Crispy Olives Stuffed with Sausage
- 1/4 pound (1 link) fresh Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 jar (8 ounces) large pitted green olives
- 4 to 6 cups peanut oil, for deep-frying
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Remove the sausage meat from the casing and place it in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, a pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes, if using. Mix to evenly distribute the ingredients. Drain the olives and rinse them under cold water. Remove the pimentos, if necessary. Stuff each of the olives with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the sausage mixture.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer, or stock pot, to 375 degrees F.
Spread the flour on a dinner plate.
Break the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat lightly.
Spread the bread crumbs on another dinner plate and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Moisten the olives with the olive oil, stirring to evenly distribute the oil and seasoning.
Roll the olives in the flour, coating them all over and shaking off the excess. Then dip them in the egg, letting any excess drip back into the bowl. Finally, coat the olives all over with the bread crumbs. As each olive is coated, place it on a tray. Cover the olives and refrigerate until you are ready to fry them.
Fry the olives until golden brown and the sausage in the middle is cooked through, about 3 minutes. The olives will bubble vigorously until they are nearly done, so watch for splatters. Drain on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello