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olive and anchovy bites

olive and anchovy bitesWhen we invite friends over for dinner, it’s always a new menu.  And after many years of entertaining, this can seem as though there’s nothing new left in the tank!  Which is what it felt like last Thursday.  We had invited our good friends over for a bite to eat on Friday and the day before I was musing what to make.  I suddenly realized my mind was in an entertaining funk. 

What to do?  I quickly scanned the bookcase for inspiration.  With over ninety cookbooks, surely there was something to ignite that culinary spirit.  My eyes wandered from Asian to Middle Eastern, to the Mediterranean and then something made me stop and pull out the food of Spain.  Its Moorish influences and new foods from America was just what I needed to erase the culinary funk I found myself in.  For one of the appetizers, I couldn’t resist olive and anchovy bites.  How could I go wrong with flour and butter as the base?  Even if you do not like anchovies, I can guarantee this recipe will have you reaching for more than one bite!

In Spain, when you go to a bar and order a drink, the waitstaff will serve it with tapas (small snacks).  The Spanish philosophy is, “Eat when you drink and drink when you eat”.  Traditionally tapas are complimentary when served with a drink.  Olive and anchovy bites naturally contain salt which helps stimulate thirst.

makes roughly 40
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter, roughly chopped
1 cup finely grated manchego cheese
1/4 cup anchovy fillets packed in oil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup black olives pitted and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400f (200c).

In a food processor add flour, butter, cheese, anchovies, olives, and pulse until the mixture forms a firm dough. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill 15 to 20 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out thinly. Use a cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.  Seal in a container until ready to use.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Serve these with romesco sauce.  Enjoy!