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Egg of My Heart
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Mac ‘n Cheese By Any Other Name
Sandwiches and One Soup
With Olives


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With Olives

Cheddar Olives
Makes approximately 2 dozen

1 cup good sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbs unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup flour
generous pinch cayenne pepper
3 oz jar pimento stuffed olives drained and dry In a bowl combine the cheddar and butter then add the flour and cayenne pepper. Blend into a dough. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto waxed paper or a floured board and flatten. Place an olive in the center of each and wrap covering each olive completely. Chill or freeze until ready to use. Place evenly spaced on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry has gone golden. Serve warm. Simple, no?

Marinated Olives
1 lb black olives
1 cup olive oil
1 small onion cut in quarters
4 cloves garlic cut in half
3 bay leaves
1 fennel frond
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 three-inch strips of orange peel (no pith)
12 coriander seeds bruised with the bottom of a pot

Put all of the ingredients in a snap lid glass jar for at least twenty four hours. This makes a lovely hostess gift if you take care with how you pack the jar; arranging the herbs along the side of the glass and the orange peels visible so to make the best possible presentation.

Black Spaghetti with Olive Paste
The Romans called this olive paste, traditionally served with fresh cheese, epityrum (over cheese). This modern pasta dish is from Umbria where olives and olive oil are among the best.
for 4
1 lb black spaghetti or linguine
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
4 tbs olive paste (follows)
grated pecorino romano, parmigiano or Grana padana
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta is plenty of well salted boiling water until al dente, do not over cook. Meanwhile sauté the garlic in the oil until golden then remove from the heat and discard the garlic. Add the olive paste and toss with the well drained pasta and the parsley. Pass the pepper mill and grated cheese.

for the olive paste
Cato, from which whom recipe originates, includes Rue (a bitter herb), which I thought better left out.

3/4 cup black oil cured olives, pitted
1/4 good olive oil, more or less
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tbs fresh basil
Grind together all of the above in a food processor adding enough oil to make a loose paste of it all.

Cotes d’Agneau aux Olives
for 6

12 fairly thick lamb chops

for the bechamel
1 tsp butter
1 rounded tbs flour, more or less
1 medium shallot, minced
3/4 cup whole milk, or less
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and white pepper to taste

1 recipe Tapenade (follows)
1 tbs (at least) Gruyere cheese, grated
1 tbs sweet butter, more or less
2 tbs good olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Make a simple thick bechamel sauce by sautéing the shallot in the butter until softened. Add the flour slowly to make a roux cooking until it resembles wet sand. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking to keep smooth. Add the nutmeg, salt and white pepper to taste and set on one side. Can be made ahead. Salt and pepper the lamb chops. Brush with olive oil and grill over the coals, or sauté in butter and oil 2-3 minutes a side, or until seared (longer if chops are extra thick). Place the lamb chops in a baking dish and top with a layer of tapenade (can be made days ahead), and one of the bechemal sauce. Sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese. Bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for a few minutes until the cheese has just gone golden and the chops are medium rare.

for the Tapenade
The “poor man’s caviar” – classic Niçoise olive paste.

2 cups oil cured olives, pitted
1 tbs capers (tapeno in provencal), rinsed
2-4 anchovy filets, rinsed and patted dry
1 tbs oil from the anchovy tin
1 tbs Gosling’s Barbados rum
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbs olive oil

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and give it a few pulses until well combined, but not too smooth, paste. May also be served with toast points, or warm foccacia.

Poulet aux Olives Vertes
for 4
1 large (4-5lb) chicken cut in eighths
salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
3-4 tbs good olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbs cognac
1 bottle fruity white wine
2 tbs fresh thyme
2 tbs marjoram
2 medium tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cup tinned) peeled seeded and chopped
1/2 lb small mushrooms, cleaned
20 or more green olives, pitted, rinsed in cold water
3 tbs fresh parsley, minced
lemon slices for garnish

Discard the wing tips and back from the butchered chicken (or save for stock). Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed coverable casserole. Season the chicken liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper and dust with flour. Brown the chicken on all sides in the hot oil. Lower the flame, add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the cognac, ignite and flame. Lower the heat, add the tomatoes, half the parsley and wine enough to just cover. Cover the casserole and simmer 2 – 21/2 hours until chicken is tender. About fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil until tender and add (including the juices) to the casserole. Skim some of the surface fat from the “stew” and leave uncovered. Bring a cup of water to a boil in a small sauce pan and plunge in the olives and simmer for 4 minutes and drain. Remove the chicken from the casserole to a serving platter. Spoon the hot sauce over all and scatter the olives decoratively. Sprinkle with remaining minced parsley. Decorate with lemon slices.

Caponata
The Sicilian version of ratatouille.

1/2 cup good olive oil
1 large Eggplant (1lb or so) partly peeled and cut in small dice
2 green zucchini, in half moon slices, not too thin
2 yellow zucchini, in half moon slices, not too thin
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green sweet pepper, cut in strips
1 red sweet pepper, cut in strips
4 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 cup or more green olives, rinsed, pitted, chopped
4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
2-3 tbs capers, rinsed
4 tbs wine vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup or more toasted pine nuts

Put the eggplant (aubergines) in a colander, sprinkle with salt, leave to stand for an hour to drain off some of the water and bitterness. Rinse off the salt and pat dry. Sauté until golden in some of the olive oil. Drain on paper towels. Now sauté the zucchini quickly. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add more oil and sauté the onions, garlic until just golden. Add the peppers sauté another five minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the celery, capers, and olives and cook for five minutes. Mix together the sugar and the vinegar and add to the mixture. Put in the eggplant and zucchini. Simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve room temperature or cooler. Keeps, can be re-heated.

Olive Roasted Potatoes
for 6
3 lbs Yukon Gold (or other boiling) potatoes peeled, cut in chunks
2 tbs sea salt, some for the water, some to season
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup oil cured small black olives
2 tsp fresh rosemary
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
freshly ground white pepper to taste

Blanch the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender, but not soft. Drain well and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Toss the slightly cooled potatoes with olive oil and rosemary and spread on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Scatter the olives and chopped garlic over the potatoes and roast another 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper and serve hot.


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