Olives and oranges

Olive and orange have a lot in common. The O — obviously. The spherical shape — sorta. And the intensity of flavor. Olive hits the low notes on the palate; orange the high.

Together, they strike a rich chord. One I found refreshingly fresh. Proving me late to the party. Olive and orange have been palling around the Mediterranean for a long time. The team adds complexity to stews, sharpness to salads and intrigue to metaphor.

Olive, with its connection to the olive branch, is a natural stand-in for peace. Orange, with its sunny disposition, doubles for optimism. Together the salty-and-sweet, little-and-big, rich-and-acidic odd couple both taste good and do good. Definitely refreshing.

Orange Olives

1008_OLIVE_ORANGE_TB2 cups brine-cured olives

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar

Drain olives and tumble into a bowl. Pour in warm water to cover. Soak 15 minutes. Drain. Pat dry.

Roll olives into a medium skillet along with oil, thyme, zest, garlic and fennel seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until garlic turns fragrant, about 4 minutes. Pull pan off heat; stir in vinegar. Pack into a 1-pint jar (I’m crazy about those Weck canning jars). Serve warm or cold.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

(Source: http://www.providencejournal.com)

Quick Pasta with Shrimp, Green Olive, Orange and Baby Arugula

Ingredients:
IMG_41642-560x840For the Vinaigrette:
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice (about the juice of 1 orange)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

For the Pasta:
1 pound pasta of choice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 shallot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound pasta of choice

For Assembly:
7 ounces pitted green olives, drained
4 ounces baby arugula
2 oranges, segmented

Directions:
Tip to allow this meal to come together quickly and seamlessly: Prep everything in advance/while water is coming to a boil (garlic minced, shallots chopped, vinaigrette made, and pasta ingredients in large bowl – arugula, segmented oranges, and olives). Once the water is boiling, add your pasta and then immediately begin cooking the shrimp portion. The shrimp cooks quickly so everything should finish up right around the same time so you can just toss and serve!

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For the Vinaigrette:
Add all ingredients to a glass measuring cup (or other container) and whisk until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Pasta:
In a large pot, bring salted (always add a teaspoon or 2 of salt to your pasta water!) water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package instructions, stirring occasionally, drain when cooked to tender but firm.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped shallots and garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan and stir until mixed in with the shallots and garlic. Add white wine to the pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes (until the shrimp are pink and cooked through).

To Assemble:
Add cooked pasta & shrimp to a large bowl and add the baby arugula, orange segments, olives, and vinaigrette. Gently toss to combine and allow arugula to start to wilt. Portion into pasta bowls and serve with a tiny pinch of sea salt on top. Serve immediately.

(Source: http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/)

Here’s the skinny on good fats

You can’t lose weight and stay fit simply by removing fat from your diet. But you can give your body fats that are more beneficial to your health.

WOULD ALL OF our weight loss problems be solved if we just removed fat from our diets? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Fats are a vital part of a healthy diet, providing essential fatty acids, assisting in absorbing vitamins A, D & E, and acting as a great source of energising fuel. But it’s easy to get confused about what constitutes good fats and bad.

Here’s the skinny on fats: There are many different types of fats and they can be conveniently divided into four main categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats. A balanced diet should contain a good mix of fats while avoiding trans fats all together.

Monounsaturated fats

This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils like olives, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter and avocados.

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PB (no J).

Source: Shutterstock.

Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also produce nutrients that assist in developing and maintaining the body’s cells.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Foods high in polyunsaturated fats include soybean oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout.

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Flaked tuna and olives, a great way to boost your monounsaturates and polyunsaturates in one sitting.

Source: Shutterstock.

In addition to reducing your bad cholesterol levels, polyunsaturated fats contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which boost brain function and may strengthen the immune system.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are contained naturally in many foods including fat on lamb, fatty beef, poultry with skin, full fat dairy products and take away foods. At SMART Training we suggest that clients limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories. We suggest trimming visible fat from meat or removing the skin from chicken or swapping butter for sunflower or olive spread.

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Linguine with swordfish and olives

INGREDIENTS

16bb593f992107536b77302246b8185b2295073263-1409814400-54080f80-360x2511 large onion, chopped
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
5g chilli, chopped
60g green olives
200g fresh swordfish, diced
½ glass white wine
12 cherry tomatoes
4 tbsps chopped basil
2 tbsps chopped parsley
2 tbsps chopped coriander
400g linguine

METHOD

Sauté the onion slices in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil until these turn slightly soft. Add the garlic, chilli, olives and the swordfish and sauté for one minute. Then add the white wine and cook until all the wine is absorbed. Add the cherry tomatoes, half the basil, parsley and coriander and allow to simmer for five minutes.

Cook the pasta in boiling water. Take a tablespoon of the pasta water and add it to the sauce, add a pinch of salt and cover. Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan over low heat.

Mix the pasta in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Add more fresh herbs, but keep some aside to garnish.

Serve the pasta on warm plates, garnish with the remaining herbs and drizzle some herb oil.

Joe Vella is an Executive chef, Hilton Malta.

(Source: http://www.timesofmalta.com)

Fresh Hummus with Roasted Red Pepper and Olive Tapenade

Photo: Photos by Denise Henhoeffer/Courier-Post)

Photo: Photos by Denise Henhoeffer/Courier-Post)

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded | Kalamata olives, pitted | 2 tablespoons mild olive oil | salt to taste | Sweet potato and beet chips, for serving | 1 seedless English cucumber, sliced thin for garnish

For the hummus, combine chick peas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice together in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Scrape the sides of the bowl, turn it back on and drizzle in the olive oil. While still running, add water until it reaches mashed potato consistency. You may need more or less water depending on your preference.

Remove from processor and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the tapenade: combine pepper and olives in a food processor at a 4-to-1 pepper-to-olive ratio. (More or less on your preference.)

Pulse until uniformly chopped. Remove from processor, stir oil into mixture. Season with salt to taste.

To assemble: Spoon dabs of hummus onto sweet potato and beet chips. Garnish with tapenade and thin half moons of seedless cucumber.

(Source: http://www.courierpostonline.com)-c-50

It’s the pits choosing between these olive varieties

My 2-year-old grandson, Landon, loves olives and pickles, which he calls “ahwives” and “bickles.” And, no, they aren’t the best thing for him, but what’s a grandmother to do when 13751he’s holding up his chubby little hand begging for “ahwives?” I’ll tell you what we do – we give him some. Not much, but some. I can’t blame him. I love olives and pickles, too.  However, once I check out the sodium and fat content, I don’t eat many of them. My recipe today is a soup from Food & Wine magazine that sounds really interesting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to – maybe this evening, if I get time. But first, here’s a little info about olives you might or might not know:
Olives have been held in high esteem in Mediterranean cultures. To the ancient Greeks, the olive tree was a gift from the gods. Today, olives are recognized as a delightful addition to soups, salads, and – well, most anything you want. Here’s a sampling of the more popular kinds:

Atalanti – From the town of Atalanti in eastern Greece, these purple-green Greek olives are pale, medium-round with a luscious, fruity flavor and fleshy texture. They are packed in vinegar brine.

California black – Firm black olives with a mild flavor. Green olives are cured in a lye solution that causes them to oxidize and turn black.

California Sicilian – Large green olives with a sharp taste. In 1769, olives were introduced to California by the Spanish. Today, California produces about 200,000 tons of commercial olives per year.

Chinese preserved – Shriveled medium-sized olives cured with salt, sugar, or honey and licorice root.

Greek green – “Prasines” are firm, fleshy, large, round and purplish-green. They have a mild, fruity flavor and crunchy texture.

Green cracked – “Tsakistes” are large, firm green olives with cracked flesh, but not to the stone. They marinate in oil mixed with herbs, garlic, lemon, onion, or fennel. Their sharp flavor pairs nicely with cheese.

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Olive LEAF may be the key to heart health, say experts, as drink using the ingredient launches in Britain

 

By JENNY HOPE FOR THE DAILY MAIL (

1408747913221_Image_galleryImage_OVIVO_Organic_Olive_Leaf_Forget the health benefits of olives and olive oil – the latest boost to wellbeing is the humble olive leaf. It was once a folk remedy revered by the Greeks, while ancient Egyptians used it for mummifying royalty. But a drink made from olive leaf extract – taken from freshly picked Italian organic olive leaves – is the first health supplement of its kind to be launched in Britain. A new scientific review in the journal Complete Nutrition shows it contains two antioxidant compounds known to support heart health that are among the most potent yet discovered.

Oleuropein, a polyphenol produced by the olive tree, makes it particularly robust and resistant against insect and bacterial damage. The other compound hydroxytyrosol, is thought to be a major ingredient of virgin olive oil – one of the cornerstones of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Although it is found in olives and olive oil, the highest concentrations occur in the leaf. The 5mg dose contained in a serving of Ovivo Organic Leaf Infusion with Calendula has been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as having antioxidant activity. Dr Pamela Mason, chair of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, suggests the combination of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein may hold the key to many of the health benefits associated with olives and the Mediterranean diet.

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Both have powerful antioxidant activity and have been shown to reduce the oxidation of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol – the process that makes it hazardous to health. A study found a twice-a-day 500mg dose of olive extract was as effective as an ACE inhibitor at reducing both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Unlike the prescription-only blood pressure pill, the extract also significantly lowered levels of triglycerides, blood fats linked to heart problems. Another trial investigating the impact of olive leaf extract on blood sugar control reported a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity after just 12 weeks. The review also included a study in patients with type 2 diabetes which showed improved insulin levels and lower levels of a marker linked to a greater risk of diabetes-related complications. The review concludes: ‘This extremely promising ingredient, olive leaf, is worthy of considerable further research.’

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A tapas party for end of summer

Tapas and small bites make a refreshing, relaxing summer meal, such as the above “Pintxos”, or skewered bites with a mix of ingredients such as olives, cheeses, and meats.

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Gilda Pintxos

6 medium cured guindillas (see note, recipe)

12 large green Spanish olives, cured, marinated

6 cured cornichons

6 cured cebollitas

6 cured anchovy fillets

Arrange 1 guindilla, 2 olives, 1 cornichon, 1 cebollita and 1 anchovy on each wooden skewer. Serve on baguette slices or, if you want the pintxos to stand up, skewer the cebollitas last for stability.

Note: You can use Italian pepperoncini, for example, instead of guindillas, small Basque pickled peppers.

Makes 6

(Source: http://www.providencejournal.com)

Marcona almonds, Padron peppers, Jamon Iberico and chorizo are staples of a Spanish food spread.

tapas

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Tapas heaven with olives – recipes

OLIVE BREAD

750ml flour | 10ml salt | 10ml sugar | 10g sachet of instant yeast | 50ml olive oil | 400-500ml warm water | 60ml chopped black olives | 60ml chopped green olives | extra oil for brushing

  • 20140821_834680664Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  • Add olive oil and enough warm water to mix to a dough that is soft but not sticky. Knead well until smooth and elastic.
  • Put the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size.
  • Remove dough and knead lightly.
  • Knead the olives into the dough. Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on a greased baking tray, cover with an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Brush the surface with olive oil and bake at 190°C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove and cool on a rack.

GREEN OLIVES IN CHEESE PASTRY (Makes 12)

250ml grated Cheddar cheese | 100g butter, softened | 310ml flour | 5ml dry mustard powder | 2ml salt | 12 large green stuffed olives, drained

  • 20140821_Olive PastryPut the cheese, butter, flour, mustard and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Remove from the processor, wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes. Break off pieces of pastry and mould around an olive. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and olives. Bake at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool. Delicious served as a cocktail snack.

CITRUS MARINATED OLIVES

250ml olive oil | 300g green olives in brine | 300g black olives in brine | 4 bay leaves | 4 sprigs of rosemary | 1-2 red chilies, seeded and sliced | a few strips of lemon rind | a few strips of orange rind | 60ml red wine vinegar

  • 20140821_citrus marinated olivesPour oil into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just warm. Divide olives, bay leaves, rosemary, chili, rind and vinegar between sterilised glass jars. Pour over warm olive oil. Seal.
  • Turn jars upside down and stand for five minutes. Turn upright.
  • Allow to infuse for one week, turning once daily.

OLIVE TAPENADE (Makes 125ml)

250ml black olives, pitted | 50ml chopped parsley | 5ml chopped garlic | 2-3 anchovy fillets | 30-60ml olive oil

  • 20140821_834680664Put the olives, parsley, garlic and anchovies into a processor and process until finely chopped.
  • With the machine running, add in the olive oil. Process until smooth.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator and serve on slices of toasted baguette.

(Source: http://www.iol.co.za)

* For household queries, recipes and tips, call The Angela Day Helpline at 011 836 7181 from 8.30am-12.30pm weekdays, or e-mail Janice at angeladay@inl.co.za

* See www.angeladay.co.za

Tilapia with toasted Almonds and Green Olives

Tilapia is the beige of the fish world: inoffensive and ubiquitous. It doesn’t stand a chance against, well, just about every other fish around, but it’s also incredible cheap and fairly adaptable to whatever toppings you’d like to add to it. This explains why I spent far more time worrying about what would go with the fish than I did worrying about the fish itself.

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I wanted something dramatic and flavorful, which led to the idea of coating the tilapia in crushed almonds. But I always cringe before starting a recipe where I have to make sure something adheres to fish. Regardless of how careful I am, half the time the coating falls off in the pan, burning the ingredients and leaving the fish exposed. And even when I do succeed, I’ve usually made a mess of the kitchen in the process.

Instead, I took the easy way out and sprinkled on almonds at the end. That way I could focus on making sure they were properly toasted, and not on whether they were sticking to the fish or burning in the pan. This also allowed me to mix in some briny green olives with the almonds, which added even more character to the dish.

I took the easy route with the green beans, too. They’re simmered in boiling water until bright green, drained, and then immediately tossed in a tart Sherry vinaigrette. I liked the vinaigrette so much, I drizzled a bit of it over the whole finished dish.

Get the recipe at http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/06/dinner-tonight-tilapia-with-toasted-almonds-a.html

(Source: http://www.seriouseats.com)

Mario Batali’s Beef Braciole with Prosciutto and Olives

Beef Braciole with Prosciutto and Olives Recipe: This Italian specialty takes a traditional beef tenderloin to the next level with prosciutto and provolone slices nestled inside.

Ingredients
  • Beef290x2903 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian Parsley
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • 8 ounces aged Provolone (cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup toasted Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup brined Green Olives (chopped)
  • 4 Scallions (thinly sliced)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 10-inch long Beef Tenderloin Roast (2 1/2-3 pounds butterflied)
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Step-by-step

  • In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, cheeses, bread crumbs, olives, and scallions with 1/4 cup of olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

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5 reasons why eating olives is a must

Almost everyone loves olives be it on your favourite pizza, sandwich or salad. Not only do they taste good but are loaded with a number of health benefits.

Here are a few reasons as to why olives are a must in your diet regularly:

  • olive-smallOlives are a rich source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and hence helps in easing pain.
  • Loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants, olives are an excellent food for your hair and skin.
  • Eating olives help boost haemoglobin level in the body as it is a rich source of iron.
  • Eating a cup of olives can help regulate blood pressure.

(Source: http://zeenews.india.com)

Fair time: How about a deep-fried olive on a stick?

The lakes area’s own Helmer family were noted in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens to mark the arrival of state fair season, also known as food-on-a-stick season. The Helmers will be back at the Minnesota State Fair with their deep-fried olives, which won best new food chosen by WCCO television, last year.The queen green olives are stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried in a special seasoned batter. Carol Helmer said many people didn’t realize the olive was a fruit.

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The Helmer family has worked in the concession business for more than 20 years. Fred and Carol Helmer had a retail store providing frozen foods before they moved into the concession business. Their deep-fried fruit was years in the making to perfect the right mix and taste. Then the Helmers were faced with the daunting task of being accepted as a concession stand by the fair.

They applied for 14 years before they were finally accepted in 2007.

They had a brightly colored concession trailer custom made for them and developed an entire list of fruit snacks on a stick. Their idea for fried and fresh fruit brought a new element to fair foods.

They said the idea for fried fruit came when their daughter Alison, then age 14, dropped her lunch of grapes into batter and deep fried them.

Grapes, strawberries, pineapple, banana, apples and peaches are all on the list to be placed in a sweet batter and deep fried. Carol Helmer described the result as a warm pie on a stick. Toppings include powdered sugar, cinnamon with sugar or chocolate. They expanded the menu to include fruit smoothies with or without ice cream and fresh fruit bowls, and then added a fruity salsa served cinnamon and sugar chips.

Fried Fruit on-a-Stick is near the State Fair Grandstand. Working the fair continues to be a family affair for the Helmers.

 

 

 

Dirty Martini, with fried blue cheese stuffed green olives and honey

A number of chefs at independent or small chain restaurants are also innovating with salt and sweet as a way to add interest and increase sales at the bar.
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At Tamo Bistro & Bar at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, chef Robert Tobin accidentally created the Dirty Martini, a salty and sweet combo of fried blue cheese stuffed olives served with honey harvested from the hotel’s rooftop beehives. Initially, Tobin was just making the fried blue cheese stuffed olives, but after a first taste he thought they were too salty. He tried several variations in cheese, olives and crust, but nothing solved the problem. Then, while making a spicy-and-sweet dip, Tobin tried some honey and knew it was a perfect solution.

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Olive Tapenade with green & black olives

I find this tapenade to be very addicting! I like to eat it with a neutral tasting cracker, such as Blue Diamond Nut-Thins and Le Pain de fleurs Buckwheat Crispbread are also really good.
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Olive Tapenade with green & black olives
Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free
makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients
1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole black olives, drained
1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole green olives, drained
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic oil (try my quick or oven-roasted recipes)
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
3 large, fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Directions
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Whirl until it forms a smooth paste (about 1 minute in a food processor). You can serve this at room temp but I actually like to eat it chilled. Serve with crackers or as a sandwich spread. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

(Source: http://www.deliciousasitlooks.com)

White Cheddar Olive Poppers | Friday Night Bites

Are you looking for a proven crowd pleaser appetizer recipe?  Look no further.  These little bites of divine goodness are your ticket to elevating your entertaining status to a high level.  They are simple, tasty and addictive.  They combine the “carb” component we all crave, along with the saltiness of the olive which makes for an unbelievable combination.  Trust me, the only problem you will have is that you and your guests will devour them and will want you to make more.DSC02069

We are having a bit of a heat wave in the Bay Area this week.  It is actually sort of refreshing after a winter of chill yet little rain.  The sprinkling of heat signals that summer is around the corner and our Friday Night Bites can now move from indoors to outdoors.  Got to get hubby to refresh the fountains and get them running again.  I love sitting outside with the sound of trickling water along with a light breeze and a glass of wine in hand with some scrumptious appetizers an arms length away. Continue reading

Warm Citrus Olives with Rosemary and Garlic

Don’t weekends go way too fast? After a long week at work, I completely look forward to Friday night. It is the beginning of the weekend. In addition we have our Friday night tradition of wine and appetizers. Our Friday night this week was filled with friends and great cheeses. DSC01532
Our dear friend brought a very special bottle of wine to celebrate Friday night. It was a bottle I have never had before and now has become a new favorite. Seven Stones Winery sits east of St. Helena. Ronald and Anita Wornick didn’t take long after they purchased 45 acres for their family estate, to take on the exceptional task of creating some of the best wine. They only produce 400 cases, and dedicate to a single varietal –Cabernet Sauvignon.DSC01512

As quoted on their website – “Seven Stones is comprised of just under three acres of vines and a winery on the Wornick family estate in St. Helena. From small, meticulously cultivated vineyard parcels, we produce a limited amount of some of Napa Valley’s most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon.”DSC01507 Continue reading

Chocolate and olive-oil mousse with sea salt recipe

This has the loveliest texture of any chocolate mousse I have ever tasted. If your chocolate and olive oil mixture splits you can rescue it by taking a new egg yolk and whisking the curdled mixture into it a drop at a time.

olive-oil-choc-mou_2985677b

SERVES: 6

INGREDIENTS
200g (7oz) plain chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into pieces
80g (3oz) caster sugar
5 large eggs, separated (you will use only three of the whites)
125ml (4fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (a fruity one, not a grassy one), plus extra to serve
1½ tbsp brandy
sea-salt flakes, to serve

METHOD
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring from time to time. (The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.) Leave to cool a little. Stir 30g (1oz) of the sugar into the five egg yolks, then gradually add this to the chocolate. Slowly and steadily stir in the oil, then the brandy.

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Olive oil ice cream recipe

olive-oil-ice-crea_2985678bMAKES 1.2 litres (2 pints)

INREDIENTS
875ml (1½ pints) full-fat milk
250ml (9fl oz) double cream
220g (8oz) caster sugar
10 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla extract
good pinch sea-salt flakes, plus more to serve
75ml (2¾fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (a fruity one), plus more to serve

METHOD
Begin by setting a bowl in a sink of ice-cold water.

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Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives | Friday Night Bites

When I am at , nine times out of ten, I make my way to the olive bar.  They house one of the best selections in the Bay Area of olives without having to venture to a specialty shop in San Francisco.  One of my absolute favorites is the Castelvetrano Olive.  It is grown exclusively in western Sicily among the Belice river valley, near the town of Castelvetrano.  The prime time for harvesting is the beginning of October through mid November.  DSC02515

Contrary to popular belief, this olive is not actually cured, but goes through a similar process as to the California style black ripe olives.  The olive is washed in lye, or caustic soda for up to 12 hours.  It takes the bitterness out of the olive and then it is continually washed in fresh water to remove the lye.  Then it is either refrigerated or canned.  This process produces an intense green color and sweet flavor profile.   A great pairing to this beautiful olive is parmesan-reggiano, mozzarella, marcona almonds and Genoa salami.

I wanted to create a quick recipe that was packed with flavor we could enjoy for our Friday Night Bites.  Hubby doesn’t like anything with a pit or bones, so luckily Whole Foods had the pitted version of the Castelvetrano olive.  The idea of serving warm olives with garlic, citrus, spicy red pepper and fresh thyme simply resonated with me.  The flavor combination was simply divine, fresh and a perfect little bite.  I actually serve with a small fork so you can get the different bits of flavor in one bite.  The zest of the orange and lightly toasted slice of garlic with a fleck of spicy red pepper was a wonderful treat for my mouth. If you want to kick up your olives and impress your guests, this is the recipe for you!

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives

DSC025002 Cups Castelvetrano Olives

6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced thin

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Zest of one Orange

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and olives and heat on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to have the heat too high or the garlic will burn.  Right before serving, add the orange zest and thyme leaves and toss.  Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

(Source: http://authenticsuburbangourmet.blogspot.gr)-def50