Tag Archives: Olive Oil

Polenta Pizza

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Gooey cheese melting into baked polenta—crisp on the outside with a creamy interior—is as satisfying as a pizza but it’s gluten-free. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meatless Monday meal.

 Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the polenta crust:
1 1/3 cups  gluten-free medium-ground cornmeal
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

For the topping:
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup thin asparagus spears, sliced into  1 1/2 inch lengths
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Directions:
To make the polenta crust, in a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 cups  water, the cornmeal and 1 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place in the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then return to the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Return to the microwave and cook at the high setting until very thick, about 5 minutes longer. Stir again, and then mix in the 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of pepper.

Brush a large pizza pan generously with olive oil. Spread the cornmeal mixture out on the pan in a circle about 1/3 inch thick and about 12 inches  in diameter, building up the edges slightly.

Preheat an oven to 375°F .

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pizza crust on the pizza pan, leaving a border.

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes,  asparagus, shallot, 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, garlic and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pizza until it is beginning to brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up. Sprinkle with the oregano and serve immediately with forks and knives for eating.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Soup

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Roasted seasonal vegetables add depth to this simple winter soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into  florets
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced  white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup  milk
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve Brussels sprouts. Arrange sprouts and cauliflower on a large sheet pan. Light season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan and sauté diced onion until translucent. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer for about 2 min., stirring occasionally. Return the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet to the oven, to roast for another 5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Remove from heat and stir in the milk and remaining roasted vegetables.

Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

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Thank you so much!

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Sautéed Mushrooms with Polenta

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A savory appetizer or main dish full with of flavorful mushrooms sautéed in herbs and a rich balsamic vinegar sauce, spooned over creamy polenta with melted  smoked gouda cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

For the  mushrooms:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella  mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to taste

For the  polenta  (See Cook’s Notes):
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups instant polenta
8 ounces  smoked gouda  cheese, shredded (See Cook’s Notes)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

For  the mushrooms:Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add mushrooms; and cook stirring occasionally for 7 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, pepper and garlic; continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, stirring constantly about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, reduce to low. Stir in butter.  Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste. Keep warm.

For polenta: In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/4 cups chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; gradually stir in polenta; cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add more liquid (broth, milk or water) as needed to achieve desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese; stir to combine until smooth. Salt to taste. Serve polenta warm topped with mushrooms.

*Cook’s Notes:
Other cheeses may be substituted. A few recommendations: Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Fontina,  or Cheddar.

For a homemade polenta, follow the link here: Creamy Polenta

 

 

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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El Quim’s de la Boqueria Fried Egg with Baby Squid

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This summer I discovered frying eggs in olive oil, only because my pantry was out of butter, vegetable spray, and vegetable oil. I was even out of lard! My stores were low due to traveling so much.  It was so good! The crispy edge of the fried egg was so divine and I thought I alone had discovered a previously unknown culinary treat.

Well, my bubble was burst when I visited Barcelona this summer. I had the opportunity to visit La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain, perhaps one  of the best markets in the world for foodies, and people watching.The market has been a fixture in the region since the 1200s, during the time of the Crusades. And it was at La Boqueria that I realized that my newly discovered way of frying eggs in olive oil was a  technique that the Spaniards have embraced for,  centuries upon centuries.

It will take you at least two weeks to go through every stall at La Boqueria. The tantalizing smells of food cooking and the fresh fruits and vegetables,  fresh meats and seafood and not to mention the dazzling array of spices was treat to behold.

But one dish that caught my fancy was signature dish served by  El Quim at the market ,  Spanish Fried Eggs with Baby Squid. Trust me, it is to die for. I mean, it was a pleasure on the palate. I could not wait to return home to my kitchen and put my spin on this delectable dish.

Although I had difficulty finding fresh baby squid, for my version of the dish, I used what I could find in my local supermarket. It was the Goya Brand of Squid Fillets in Black Ink. Not as tasty, but easily usable when you have no choice in the matter. Locally, the Goya tin of squid cost about $1.50, but they are available at Amazon.com.You might be able to find individually quick frozen (IQF) baby squid that are whole squid and  are cleaned and ready for cooking. On another note, using baby squid can elevate paella into a gourmand’s delight,  and they are just as delicious stuffed with rice, pine nuts and mint.

This dish is quick and simple and perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light meal. You simply cannot go wrong!

Enjoy!

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 large egg
3.5 ounces of small baby squid (click here for the resource)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for frying
Maldon salt (click here for the resource)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat.  Add plenty of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Fry the egg. When done, remove to a plate, set aside and keep warm.

While the oil is still hot,  add the garlic and the chili pepper and fry quickly until golden brown. Add the small squids and saute them for about 1 minute or until white in color.
To serve, add the cooked squid on top of the fried egg and sprinkle with Maldon salt and black pepper. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Cucumber Noodle Salad with Mint

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This is a great salad and just perfect for to serve as a light lunch or dinner during summer.

So often, we find ourselves just putting cucumbers in a smoothie or making refreshing cocktails, because they are made of more than 95% water and provide much needed hydration. They are also very low in calories which means you can eat as many cucumbers as you would like to have and not worry about counting calories.Did you know that a half cup of sliced cucumbers has only 8 calories and provides more than 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K? Imagine that!

This recipe is very adaptable. You can easily double the ingredients to share with a friend.

Serves 1

Ingredients:
For the dressing:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the noodles:
1/2 large cucumber
handful of tightly packed fresh mint
1 green scallion (only the green part), finely sliced
1/2  teaspoon black  caraway seeds
1/2  teaspoon white sesame seeds

Directions:
To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the salad, remove smaller leaves from the stem. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces.

Make the noodles by using a spiralizer or  a veggie peeler. Add the noodles, mint and scallion to a bowl and pour the dressing on top.Gently toss the noodles to cover them in the dressing.

Top with caraway and sesame seeds and serve fresh.

Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs

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Let these deviled eggs take center stage at your next party. They will have your guests wanting more!

Ingredients:
6 eggs

For the Brine:
One 16 oz  can beets with liquid
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

For the Yolk Filling:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon light cream
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped chives,  for garnish

Directions:
Hard boil your eggs and remove the shells.For perfect hard boiled eggs, see  this link for the method: http://wp.me/p43Rn7-oY

Set the eggs aside.

To prepare  the brine, pour the entire can of  beets into a large mason jar or bowl. Add cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt. Stir mixture. Because beet juice will stain, carefully lower the hard boiled eggs into the brine, cover and let sit for at least 12 hours, up to two or three days. The longer the eggs stay submerged in the brine, the more sour and dark maroon they will become. If just the rim of magenta color of the egg white and a slightly pickled flavor is desired, let the eggs sit for about 13 to 16 hours.

When brining time has completed, using sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut each egg in half and carefully scoop out the yolks using a small teaspoon. Place yolks in a medium-sized bowl, along with the mustard, mayonnaise, curry, vinegar, and olive oil. Mix/mash until smooth. You can always add a little bit of light cream to the yolk filling, if it is too stiff. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Using  small teaspoon, or a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off,  spoon or pipe the yolk filling back into the magenta colored eggs. Sprinkle with chopped chives and arrange on a platter for serving.  If the eggs are not to be served immediately, cover the dish with plastic  wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to be served.

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Wild Mushrooms and Cheese on Toast Points

Summertime eating is all about fresh and light fare. Here is an easy meal to prepared in less than 20 minutes and is perfect for those “Meatless Monday Meals”. Enjoy!

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PREP TIME:            5 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 10 Minutes
TOTAL TIME:        20 Minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 pound button or wild mushrooms (i.e. porcini, cremini,
Shitake and  oyster) stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup  white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepper
24 small (1/2 inch thick) slices country style bread (i.e..
ciabatta, French, Italian, focaccia), cut into triangles, toasted
1/4 pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced into strips
1/4 pound Havarti cheese, thinly sliced into strips
2 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1/8 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toast the bread until golden brown and remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.

3. Saute onions, until translucent.

4. Add chopped mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes.

5. Add wine and increase heat to high and cook stirring until liquid has evaporated (5 minutes).

6. Add thyme, salt and pepper.

7. Add cheese to the skillet and stir until slightly melted.

8. To serve, top each slice of bread with mushroom and cheese mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and basil.

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