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Posts Tagged ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’


I was given a single pork loin, and I had to come up with what to do with it. And, I was thinking about a raspberry pear jam from my neighbor Kathy…What could I do with both of these items given to me to make a luscious dinner?

I went on a quick trip up to Boa Vista Orchards in search of pears. The season of these being available from the farm was over. But I did spy some Granny Smith apples, so I grabbed one of those.  Then nearby I saw really good looking oranges, so I grabbed one of those too! Then I found the treasure of the day:  fresh asparagus!

So what can I do with these ingredients?  Here is what I put together:

Ingredients
1 single pork loin
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
Zest from one orange
2 shakes of Saigon cinnamon
4 twists of fresh ground salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 dash of cumin

Sauce
1/2 cup of raspberry pear jam
1 cup of Chardonnay (You can substitute Merlot for the Chardonnay, but the Chard was really, really good!)

Take the pork loin out of the refrigerator to warm up. Take the next 7 ingredients and combine them. In a greased baking pan, add the potato and apple mixture.

Apples and potatoes

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While this is cooking, take the raspberry pear jam and add this to a saucepan and blend with the Chardonnay. Heat on medium high, and bring to a boil.

Jam and wine sauce

Reduce the heat to medium low, and stir every five minutes, until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove from the heat, and strain the seeds from the mixture into a bowl. Be sure to push on the solids with the backside of a spoon. Rinse the pot and return the mixture to the pot.

About this time the timer should be going off on the potato apple mixture. Remove this from the oven, stir the potatoes and apples, and then split the mixture so that they are split in half with a trough in the middle. In the open area, lay in the pork loin.

Pork loin added to the apples and potatoes

Even the potatoes and apples around the loin, and then with a paint brush, baste the loin with the raspberry pear chardonnay sauce. Just a bit, because the rest will be used for a drizzle over each serving! Put this back in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 135 degrees. While it is baking I got the fresh asparagus ready.

Asparagus is ready to go

At the 25 minute mark I basted the meat again with some of the jam sauce, and again at the 30 minute mark. When the pork is done, remove the pan from the oven.

Right out of the oven

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover. Stir up the apples and potatoes and cover. Get the asparagus going. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes. Reheat the wine and jam sauce. Slice up the meat,

Slice the meat

and serve it up with the apples, potatoes and asparagus. Drizzle the jam sauce over the meat

Dinner is served!

and dinner is served!  This dish was incredible blend of flavors and it was so yummy that we ate the whole thing!  This recipe is a keeper, and Kathy, I will need more of your terrific jam!

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When my husband goes off to visit his Mother, I cook the stuff that I like to eat. He tells me that I can cook these things when he is home, but I want him to enjoy what I make, so I save these dishes for a night like tonight! I wanted to do something different with lamb. And I wanted to use some of the wine we have sitting around the house!

Ingredients
1 cup of Pinot Noir (I used 2010 Chateau Davell Delores Pinot Noir, Mendocino), plus 1/2 cup reserved
1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
8 fresh rosemary stems, leaves removed and chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
fresh ground salt and pepper, about 1/2 tsp of each
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 rack of lamb
1 TBS local honey

Marinade ingredients

Put the wine, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper plus the balsamic vinegar into a bowl and mix it well. Place the lamb and the marinade in a zip lock bag, and shake it up.

Marinating lamb

Let this sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. One hour before you are ready to cook, take the lamb out of the refrigerator. After an hour, turn the oven on to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, place your lamb in a roasting pan.

Lamb ready for the oven

Reserve the marinade. Bake until the temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover and let sit. While this is resting, place the reserved marinade into a sauce pan, and add the honey. Heat to boiling. Reduce this to half. Check the flavor as you go. If needed use the reserved wine.

Pinot reduction

When reduce to half, turn down to warm. Slice up the resting lamb into chops.

Lamb cut into chops

Plate the meat, dress with some fresh rosemary, and drizzle the sauce over the meat.

Dinner is served!

And, dinner is served! Let me know how you like this recipe!

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In thinking what I would make for dinner tonight, I rummaged once again through the freezer, and a couple of days ago I discovered the roast I had put away. I will be slow roasting this and will also feature roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips to accompany this dish. Slow roasting of the meat will keep the “pink” color of the meat from side to side, and any leftovers will make great roast beef sandwiches. So let’s head off to the kitchen!

Ingredients
1 – 3 1/2# beef roast
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 tsp each of rosemary, thyme and basil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Yukon gold potatoes
A good handful of baby carrots
2 medium sized parsnips

Allow four hours for this to cook. Take the roast out of the refrigerator and let it warm up. If there is a nice layer of fat on the meat, score it.

Score the fat

While it is warming up rub with the fresh ground salt and pepper. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the herbs one at a time. Then combine in a bowl to blend evenly. Rub this on all sides of the roast. Slice the garlic into thin slices, and cut into the meat and insert the slices of garlic. Next using a slight bit of olive oil, rub this over the meat.

Rubbed with herbs and oil

Once the roast has sat out for about an hour or so, turn the heat up on your oven to 200 degrees. While this is heating up, get your pan ready, and include a roasting rack to set the roast on. When the oven is ready, place this in the oven on the 2nd rack from the bottom. Set the timer for four hours. Do not open the oven!

About an hour and a half before the roast is done get your vegetables ready. Although I really love veges cooked around the meat, for this recipe, you will have to cook these separately. I cut the potatoes into chunks, left the already peeled baby carrots whole, and the peeled the parsnips, and cut those into chunks too. Then I used about 1 tsp of rosemary, and parsley, a couple of dashes of onion powder, and 3 twists on the salt and pepper grinders. Then I used about 2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil. Using my hands I mixed it up.

Potatoes, carrots and parsnips

Set these aside. There are a couple of steps that you will need to do with the roast, so at the 50 minutes before the timer goes off, preheat the oven for the vegetables to 375 degrees. Place those in the oven. Stir these periodically during roasting.

Roasting vegetables

When the timer goes off for the meat, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil.

Before hitting it with high heat

Then turn the oven up to 500 degrees. When the oven is hot, place the roast back into the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature at this point. I cooked this to medium rare and pulled this out of the oven when the temperature hit 132 degrees. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. The temperature will go up as the meat rests.

Let the roast sit

After about 10 minutes the veges should be done, and the meat ready to carve.

Slice up the meat - see the garlic?

Plate it up with your veges, and use some of the juices to pour over the meat.

Dinner is served!

Stay tuned as I will be fixing up Steve’s Baked Tilapia tomorrow!

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We have been having a mixed bag of weather. Rain, sunshine, hail, thunder, lightning, and now snow! What could be better on a cold spring evening than a pizza? Again, this pizza does not use sauce but tomatoes in its place!

Ingredients
Pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
3 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
Mozzarella, cheddar and asiago to your liking
Pepperoni
Hard salami
Mushrooms
Chopped tomatoes, from the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes
black olives

Tomatoes sliced for the pizza

These tomatoes are not too bad for this time of year. Summer time tomatoes are best, but these will do!

Lay out your crust then let it rest. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees. When the oven is hot, place the pizza dough in the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then brush on the olive oil, lay out the sliced tomatoes, and add your herbs and the garlic.

Add the herbs and garlic

Top this with 2/3 of the cheese. Follow this with the pepperoni, salami, tomatoes, mushrooms and olives.

Add the toppings

Follow this with the remainder of the cheese. Then place this in the oven,

Pizza is in the oven

and set the timer for about 10 minutes. Check the crust to see how it is doing. I had to add another five minutes to the timer.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes, then slice it up!

Pizza is served!

Serve this up with a hearty red wine or an ice cold beer!

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Normally I make beef stew in the crock pot. Yesterday with the snow event and no power for most of the day I had to prepare this on the stove top. Nothing is better than a stew on a very cold day, and our bones were definitely warmed by this dish!

Ingredients
1 1/2# stew meat
flour
garlic powder
salt and pepper
Hungarian paprika
1 onion
extra virgin olive oil
64 oz. beef broth
1 cup good red wine, I used Zinfandel from Storey Winery
3 potatoes
handful of prepared baby carrots
3/4 cup of frozen peas
1/4 # fresh green beans
2 bay leaves
1 TBS savory
1 TBS coriander
2 TBS rosemary
2 TBS parsley

Cut up the meat into bite size chunks…sorry the photo is poor… 😦

Meat is cut up and ready to use

Then take the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and the paprika and add to a zip lock bag. Put the meat in and shake it vigorously. Set aside. Next take the onion and chop coarsely. Add this and 3 good glugs of olive oil to your stew pot. Turn on the heat, add the onions. Cook down for about 3 minutes and then grab the pieces of beef out of the bag. Do not worry about excess flour as you grab the meat as it will thicken the stew. But do not add in the rest of the flour from the bag. Brown the meat. While this is browning, peel the potatoes and cut into bite size chunks. Trim up the green beans.

The vegetables are ready to go

When the meat is brown add the broth and the wine. Then add your vegetables. Next add the herbs.

Everything is added

Bring this up to a boil, and then cover, turning the heat down to low. Check your stew often to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the stew pot. Cook on low for about 2 hours, and then serve.

Dinner is served!

Don’t forget to have a glass of the wine that you used in the stew!

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Come and take a step back in time with me…Mid ’90’s it was. My parents offered me a trip to join them in France only if I paid the air fare, and they would take care of everything else. Who could not pass up an offer like this? I took it!

As most of this story is a chapter in a book that I have written and not yet published, I will tell you about part of our trip when we stayed with friends in Italy. And, of course this has to do with food…

We arrived at Alfredo and Luciana’s house late, and Luciana had lunch ready for us. A simple soup of tortellini in chicken broth. So here is the easy comfort food lunch we had that day, which we make for dinner on cold nights, and tonight is cold!

Ingredients
64 oz. low sodium chicken broth
Dash of white pepper
1 package of fresh chicken prosciutto tortellini
Olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
A couple of healthy pinches of Parmesan cheese

In a soup kettle, add the chicken broth.

Broth in the soup kettle

In another soup kettle add enough water to cook the tortellini. Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the tortellini from sticking together.

Tortellini added to the pot with olive oil

Cook this based on the instruction on the package. While this is cooking,

Cooking tortellini

heat the chicken broth. When the tortellini is cooked, drain and add to the broth.

Add tortellini to the broth

Do not boil this but simmer gently. Serve by topping with cheese then the green onions.

Dinner is served!

Serve with a good crusty sour dough bread! Enjoy! BTW – tonight’s photos were taken by my husband who was really having a good time not only cooking but taking the photos. I was told to get out of the kitchen and not to touch the camera!

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Seeing as how I had all these capers lurking in the house, and leftover pork loin chops from making the Hot Sour Soup, I had to combine the two.  What can you do with pork and capers? Make a Picatta! Without further ado…

Ingredients
4 pork loin chops, boneless and 1″ thick
flour
salt and pepper
3 TBS butter
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra dry vermouth
1/3 cup capers
parsley

Start with the pork loin, and holding the meat flat to the cutting board, cut the chop in half horizontally. Next place a slice of meat flat into a zip lock bag.

Place the slice in a zip lock bag and using a mallet pound

until they are half the thickness

Next, add butter and olive oil to your pan. Get your liquids and capers ready.

Vermouth, chicken broth, lemon juice and capers

Heat the pan with your butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Dredge the strips of meat, and working in batches cook the pork. When the first pieces go in, turn the heat down to medium.

Start to brown the pork

Cook until just browned.

Turn over and continue cooking

As they are done, put them on a plate and set aside.

When all the meat is done, deglaze the pan using the broth, the lemon juice and the vermouth.

Deglaze the pan

Add the capers too!

Add the capers

Bring this up to a boil and cook for about a minute or two. Then add the meat back to the pan. The flour coating that you used on the meat will thicken the sauce a bit. Heat through, turning as you go. This should only take a couple of minutes.

Add back the cooked pork and heat through

Remove the pork from the pan to serve. Tonight I served this with jasmine rice and asparagus!

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy this quick, easy and very tasty dish!

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I love pizza! Of all the foods out there I can eat pizza every day, as well as Chinese and Mexican foods. Oh and Italian too! I was inspired to try making this myself after having a pizza like this from a little place that was in San Carlos, CA called Cheshire. This pizza uses tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. Are you ready for some pizza!

Would you like some pizza?

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Ingredients
Pizza Dough, I use a pre-made dough in this recipe
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil and Oregano, dried
1 huge ripe tomato
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Prosciutto – You can buy this in a thick slice, or some brands offer this already chopped
Black Olives
Capers
Parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take your pizza stone, brush it with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Then spread out the dough to the edges.

Spread out the pizza dough

Brush on EVOO and sprinkle with basil and oregano

Top with most of the cheese

Follow with tomato slices

Next sprinkle with finely chopped garlic

Next is the prosciutto

Add the olives

Follow with capers

Add remaining cheese

Put this into the oven and bake until the bottom side of the crust is browned, about 12 – 18 minutes.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Remove from the oven and let this sit for a minute or two, if you can, then slice and serve!

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy this as much as we did.  This is a 2 – 4 serving pizza, depending on whether you want to share it!

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Temperatures are dropping, clouds are coming in and if we get any precipitation it will snow overnight. With the cold coming, I wanted to make an easy dish in the crockpot. I love the all in one dishes! This takes a bit of prepping, but it is well worth it!  Start this early in the day as cooking time is 9 hours, and prep time is about an hour.

Ingredients
4 cups of low sodium beef broth
1 onion, sliced and separated
8 beef short ribs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp fresh ground salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp rosemary leaves crushed
1 tsp thyme leaves crushed
1 tsp marjoram leaves crushed
1/2 tsp basil leaves crushed
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 – 12 oz. bottle of a stout beer
1 TBS butter
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1 bay leaf

Get your ingredients ready…

Ingredients

Put the beef broth into a saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce this to approximately a cup and a half.  This concentrates the beef flavor in the broth.

Cooking down the beef broth

While this is cooking down, slice the onion and lay the pieces in the crockpot making a “bed” for the short ribs. Next in a zip lock bag, add the flour along with the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and basil. Shake the bag to mix up well. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot dredge the short ribs and add to the pan.

Dredged short ribs added to the oil

Sear the meat on all sides.

Sear all sides of the short ribs

About half way through searing the ribs, the beef broth should be done. Turn off the heat and set aside. As the ribs get browned, move off the completed ones to the crockpot until all have been added. Try to get them in bone side down.  This will add the flavor of the bones to the juices that you will use to drizzle over the finished dish!  Next pour the beer over the short ribs. Dot them with the garlic. Add the bay leaf and butter. Then pour in the drippings from the pan. Then take the broth and pour a bit into the pan to knock up the bits that are stuck to the pan. Pour this and the broth into the crockpot.

Everything has been added to the crock pot

Cover the crockpot and turn the heat on low, and set the time for 9 hours. Do not lift the lid once this has started cooking!  I cannot possibly describe for you how wonderful the aromas are in the house!  If you want to impress folks and make them think that you spent all day in the kitchen slaving over the stove, this is the dish for you!

Tonight I will be serving these over jasmine rice, although mashed potatoes or buttered noodles are also good. Don’t forget to steam up a vegetable, and maybe a bit of crusty sour dough bread. Serve this up with a good stout ale, or try it with a Cabernet Franc.

Dinner is served!

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I have been a bit under the weather, and I wanted to make a simple dinner for this evening. Tonight the fare is sirloin steaks, baked potatoes and steamed asparagus.

Take the steaks out about an hour before cooking, and season both sides with fresh ground salt and pepper.

Steak seasoned with fresh ground salt and pepper

My husband will be doing the grilling tonight. He says the steaks take 20 minutes.

Steaks midway through cooking on the grill

Scrub the potatoes and rub with a bit of oil and fresh ground salt.

Potato scrubbed, oiled and ground salt and pepper added

These will take 50 minutes or so to cook, so you will need to time the rest of the dinner. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees, and when the oven is ready, place the potatoes on a rack in the center for 25 minutes. Turn 1/2 way through the cooking time. Before removing from the oven test them to make sure that they are soft cooked.

Get the asparagus ready next. Wash them and then snap the stalk.

Bend the asparagus until

The asparagus snaps

Lay these in a steamer basket. When you are ready to steam these get your steamer going and cook until just crisp tender, about 6 – 8 minutes.

When the steaks are done, pull them off the grill and let them stand for 5 minutes. During this time, get those spuds ready by adding a bit of butter, and sour cream if you like. Lay the asparagus on the plate and lay on the steak!

Dinner is served!

Serve this dinner with a really good Bordeaux or try a Cabernet Sauvignon! Enjoy!

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