Daily Archives: February 4, 2015

  • Few ideas to help you wade through the olive oil crisis in 2015

    Last year wasn’t just bad for global warming, Malaysian Airlines, or Bill Cosby — it was also the worst olive oil crop in over a decade.

    The beloved, cheap, and ever-present fat we rely on for elevating the most basic of starches is expected to see soaring prices across the globe in 2015.

    Though we are only just beginning to see the effects of the dismal harvest, brought on by a combination of uncharacteristic weather across the Mediterranean, and a rapid spread of pests like the olive fly, we are going to have to start thinking about changing our fat strategy.

    Below are a few ideas to help you wade through the olive oil crisis in 2015.

    Buy olive oil from Tunisia:

    Though Tunisia has consistently fallen behind Greece, Spain, and Italy in global olive oil production, it experienced a record crop in 2014 while avoiding the worst of the olive oil blight. It is now the second largest producer, according to the Olive Oil Times (yes, that’s a real publication). As Tunisia responds to increased demand from Europe and the United States (Trader Joe’s started distributing it in 2013), exports can help the struggling economy in the country, where the olive oil industry provides employment to more than one million people, according to the USDA.

    Try oils with higher smoking points:

    Olive oil has been lauded as the centerpiece of the life-promoting Mediterranean diet: rich in antioxidants and unsaturated fats, and so good for your heart, that doctors are basically prescribing salad dressing out to the public.

    But American ignorance about olive oil and how to cook with it may be wasting all that “good fat” on a low smoke point. Extra-virgin olive oil beings to smoke at about 325 degrees Fahrenheit — about 100 degrees below high-heat oils like safflower, peanut and canola. Once the oil hits this point, the fats and delicate enzymes begin to break down and produce carcinogenic free radicals, making the health benefits null and the flavor rancid. Next time you’re searing a steak, roasting vegetables at high heat, or stir-frying, thank the olive oil crisis and choose a different, neutral-flavored oil.

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    Last year wasn’t just bad for global warming, Malaysian Airlines, or Bill Cosby — it was also the worst olive oil crop in over a decade. The beloved, cheap, and ever-present fat we rely on for elevating the most basic of starches is expected to see soaring prices across the... 
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  • Valentine Recipe: Salt-Roasted Prawns & lemon-oregano Pesto with EVOO

    LEMON-OREGANO PESTO Ingredients:

    1 1/4 cups (fully packed) fresh parsley leaves
    1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves
    10 fresh basil leaves
    1/3 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 large garlic clove, peeled
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper

    SHRIMP Ingredients:

    – 3 cups rock or coarse kosher salt
    – 1 pound medium prawns or shrimp, deveined but still in their shells

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Using a food processor, process all lemon-oregano pesto ingredients until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Add more olive oil if you prefer a looser sauce. Pour into a small bowl for serving; garnish with a parsley leaf.

    2. Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Spread salt over the bottom of a 10-inch gratin dish or other shallow ovenproof dish. The salt should be about 3/4-inch thick. Place prawns, on their sides, in a single layer in the salt, pushing them down slightly to partially bury them in the salt. Roast until prawns are pink, about 5 minutes. Serve straight from the baking dish, with a small bowl or ramekin of pesto nestled in the corner. Serve while hot.

    Recipe Source

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    Rating: 4.0/10 (80 votes cast)
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    Rating: +6 (from 44 votes)
    LEMON-OREGANO PESTO Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups (fully packed) fresh parsley leaves 1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves 10 fresh basil leaves 1/3 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons... 
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  • Recipe: Braised Halibut With a "Stew" of Smoked Vegetables With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    INGREDIENTS

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 small dry chili pepper, broken
    1 small yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, about 1 cup
    1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, about 1 cup
    1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and sliced
    1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
    1 tsp. smoked paprika
    1 tsp. turmeric
    1/2 cup Pompeian White Cooking Wine
    1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
    10 large garlic cloves, peeled
    1-1/2 lbs. skinless halibut filets, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
    2 medium size red onions, peeled, halved and sliced thick
    2 cups drained, canned chick peas
    2-1/2 cups chicken broth
    4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    PREPARATION

    1. In a large skillet, heat the Pompeian OlivExtra oil over medium heat, add the chili pepper and cook until dark. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard. Add the onions, zucchini, yellow squash and garlic and cook until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the Pompeian White Cooking Wine and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Add the thyme, oregano, paprika and turmeric and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

    2. Fold in the chick peas and roasted pepper and mix well. Place the halibut cubes on top of the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and add the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the halibut is just opaque. Do not overcook. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    3. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and serve the “stew” in individual shallow serving bowls, garnished with a sprinkling of fresh parsley leaves. Serve with plenty of crusty peasant bread for “mopping up” the sauce.

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    Rating: 3.9/10 (105 votes cast)
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    Rating: +3 (from 45 votes)
    INGREDIENTS Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small dry chili pepper, broken 1 small yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, about 1 cup 1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise... 
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