Black Olive Penguins
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2-3 large carrots
1 can (6 ounces) small, pitted black olives, drained
1 can (6 ounces) colossal or jumbo pitted black olives, drained
4 ounces, weight Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
8 whole green onions, green part only
Cut 4-5 thin slices from the fat end of the carrots to create 16 slices total. Cut a small triangular wedge out of each carrot slice.
Taking 16 small pitted olives, push the narrow end of the carrot triangle through the wide hole of each olive to form the penguin's "beak" (use a skewer or toothpick to position the carrot wedge). Set aside.
To form the body of the penguin, Make a lengthwise slice halfway into 16 colossal olives. Gently hold the olive open and push as much cream cheese into the opening as you can, filling the olive. Use your fingers or a paper towel to tidy up along the edges of the opening. The cream cheese should create a solid white strip down the length of the olive – this is the chest. Place a filled olive, large hole side down, on top of a carrot round, lining up the white of the cream cheese with the wedge cut from the carrot round. Use a toothpick pushed down through the center to hold the olive “body” of the penguin to the carrot “feet”. Push one small olive, “beak” side lined up with the “chest” and “feet” down onto the toothpicks. Wrap a strip of the green onion around the neck as a scarf. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Shelly Voss, Rock Island