinner at Home. Her memorable pan-fried fish dish won our vote, and stomachs, handily.

6 pieces (about 6 ounces each) skinless fish fillets, such as mahi mahi, each about 3/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, chive or parsley (or a combination)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lime wedges
Crunchy pineapple relish, see recipe below

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat fish dry. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Mix chopped nuts, breadcrumbs, coconut, herbs, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a shallow dish. Put egg whites and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into another shallow dish; beat lightly with a fork until frothy.

2. Dip fish into egg whites; let excess drip off. Coat fish on all sides in breadcrumb mixture. Put onto a wire rack set over a pan. If desired, refrigerate an hour or so.

3. Heat oil in large, well-seasoned cast-iron (or nonstick) ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add fish in a single uncrowded layer (use two skillets if necessary). Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Gently flip fish; put into oven. Cook until crisped and fish is nearly firm, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Transfer to heated serving plates. Serve with lime wedges and topped with pineapple relish.

Crunchy pineapple relish
Mix 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple chunks, 1/4 of a seedless cucumber, finely diced (peeled if desired); 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion, rinsed; 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, chive or parsley (or a combination); 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice; drizzle of sesame oil; 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste in a small bowl. Let stand, stirring once or twice, about 20 minutes.