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
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
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
One of my favorite chicken dishes at our local restaurants here in Hawaii is a dish called “Tasty Chicken”, “Garlic Chicken”, and “Korean Fried Chicken” depending on which restaurant you go to. I like to call it Asian Fried Chicken!
What exactly is Asian Fried Chicken? Well they’re crispy fried chicken nuggets that are marinated in a soy sauce based sauce. It’s a little bit sweet, salty, and just a tiny bit spicy at the same time. In short it’s delish!
We serve it with steamed white rice for a very satisfying meal. I make enough for 12 people just so we can have left overs for lunch or dinner the next day. Yes we love Asian Fried Chicken that much!
I must admit that making Asian Fried Chicken seems a bit tedious with all that dredging, frying, and tossing; but believe me it’s so worth the trouble!
Here’s my recipe for Asian Fried Chicken
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into cubes
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Cup Water
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup minced garlic
1/2 Cup Green onions chopped
2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper
2 Cups flour
3/4 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp each salt & pepper
Oil for frying
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium size sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until all the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens a bit.
Set aside to cool.
Cut chicken into cubes and place in a large bowl or ziplock bag.
Pour 1/2 of the cooled sauce/marinade over chicken. Cover bowl or seal bag.
Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 3 hours.
Combine dry coating ingredients in a large pan.
Heat about 1 – 1 1/2″ of oil in a large frying pan.
Dredge each piece of marinated chicken in flour mixture and fry until golden brown. Discard any left over marinade – do not use as sauce for cooked chicken!
Drain on paper towels until all the chicken nuggets are cooked
Toss cooked chicken nuggets in remaining sauce.
Serve with rice for a delicious meal!
Love this recipe? Try my Salt & Pepper Shrimp recipe it’s wonderful!
Summer’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.
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!
These 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!
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
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!
Cheesy Crescent Bites [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Shrimp Scampi Cheese Dip [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Crunch Mushroom Poppers [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Sundried Tomato Puff Pastries [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]