From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We took off for parts unknown today. Actually, that's a bit of an exaggeration. The weather promised to be gorgeous, so we packed a hamper and headed to Dexter Lake to spend the day with good friends. The plans for the day included an upscale picnic to be eaten as we watched a sculling competition known to locals as the Covered Bridge Regatta. The picnic was a pot luck affair, but the gal who planned the outing wanted food that would be at least as good as the wine she planned to bring. I was asked to bring a soup and hearty appetizer. I immediately thought about Ree Drummond's Olive Cheese Bread. I've made this for picnics in the past and knew that it could be assembled at home and finished on a charcoal grill at the picnic grounds. It is one of those easy dishes that tastes like a lot of effort has gone into its creation. In truth, it takes about 10 minutes to make the topping for the French bread and it transports well. I have one caution to share with you. The first few times I prepared this bread I used European or Mediterranean black olives to make it. I found them to be too strong and salty in this application, so I switched to the old-fashioned California mission variety and have been happy ever since. I also recommend creaming the butter and mayonnaise together until the mixture is combined and smooth before mixing in the other ingredients. This is one of those foolproof dishes that even beginning cook's can prepare and serve. I love the ease with which this appetizer comes together and I serve it several times a year. If you have not yet tried Ree's Olive Cheese bread, I urge you to do so. It is great and you'll want to have the recipe in your files. Here is how the bread is made.
Olive Cheese Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
1 loaf French bread
6 ounces pimento-stuffed green olives
6 ounces pitted California ripe (black) olives
2 stalks green onions (scallions)
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
1) Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.
2) Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning. Yield: 12 servings.
Cook's note: Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip.
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