Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Ideal Father's Day

I thought my brain stored a complete catalog of the party goods available on Main Street in Sag Harbor. But as I complacently made my way to the back of The Ideal (102 Main Street, Sag Harbor; 725-1670) a few days ago for some printer paper I was stopped dead in my tracks by a new carousel dripping with retro-styled birthday hats and loot bags from Party Partners. What was this merchandise and how long ago had it been sneaked into town? Luckily, I was able to buy these gingham print backyard barbecue party picks before Father’s Day. My purchase guided me in planning the rest of the day—Wusthof steak knives from Williams-Sonoma as a gift, strip steaks from the IGA for dinner. The fried olives were inspired by a bar snack we had when we were in the city last weekend. They are irresistible right out of the pot, but too hot to handle, so the picks came in handy for those, too. And since I had a few extras, I stuck one into each serving of our strawberry-rhubarb cobbler.

Fried Olives
Makes 24 olives

I used the pitted green olives from Citarella, which were perfect. Or you could buy stuffed olives—Cavaniola’s sometimes has olives already stuffed with anchovies or blue cheese—and use those.

1 ounce fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
24 large green pitted olives
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg lightly beaten
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil

1. Place a piece of mozzarella in the cavity of each olive. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three shallow bowls. Roll each olive in the flour, then in the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs. Transfer the breaded olives to a plate and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the breading to dry a bit.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 350 degrees. Lower the olives into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown, a minute or so. Remove the olives using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

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