Another Wisconsin inspiration. Dinner party at Barbara and David’s, the Wisc. connection is Barbara. Her mom was from Kewaunee, Wisc. My parents are both from Kewaunee, Wisc. If this doesn’t sound odd, we all live in Los Angeles, including the folks, who only reconnected when we kids made the hometown discovery. Kewaunee is an teensy town about 25 miles from Green Bay. (Oh, this appetizer Baked Olives in Cheese – olives for my dad’s love of martinis, and cheese for Wisconsin.)
Getting together with Barbara and David, we always talk about our parents. And Kewaunee. Here are some current Kewaunee stats*:
- Population: 2,724
- 51% female, 49% male
- Really, really white
- Ave. January temp: 10 degrees
- Ave. August humidity: 90%
- 55% voted for Obama, 44% for McCain, 1% other
- 74% Catholic
- Adult obesity rate: 29.9%
So here for your dining pleasure is what I’d peg as a typical Wisconsin appetizer: cheesy biscuit exterior and giant green olive center. You really couldn’t eat more than one of these without wrecking your appetite, they’re ROBUST. I compared a couple of recipe websites, and then cut in half for our dinner party – that obesity rate (above) scares me. This is a full sized recipe:
Baked Olives In Cheese Appetizer
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 40 large green olives stuffed with pimento or almonds (I used Lindsay Nutty Almond Queen Olives)
In a medium-sized bowl, or the bowl of your electric stand mixer, cream butter. Mix in flour, cheese, paprika, cumin and hot sauce. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least one hour.
Drain olives and pat dry with paper towels. With a ball of cheese mixture in your hand, roll it to the size of an olive, then using your fingers, press into a round disk. Put an olive in the center and press the dough up and around it to seal it completely. (I thought I had done a good job of sealing mine, but some olive popped out here and there).
Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove the olives from the freezer and let stand while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese dough is puffy and brown. Remove from oven and let cool to slightly warm. Serve at room temperature. Makes 35 to 40 appetizers.