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Archive for the Category 'Olive Oil'

Italian Eggs With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tuesday, October 07th, 2014

• Four eggs
• Four slices buttered toast
• Four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• One and one quarter teaspoons salt
• One quarter cup canned tomato sauce
• One quarter cup chopped onions
• One quarter cup dry white wine
• One quarter pound chicken livers
• One quarter teaspoon basil
• One quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• One tablespoon parsley

Wash the chicken livers very well and then slice each piece in two. In a saucepan pour in the olive oil and begin to heat on a medium setting. Place the onions in and sauté them for five minutes. Then place the chicken liver pieces in and cook for another five minutes while frequently mixing them together with the onions. Then put in the wine, basil, tomato sauce, pepper and salt. Let it begin to boil and then return to low heat for another five minutes. Crack open the eggs and let fall into the pan, then cover the pan and let cook for three more minutes. Place an egg per slice of bread and then coat with the sauce and sprinkle to taste with parsley. Serves three.

Fish And Shrimp With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Friday, October 03rd, 2014

One of the keys to the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil, and another is fresh seafood. Extra virgin olive oil is great with fish. There are many Italian seafood recipes that use extra virgin olive oil on the fish. EVOO is also excellent to use as a non stick oil to cook with. Even better, a mixture of butter and extra virgin olive oil can be the difference to a tasty treat of shrimp. Italy is a country with a very long coastline, and the variety and selection of fish sometimes appears limitless. On the west coast, the region from Genoa down to Naples, the fish are of the Mediterranean type, full of a strong sea-flavor. On the east coast, from Venice down to Bari, Italy fronts on the Adriatic and it is from this extraordinary body of water that some of the most delicate fish and shellfish in the world may be found.

From the Adriatic come scampi, a type of shrimp or prawn. Scampi are actually a distinct and separate variety of shellfish, although by some error, it has come to mean broiled shrimp prepared in garlic and olive oil. Nevertheless, Italian scampi are undoubtedly the finest shrimp in the world. Although American shrimp are excellent, scampi are absolutely incomparable and for this reason, Italian fish dishes are somewhat unusual to most Americans, who are accustomed to eating merely broiled or fried fish.

Mediterranean Diet Healthy Food Ideas With Olive Oil

Friday, March 07th, 2014

While a busy day calls for a quick meal, it does not call for a sub-par one. To help you imagine what a day full of quick meals would look like, here are a few examples to get you started. Breakfast can be an egg-white frittata with a handful of spinach and mushrooms added with a bit of yogurt. Lunch could include: a hearty chunk of whole grain bread, feta or some other kind of cheese, some tomato slices, and a handful of greens drizzled in olive oil with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Finish lunch off with a mid-day dessert of seasonal fruit. This meal is quick, fresh, and fulfilling without the inconveniences of waiting in a fast food drive-through lane and waiting for your order.

For dinner, make spaghetti or your favorite pasta recipe. A shredded carrot, a finely chopped green or red pepper, some mushrooms, and a handful of chopped spinach to your sauce makes an already tasty dinner sublime. These additions lend flavor, color, and nutrition to the meal. For an impromptu grilling party in the yard, focus on the uniquely smokey and caramelized flavors of grilled Mediterranean-style produce. Skewer thickly sliced onions, peppers, zucchinis, large mushrooms, eggplant, and tomatoes, add a drizzle of olive oil with some lemon juice, and grill. For some flare, add a few pieces of chicken or lamb to the shish kebabs. To finish, add a garnish of grated cheese, a splash of tomato sauce, or a few sun-dried tomatoes. Fish and broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of minced garlic, as well as a few flakes of red pepper to finish is another great idea. For dessert that keeps with the grilling theme, try a grilled banana. This already sweet fruit is made sweeter by the heat caramelizing its juices.

Add a daily salad to further enhance the benefits and flavors of your meal. Choose vinaigrette for a wide variety of flavors and as a healthier choice than dressing. For crunch, add some unconventional vegetables such as watercress and chives. A little dairy such as cottage cheese also goes a long way in flavor and a little extra protein. While raw garlic and onion is too strong for most people to handle, if finely minced or served as vinaigrette, garlic and onion will make an aromatic addition.

Even the Friday-night regular special of pizza can be converted into a tasty and healthy version. The difference is just a few swaps. Make your pizza with a thin, whole-grain crust and fresh tomato sauce. Load up the vegetables in either traditional or unconventional combos such as eggplant-zucchini or briefly sautéed garlic with broccoli. Reduce the cheese to just a sprinkle and in a low-fat variety. While pizza and spaghetti may not exactly come to mind when you think of the Mediterranean diet, it is really the spirit of the food that makes it Mediterranean. This means fresh, wholesome, and mostly produce when it comes to the ingredients of a meal.

Processing Olives For Olive Oil

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Here’s how to process olives for their oil…The fruits must be inspected for defects and sorted by how ripe they are. This is important because the ripeness of the fruit will determine how much acidity the oil has. Often debris (such as leaves and twigs) is often removed with blowers or done by hand. To prevent early fermentation and to condition the olives for oil extraction, the fruit must be milled within a few hours of being picked and no later than three days for optimum oil extraction.  Next, the olives are cleaned in a cold wash and allowed to dry.

The next step involves crushing the fruit in order to break up its tissues and aid in the easy release of the oil. Traditionally, the crushing was done with mechanical rollers. In modern times, the crushers also rub and cut the fruit while crushing it.  Although the modern method works faster, it tends to allow tiny metal pieces to get into the oil. Once the fruit has been crushed, it is then ground—including the pit—into a paste to allow the oil to freely flow.  The first cold press of the olive oil (which requires only a minimal amount of pressure) involves spreading the paste onto stacked mats that will be smashed in a vertical press.

Another, more modern cold press process involves using a centrifuge.  After the paste is made, the paste is placed into the centrifuge and spun at an incredibly fast speed to remove the pulp from the oil. The resulting oil from this method or the traditional method will be a red-tinted mix of oil and water. The old process manually separated the oil from the water, but the more modern process uses another centrifuge to separate them. It is determined that five kilos of olive oil produces a liter of oil when pressed.

At this stage, the resulting oil is still not properly filtered. The smoky oil is stored in a container until time to be filtered. There are two chief ways in which the oil can be filtered. The more traditional approach allows the sediment to settle at the bottom of the container as the temperature warms up in the springtime. The more modern approach actually involves filtering the oil. It is said the more traditional approach produces oil with a smoother taste. It doesn’t really matter which way is primarily done because the resulting oil is still considered to be “virgin” olive oil. When olive oil is considered “pure,” the oil undergoes a second press (and sometimes more than that) before being filtered.  In Europe, pure olive oil is simply known as olive oil, and the oil doesn’t get the name “extra virgin” unless it has an acidity of at least 0.21%. The acidity of olive oil can be no more than 1.5% acidity because the potential for the oil to become toxic tends to increase with the increase of the oil’s acidity. You can also hot press—hot water press—the olive oil paste and add solvents in it to make soap (or use it for other commercial purposes). The oily vegetable sediment from pressing the olives can also be recycled as fuel, fertilizer, and cattle food.

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