A bowl of olives is bar food 101. And since Julep, Alba Huerta’s gorgeous Houston bar, is a next-level kind of place, it makes sense they take things a few steps further.
Plump green Manzanilla olives are stuffed with anchovy filets, pebbled with bread crumbs and then fried until golden brown. Swiped through some garlicky aioli they’re every bit as irresistible as the bar’s namesake cocktail.
Fried Olives with Aioli
Makes 4 servings
1 Egg yolk
⅔ cup Grapeseed oil (or a blend of canola and mild olive oil)
Make the aioli: Set a medium bowl on a kitchen towel (this will prevent the bowl from moving as you whisk). Put the egg yolk in the bowl and whisk to break up. Pour the oil into a measuring cup. Whisking continuously, add the oil, drop by drop at first, until the mixture begins to thicken noticeably. Take care to add the oil very slowly at first to prevent the mixture from separating. When the mixture begins tothicken, add the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly. If the mixture gets too thick to easily whisk, add a teaspoon (or more) of warm water to smooth out the consistency. In a mortar and pestle, combine the salt and garlic and crush to a paste. Stir the garlic paste into the mayonnaise, then add the vinegar and stir to combine. The aioli will keep, refrigerated, for up to three days.
Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in a second and the breadcrumbs in a third. Working in batches, dip the olives in the flour, turning to coat, then shake off any excess flour and transfer to the bowl containing the beaten egg. Roll the olives in the egg until coated, letting any excess egg drip off, then transfer to the bowl containing the bread crumbs and roll to coat. Put on a plate and repeat with remaining olives.
Heat a 2-inch depth of oil until it registers 350 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer and set a paper towel‐lined plate nearby. When the oil is hot, add half of the olives and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel‐lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining olives, letting the oil return to temperature between batches.