Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gluten Free Cheddar and Green Olive Bites



I first posted this recipe three years ago when I started my blog.  The idea was to share with my family and friends recipes that I grew up eating and enjoying.  These little bites of deliciousness were considered comfort food in my family and of course I wanted this recipe written down for my posterity.

To this day when we all get together, the three sisters, we have to make a batch...and sometimes two batches. They just remind us of home. They bring about memories that join our hearts together in a virtual wave of laughter, tears and endurance as we sit around the table and chat about our younger selves.


I have tried to share my love of green olives with my kids and they have decided that this is one part of me they don't want anything to do with. I am slightly heart broken that my kids don't like olives. I love olives. I have yet to taste or try an olive that I don't love.

I eat olives in my sandwiches, on my taco's, in my lasagna, as a snack, with salads, diced up by the spoonful (I mostly do this with black olives). I am an olive addict.

Each and every time I go to Whole Foods I am tempted by the olive bar. Did you know they have a huge variety of olives: black, red, green, stuffed, marinated, pitted, unpitted?

My daughter knows the look I get as I enter the area. My eyes are bouncing between the different rows, slightly narrowing as I attempt to read each label for the name and variety. My hand slowly reaches for the large plastic container and then it twitches back to the small. Large or small--I cant' decide. What will it be this week? I hesitate between the two and finally settle on the small container which leaves me with a limited amount of real-estate to stack my olives.  I hand select a few of the bright green olives and then go towards the feta cheese mix and then to the super duper large pitted marinated black olives.

AND. AND. AND....I want them all.

I have learned that my eyes are much larger than my stomach and I need to stick with just a few to get me through the week.

Heaven!  That is what the olive bar is for me.  A mixture of sweet and tangy flavors.  Olive flesh that is firm and soft in my mouth and to the touch.  The variety of saltiness that each type is brined with makes pairing the olives with cheese, fruit, salami and crackers, a wonderful way to experiment with different flavor profiles.  



Have I bored you yet with olive love?  I hope not.  The Cheddar and Green Olive bites are a great appetizer, a quick snack during the day or just a meal.  Yep, I have eaten a whole tray as my dinner on more than one occasion.  

I make these bites two different ways.  You can see from the pictures that I have made them using a mini size muffin pan or by hand rolling them into small balls.  Either method works well. 

The reason I use the mini muffin pan is because the dough holds up well and pushing the olive down into the dough is a bit quicker when I am in a hurry. I also like the shape it produces when I am serving these to our guest.

The hand rolling method does take a bit more time and they are not all uniform in shape and size. The dough tends to spread out a bit more and you are left with a blob bite.   Ha, that is a funny description.  Blob bite!!

If you love the flavor of sharp cheddar cheese and green olives I am encouraging you to give these a try.  They can be made with regular all purpose flour too.  Substitute one cup of all purpose flour for the rice flour, tapioca starch and xanthan gum.   The measurements for the Old English jar cheese, butter and baking powder are the same.

I am going to make a suggestion and this will produce a better cheddar bite.  You should use a high quality butter.  I know it is tempting to substitute something else, but for me, they don't always turn out perfect when I use a butter that has a lower fat content.  European-Style butter tends to offer more flavor, better texture and the fat content is higher.  I used Kerrygold Irish Butter in this recipe.  This is not a paid post.  I really do use this butter for special dishes and this is a special dish in my family.  

ENJOY!

Gluten Free Cheddar and Green Olive Bites
Makes 20-25, depending on method and size of each bite

1 small jar of green olives with pimentos, drained
6 tablespoons of cold butter, grated
1-5oz jar of Old English cheese, cold
1/2 cup fine white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare pans.  If using a mini muffin pan, spray with non stick spray.  If using a cookie sheet I usually lay a piece of parchment down.

2.   Spread olives on paper towels to dry.
3.  In a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.  Blend well.

4.  Add the jar of Old English cheese and grated butter.  I used a pastry blender to cut the butter and cheese into the dry ingredients.  They will start to combine to form a thick dough.  Try not to over blend.

5.  Take a small amount of dough and form a flat disc in your palm.  Add the olive and wrap the dough around the olive to form a ball.  Place on cookie sheet every 2 inches.  If using the mini muffin pan, use a cookie scoop and add the dough to each mini muffin spot and push a green olive into the middle.

6.  Bake the bites for 10-12 minutes.  Try not to over bake.  Remove bites to a cooling rack.

7.  Serve immediately or microwave for a few seconds before serving them at a later time.



Written by Sherron Watson



1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! Those look amazing! I don't care for olives, but Mr. GFE and many friends would flip for these, Sherron. :-) I bet I could even make another version that would make me happy!

    Off to share ...
    Shirley

    ReplyDelete

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