Spicy Blistered Green Olives

The humble green olive, you gotta love them!  Olives and eating them have been around for thousands of years.  Evidence of its cultivation and consumption dates back almost 6000 years to the Levant area in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Crete.  Olive oil has been traded since pre-Christian times.  And I believe olives have been cooked and eaten in some way or another since then.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they made Spicy Blistered Green Olives in a fire pit back in the day!

In fact my husband who was born in the Middle East in what is today known as the West Bank has many childhood memories of eating freshly roasted olives prepared by his grandmother during the olive picking season.  To hear his stories one is led to believe that his grandmother prepared it in the centuries old way of roasting them over an open fire in the yard, the same place she made her flat breads.

Actually today we still eat olives prepared the same way pretty much as they were prepared way back then because you really can’t eat the fruit picked straight from the tree.  Yes, olives are fruit not veggies, but fresh from the tree they are basically inedible.  They’re bitter and have an unappetizing texture.  To make olives edible they must be brined, roasted, or cooked in some way.  Most of us in the US know only the brined or pickled olives that we find in cans and jars in the supermarket, or floating in a martini, rarely do we find fresh olives that we must prepare at home.

We’ve also “discovered” or really “re-discovered” that olives are healthy for us.  A fact which was known thousands of years ago.  Olives are packed with nutrients that have many benefits.  Olives are heart healthy and has been shown to prevent heart disease; studies have shown that green olives can prevent osteoporosis; olives contain large amounts of antioxidants which help prevent certain types of cancers; they can help reduce Arthritis inflammation and pain; and they are believed to be natural treatments for ulcers.  The list actually goes on so I think it’s safe to say that including olives and olive oil in your diet has positive health benefits.

Having said all that I know that not everyone is overly found of olives and I doubt there’ll be a mad rush to buy barrels of brined olives.  So here’s a recipe inspired by my husband’s stories about his grandma’s roasted olives that might help you like olives enough to include them in your diet.  I call them Spicy Blistered Green Olives, but unlike the grandma I cook them on my stove and not outside in an open fire; although if you have a fire pit you might want to give it a go!

Spicy Blistered Green Olives are delicious!  You can eat them hot or cold, they make awesome appetizers, and terrific snacks.  I usually leave a bowl of Spicy Blistered Green Olives on the table and everyone who walks by can’t help but pop an olive or two in his mouth each time they walk by.

Aside from the fact that they’re simply yummy and have positive health benefits these Spicy Blistered Green Olives are super easy to make.  They are a healthier alternative to chips, cookies, and other carbohydrate laden snacks out there.  So here’s the recipe!

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Spicy Blistered Green Olives

Ingredients:

1  10oz. Jar of Garlic Stuffed Green Olives

2 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Tbs Minced Garlic

1 Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper

1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

Heat olive oil in sauté pan

Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil

Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles

Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown

Add salt and peppers and mix well

Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all

Toss a bit and serve

 


Spicy Blistered Green Olives
Print Recipe
Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
Spicy Blistered Green Olives
Print Recipe
Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan
  2. Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil
  3. Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles
  4. Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown
  5. Add salt and peppers and mix well
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all
  7. Toss a bit and serve
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Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers

lime cilantro chicken skewersSummer’s in full swing!  This means our backyard grills our working overtime turning out delicious barbecued food.  And those of us who prep for the barbecues are looking for different foods our partners or husbands can toss on the grill.  Well just in time for your July 4th. barbecue are my Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers.  They are delicious!

My Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are easy to make and best of all can be served as a meal of chicken kabobs, top fresh salads for a light lunch, or rolled in a tortilla for an delicious snack!

These Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are perfect for your next backyard barbecue.  They’re a little bit sweet, a bit cirtursy, and a whole lot spicy!  Serve it with a side of my Spicy Homemade Salsa for a delicious Mexican Fiesta!

If you’re not a fan of hot spicy food, no worries, just omit the peppers for a milder version.

 

Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers
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Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a ziplock bag combine chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic, and crushed red pepper together
  2. Squeeze in the juice of the lime into bag
  3. Add Cilantro, lime rind, and olive oil into the spice mixture. Be sure the spices have dissolved and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients
  4. Add chicken cubes. Knead the sealed bag to evenly distribute the spice mixture with the chicken
  5. Place in the fridge until ready to cook. Leave in fridge atleast 2 hours but no more than 24 hours.
  6. Skewer the chicken cubes on to bamboo or metal skewers alternating between meat and bell peppers
  7. Place any remaining marinade in a bowl to use for basting chicken while it cooks.
  8. Grill chicken and serve warm
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Spinach Puffs & Other Appetizer Recipes for Your New Year’s Eve Party

Spinach Puffs & Other Appetizer Recipes for Your New Year’s Eve Party

New Year’s Eve is just days away!  Whether you’re throwing a big bash or just ringing in the New Year with your significant other finger foods are a must have.  After all you shouldn’t start the New Year on an empty stomach!

This year I’m making these yummy Spinach Puffs as well as a few other tidbits to go with our bubbly!  Here are some of my favorite appetizer recipes, maybe you’ll find one or two that tickles your fancy!

Spinach PuffsThese Spinach Puffs are light and delish, your friends and family will love them.  Best of all Spinach Puffs are very easy to make, you can make them ahead of time or whip them up in about a half hour.

You’ll just need 4 main ingredients to whip up a batch of these Spinach Puffs.

You can make them ahead of time and freeze them in ziplock freezer bags until you’re ready to use them.  Just thaw them out to room temperature then pop them in a 400º oven to heat up.

By the way, you can use them for any occasion, you’re not limited to New Year’s Eve!

Spinach Puffs

Makes 24 Spinach Puffs

3 sheets frozen puff pastry – thawed to room temperature

5 oz. bag fresh baby spinach leaves

1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. finely minced garlic

1 tsp. olive oil

Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

cooking spray

Procedure

Heat oil in a medium skillet

Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute or until golden brown

Add spinach leaves and cook until soft and dark green in color – use the spatula to cut spinach leaves into small pieces

Add salt, pepper & crushed red pepper

Cook one more minute

Turn off heat and let cool slightly

Add mozzarella cheese and stir well – cheese may melt

Lightly spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray

Unfold pastry sheets and cut out 3″ circles with a cookie cutter

Place a pastry circle in each muffin cup and gently press in

Divide spinach cheese mixture into each muffin cup

Pinch 2 opposite sides of circle together, then do it to the other 2 sides to form a pocket with the spinach mixture inside

Pre-heat oven to 400º

Bake for 18 minutes or until pastry is golden brown

Remove from oven and serve warm or freeze for later.


If you liked these Spinach Puffs you might want to try these other recipes by Savvy Nana!

spinach puffsCheesy Crescent Bites [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

spinach puffsShrimp Scampi Cheese Dip  [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

spinach puffsCrunch Mushroom Poppers [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

spinach puffsSundried Tomato Puff Pastries [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

spinach puffsRoasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs  [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

 


Chocolate of the Month Club

Spinach Puffs
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Servings
24 Puffs
Servings
24 Puffs
Spinach Puffs
Print Recipe
Servings
24 Puffs
Servings
24 Puffs
Ingredients
Servings: Puffs
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet
  2. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute or until golden brown
  3. Add spinach leaves and cook until soft and dark green in color - use the spatula to cut spinach leaves into small pieces
  4. Add salt, pepper & crushed red pepper Cook one more minute
    spinach puffs
  5. Turn off heat and let cool slightly Add mozzarella cheese and stir well - cheese may melt
  6. Lightly spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray
  7. Unfold pastry sheets and cut out 3" circles with a cookie cutter
  8. Place a pastry circle in each muffin cup and gently press in
    spinach puffs
  9. Divide spinach cheese mixture into each muffin cup
    spinach puffs
  10. Pinch 2 opposite sides of circle together, then do it to the other 2 sides to form a pocket with the spinach mixture inside
    spinach puffs
  11. Pre-heat oven to 400º
  12. Bake for 18 minutes or until pastry is golden brown
  13. Remove from oven and serve warm or freeze for later.
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Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Have you resolved to eat healthier this year?  Like many folks we try to eat healthy most of the time, but holidays always set us back just a little bit.  So last month my husband announced that after several months of slacking he was determined to loose a few pounds and make healthier choices.  In other words he’s back on his low carb diet of meat and veggies.  Sounds great, but it also presents a challenge.  The challenge being finding “healthier” meals to prepare on my very busy schedule.  Imagine how happy I was to find thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts at our neighborhood market.

I love the thin cut breasts because they are so versatile and cook very quickly.  Perfect for my schedule!  But the thinness of the breasts do present a challenge, how not to over cook and dry them out.  Anyway I have been using them for stir fries and other chicken dishes, the trick is to reduce the cooking time so they don’t dry out.  No one likes to eat tough dry chicken breasts!

For variety I tried preparing the chicken breasts different ways, experimenting with different herbs and cooking methods.  Here’s a quick easy recipe I made the other day, Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts.  This dish is quite healthy.  It uses very little oil, and adds no salt.  The flavor comes from the dried herbs generously patted on the chicken breasts.  Best of all this dish takes about 15 minutes to make cook and another 5 -10 minutes to rest.  Served with a salad or pasta it makes a great healthy dinner!

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 Thin Sliced Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – if you can’t find thin sliced breasts, cut 2 breasts horizontally to make 4 thin slices

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Dried Oregano

1/4 Cup Dried Rosemary

2 Tbs. Dried Thyme

1/4 Cup Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Cayenne Red Pepper (optional)

1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

Directions:

Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Chicken breastsPat generous amounts of spice mixture on to both sides of each chicken breast

Heat Olive Oil over medium high heat

Gently drop each chicken breast into hot oil.  Oil should sizzle when chicken breasts are dropped in.

Cook each side of the chicken breasts 3-4 minutes.

Transfer onto plate and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.  It’s very important to let the chicken breasts rest because this will complete the cooking process.  If you serve it without resting chicken breasts will be under cooked.

 

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  3. Pat generous amounts of spice mixture on to both sides of each chicken breast
  4. Heat Olive Oil over medium high heat
  5. Gently drop each chicken breast into hot oil. Oil should sizzle when chicken breasts are dropped in.
  6. Cook each side of the chicken breasts 3-4 minutes.
  7. Transfer onto plate and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. It's very important to let the chicken breasts rest because this will complete the cooking process. If you serve it without resting chicken breasts will be under cooked.
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Baked Shrimp Scampi

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp ScampiFor some reason guests seem to be impressed with you serve seafood, as long as they’re not allergic to it.  Serving extra large shrimp is always a crowd pleaser; making them into Shrimp Scampi makes it more impressive.  I could never figure out why, since Shrimp Scampi is so easy to make, the only down side in my opinion is that you have to saute the shrimp just before you serve it.  Regular scampi does not taste good cold.

I love this baked version because you can prep it before guests arrive and pop it in the oven just before you serve it.  Baked Scampi leaves you free to chat with your guests instead of sauteing in the kitchen.  I added this dish to our Christmas dinner this year when we had several unexpected out of town relatives in town.  I prepThey loved it!

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup white wine (or chicken stock for non-alcoholic version)
1 lemon
2 pounds large or extra large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 stick butter – melted
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Chopped parsley

Directions:

1.  Pour wine into 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

2.  Squeeze lemon juice over wine.  Set pan aside.

3.  Place shrimp, crushed pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil in large bowl.

4.  Toss shrimp to coat with oil mixture.

5.  Place shrimp in a single layer in baking pan.

6.  Melt butter and place panko in melted butter.  Stir until butter is evenly absorbed in panko.

7.  Sprinkle panko mixture over shrimp.

8.  Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until shrimp is pink.  Do not over cook.

Serve immediately.  You can serve this over pasta or with mashed potatoes.

Baked Shrimp Scampi
Print Recipe
A crowd pleaser! This new twist on the classic shrimp dish is so easy to make, guests will think you spent hours perfecting it!
Servings Prep Time
8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Baked Shrimp Scampi
Print Recipe
A crowd pleaser! This new twist on the classic shrimp dish is so easy to make, guests will think you spent hours perfecting it!
Servings Prep Time
8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Pour wine into 9" x 13" baking pan.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over wine. Set pan aside.
  3. Place shrimp, crushed pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil in large bowl.
  4. Toss shrimp to coat with oil mixture.
  5. Place shrimp in a single layer in baking pan.
  6. Melt butter and place panko in melted butter. Stir until butter is evenly absorbed in panko.
  7. Sprinkle panko mixture over shrimp.
  8. Bake in 425 degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until shrimp is pink. Do not over cook.
  9. Serve immediately. You can serve this over pasta or with mashed potatoes.
Recipe Notes

Panko is an Asian type of coarse plain breadcrumbs.  If you can't find Panko you can substitute plain breadcrumbs.

To make a non-alcoholic version substitute chicken broth for the wine.

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