Archive for the 'olive oil' Category

06
Jan
11

Olive Oil


Ever since this past Kosherfest, we are getting quite a few questions about olive oil. There were a few olive oil producers at the show and apparently people got very interested in their products. Just as we finally thought we’d better blog, explain and demystify olive oil, we came across this superb post by Chef Laura Frankel – who explains it far better than we could – on her blog:

From lauraskosher.com, Chef Laura Frankel's blog

OLIVE OIL 101

Olive oil is the fruit oil obtained from the olive. Commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and fuel for lamps, olive oil is grown and used throughout the world but especially in the Mediterranean.

Olive oil is produced by grinding or crushing and extracting the oil. A green olive produces bitter oil and an overripe olive produces rancid oil. For great extra virgin olive oil it is essential to have olives that are perfectly ripened.

Purchasing olive oil and knowing how to use it can be confusing. Add to that, the kashrut factor and it is no wonder that consumers and home cooks are bewildered by the array of products on supermarket and specialty market shelves.

Here is a summary of olive oils and their uses:
• Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. The superior fruity flavor makes this oil best used for vinaigrettes, drizzling on soups, pastas for added richness and a fruity taste and for dipping breads and vegetables. Extra virgin olive oil does not require hashgacha (even for Pesach) as it is cold pressed.
• Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%. This oil is best used for sautéing and for making vinaigrettes. It is generally not as expensive as the extra virgin olive oil but has a good taste. Does require hashgacha.
• Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil. This oil is perfect for sautéing. It does not have a strong flavor and can be used for making aiolis and cooking. Does require hasgacha.

Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil. It is typically more expensive than other olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil is typically not recommended for high heat cooking. Every oil has a smoke point. A smoke point refers to the heat temperature at which the oil begins to break down and degrade. An oil that is above its smoke point not only has nutritional and flavor degradation but can also reach a flash point where combustion can occur. You can observe this when you have a very hot pan and hot oil and food is added to the pan and it produces a bluish and acrid smelling smoke or worse yet, catches fire.

Extra virgin olive oil has a very low smoke point of 375. I use my best extra virgin olive oil for making vinaigrettes, adding luxurious fruity flavor to pasta dishes, garnishing foods, baking and dipping breads.
Extra virgin olive oil has a long list of health benefits from reducing coronary artery disease and cholesterol regulation.

My favorite extra virgin olive oil is an unfiltered oil from Spain. It is rich, luscious and smells like artichokes and tomatoes. I recently tasted an oil from France that was rich and buttery. Olive oils like wines have a distinct taste or terroir depending upon where they are grown. I urge home cooks to shop the specialty and gourmet shops for their olive oil. The supermarket oils are often lacking in flavor and are frequently misleading in the origin of the olives. The bottle may say that the oil was bottled in Italy but not mention where the olives were grown. The olives could have come from many different countries and in different stages of ripeness which yields an off tasting oil.
Estate grown oils are picked at the perfect stage of ripeness and pressed right after harvest. This ensures a balanced oil that is luscious.

Baking with olive oil is easy and yields a moist delicious cake. I use Meyer lemons in this recipe. Meyer Lemons are a cross between a tangerine and a lemon. They are sweet and very juicy. They are in season now and can be found at most markets around the country.

MEYER LEMON-OLIVE OIL POUND CAKE

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer Lemon zest
  • ¼ cup Meyer Lemon juice
  • ¾ cup
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a tube pan and set aside.

  1. Whisk together olive oil, sugar, eggs and milk.
  2. Gently stir in flour, salt and baking powder until a thick batter forms.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup or brown rice syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean, scraped
  1. Simply combine all ingredients together in a large and heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until the mixture reaches 110 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  2. Pour evenly over cooled cake and allow to harden before serving.

Enjoy the cake recipe and your use of olive oil whether in your salads or anything else.

CS

RELATED POST

Olive Oil Orange Cake

16
Nov
10

Olive Oil Orange Cake


Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, always wanted to be a hockey player and even got a scholarship to play at Saranac in Upstate new York. Unfortunately he got hurt while playing, with his sports dream over he majored in art and photography.

After graduating from the New York Restaurant School, in 1982, Chef Mark spent the next 7 years as sous-chef at Club Med in Aruba. He did stints as Main Chef for the Divi Divi Beach Hotels in the Netherlands and the Antilles but came back to the US, eventually opening Glatt A La Carte, as Executive Chef, over 10 years ago.

He has graciously given us his recipe for a delicious, easy to make cake:

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Pound Cake

Delicious... is an understatement!

Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 5 eggs

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of 3 oranges

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of orange juice

Directions

  1. Beat eggs lightly in large mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add sugar to the eggs until light colored and thicken into a ribbon consistency.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add orange juice to egg mixture.
  5. Mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Add olive oil and flower alternating little by little into egg mixture until fully incorporated.
  7. Mix until it becomes a nice batter with ribbon consistency.
  8. Mix zest into batter.
  9. Take a Bund pan and spray it with cooking spray.
  10. Pour batter into Bund pan.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 1:15 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 30-60 minutes.
  13. Combine glaze thoroughly and drop on cake.

I’ve tried Chef Mark’s recipe, both at the restaurant and at home, it’s very good. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Cake

24
Mar
10

Delicious Passover Recipes


Chef Laura Frankel’s blog features a few simply delicious, healthy recipes for Passover and the rest of the year:

Chef Laura at the Green Market

Chocolate Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
Passover used to mean a hiatus from good chocolate. Recently there have been several new companies that have introduced kosher for Passover high end chocolate.

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (must be at least 70% cacao)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee
4 eggs separated
2/3 cup powdered sugar (kosher for Passover)
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1 vanilla bean scraped

1. Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature. Mix in the olive oil and coffee and set aside.
2. Combine the yolks and powdered sugar and whisk until foamy, add the chocolate mixture.
3. Beat the whites to stiff peaks; fold the whites into the chocolate.
4. Pour into a 9-ich cake pan or loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or freeze for 3 hours. Unmold onto a serving plate and slice.

For a variation I like to sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the top of the mousse. The sea salt brings out the fruitiness of the olive oil and the chocolate.

Poached Halibut in Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
I remember the first time I watched a chef/friend poach fish in olive oil. It was one of those moments when the light bulb goes off! The fish cooks through with a gentle heat transfer and gains the delicate olive oil flavor. The fish is moist and really luscious! Enjoy the fish hot or cold.

4 cups olive oil
4 6-ounce halibut filets-skinned and boned
1 whole head of garlic cut in half
6 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig

Preheat oven to 275.
1. Place the olive oil into a large oven proof dish. Cover the fish with olive oil ¾ of the way. Add the garlic and herbs. Cover the fish directly with a piece of parchment paper.
2. Poach the fish until firm and completely translucent (about 15 minutes). Gently remove the fish and discard the garlic and herbs. Strain the oil and refrigerate covered. The oil can be used to poach fish again and will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Parsley sauce with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

[non-gebroks]
2 large bunches of flat leaf parsley, leaves trimmed off (reserve the stems for stock making)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Sear the parsley for about 2 minutes until it is bright green and slightly wilted.
2. Place the parsley and extra virgin olive oil in a blender and process until the sauce has a smooth consistency. Salt and pepper to taste

Chef Laura, who authored Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, is known for the health consciousness reflected in her recipes. As she puts it, in her blog:

When cooking for Passover and for every meal, I recommend whole, natural ingredients. I never go to the dark side of cooking with products that are loaded with laboratory made ingredients and faux flavors or colors. For this holiday and everyday-let’s keep it real.

I’ve tasted some of the recipes in Chef Laura’s books, I’ve eaten at Shallots when it was open in New York; I can assure you they are all excellent!

CS

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