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Mustard seed for the goat cheese filling, an unusual touch.
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Garlic, mustard seed, red pepper flakes (and rosemary, which is late to the party), awaiting the arrival of goat cheese.
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After the goat cheese is added, you mash it up with a fork.
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There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.
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Stuffing the cheese into the pastry bag -- never a neat and easy task.
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Merrill twists the end of the bag to keep it sealed.
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Olive and cheese filling meet.
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Amanda marching olives across the kitchen.
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Make sure you let the olives chill completely because it prevents the cheese from spurting out when frying. Yes, that's a bottle of Budweiser, and it's not Amanda's or Merrill's.
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Setting up our coating station. That's flour on the left, egg in the middle and panko on the right.
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Working hard, again.
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A lightly flour-dusted olive.
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If you stare at this for a really long time, it starts to look like a button. No, a turtle surfacing in a pond. No, a macaroon in custard....
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Assembly line (think I Love Lucy chocolate episode).
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Olives coated in a flokati rug.
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We tested the oil with a bread cube. When the oil seems like it's getting hot enough, you toss in a breadcube and if it browns in 30 seconds the oil is ready. Not exactly a precise method, but it suits us.
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Plus, these suckers cook so quickly you'll never be able to keep the oil a precise temperature. They brown in about 30 seconds. You'll need to flip them once.
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Our first handsome fried olive.
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Post frying, these suave little buggers get dusted with Parmesan and lemon zest.
Just 5 ingredients: pepper, cream cheese, bacon, peppercorns and honey.
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We charred the skins under the broiler -- you pop them in the oven, wait until you smell the burning, then turn them a little, char them some more and pretty soon the peppers are blackened and collapsed.
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If you don't have a paper bag, just cover them in plastic wrap to get them to steam and loosen the skins.
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Peeling the peppers.
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Pulling out the guts.
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The pepper's flesh is so thin it's translucent.
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Merrill cut them in half crosswise.
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Then wrapped them around a lump of cream cheese.
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Next comes the bacon.
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Just roll it up like a sleeping bag.
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Set it seam-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet.
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After baking them for 45 minutes, Amanda drizzled them with honey. You have to swish the spoon back and forth across the bundles so they are lightly coated from end to end.
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