Tag Archives: sciabica

jalapeno tortillas recipe

 jalapeno_tortillas

Okay, okay, it’s another Sciabica recipe. I can’t help it. This is seriously good oil. I received their product through 37 Cooks, and it was free. But I’m just about to go for broke buying more of their products. I’ve never been so obsessed with olive oil before, but I truly feel like this stuff has been making my recipes taste better.

While the bottle of Mission Spring Harvest oil is long gone after being used in muffins, ice cream, and artichokes, I still have jalapeno oil remaining. This is no insult to the flavored oil. It’s just that a little goes a long way. The stuff is so packed with heat and jalapeno flavor that I’ve been using just a tablespoon or so per recipe.

Taco night is a huge hit in our house, and these were a welcome substitution from the typical bagged flour tortillas. They were surprisingly easy to throw together. There’s enough jalapeno flavor that you taste a little heat, but not so much that the spice is overwhelming.

IMG_4095 - Version 2

Jalapeño Tortillas (adapted from http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-end-to-my-quest-flour-tortillas.html)

9 ounces flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Sciabica Jalapeno Olive Oil
3/4 cup warm milk

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and jalapeno oil. Add the warm milk and stir until the mixture forms a shaggy ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the ball comes together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes have passed, divide the dough into eight equal balls. Place them on a lightly floured or greased surface (I just use the cutting board) and cover. Let them rest for another 10 minutes. This resting time is important because is allows the dough to soften. If you don’t let it rest, they won’t want to flatten out! Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium-high.

Using a rolling pin, stretch each ball into a disc as flat and wide as you can make it. Cook them on high for no more than one minute on each side. The tortillas will develop brown spots when they’re done. Try to keep warm, and serve them as soon as possible.

Advertisements

olive-oil ice cream recipe

Olive-Oil Ice Cream

Olive-Oil Ice Cream

You may have noticed that most of my recipes lately have featured olive oil. This is thanks to Sciabica Oil Of the Olive. They sponsored my cooking group, 37 Cooks, and I can’t get enough of their product. Seriously, it is so tasty that I want to put it in everything. The last time I was this obsessed with something, I ended up moving to the geographical armpit known as Florida to live with him. True story.

Anyway, this recipe was inspired by a dessert that I tried at a restaurant called Ecco, here in Atlanta. I’d heard of olive oil gelato before. When I saw it on a dessert menu, I didn’t know what to do. The obvious answer would be to order it. However, we had just plowed through more wine and more food than I’d care to admit eating in one meal. There was no room for dessert.

But it was one of those evenings. My dad was in town, we were out with my boyfriend, things were good, and there were three of us to share the sweet burden. So I told our server that I’d like olive oil ice cream and three spoons. The guys were skeptical. “Olive oil? In gelato?” they wondered. “Well, I guess I’ll try a bite…”

It was one of those times when one bite turned quickly into seven, and with spoons flying the whole dish of ice cream had disappeared almost before we could wonder what happened to it.  You see, olive oil gelato is really, really, really good. It’s just one of those things. You have to try it for yourself.

After that, I had to make it. Homemade ice cream is one of my favorite things, after all. My only concern was how to develop the recipe. Gelato is great, but it depends on milk and lots of egg yolks. I prefer my frozen treats made with heavy cream, thankyouverymuch. So I made an ice cream out of it. If you’ve made ice cream before, you know the drill: infuse sweetened cream with your base flavor. Here we use vanilla because it’s freakin’ awesome with olive oil. Beat in the tempered egg yolks and cook it until it becomes a custard. The only difference here is that you’ll add the olive oil right before churning. I want to protect its delicate flavor by keeping it away from the heat!

This recipe takes two days. On the first day, you’ll make the custard. It will need to chill overnight (or at least for a good six hours until it’s truly cold) before you add olive oil to the mixture and churn it to delicious ice cream. This ice cream is rich, incredibly creamy, and best enjoyed in small portions. The recipe will make about a pint, but that pint will go a long way.

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Special equipment:
Ice cream machine

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used paste but you can use extract)
1/4 cup Sciabica Mission Spring Harvest olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Stir together the heavy cream, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over low-medium until well-incorporated and very hot, but not yet bubbling.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks.

When the cream mixture is nice and hot, ladle a few spoonfuls into the bowl containing egg yolks. Stir them together. Then, whisking the cream mixture constantly, pour the warm yolks into the saucepan. Add the vanilla. Now you’re making custard. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has thickened. It will look like a loose pudding, and it should definitely coat the back of a spoon. Depending on your stovetop settings, this could take anywhere between 5-15 minutes.

Strain the custard into a clean container. Refrigerate overnight, or at least until it’s very cold.

When you’re ready for ice cream, stir the olive oil into the chilled custard. When well-incorporated, churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer instructions.

Note: Obviously you can use olive oil besides Sciabica’s if you’d like. Be sure to use the best-quality extra-virgin oil you can find, though!

strawberry-olive oil muffins recipe

By the time I remembered to go strawberry picking in 2012, it was almost too late. We spent two hours scouring a picked-over field to collect a basket of microscopic berries. This year, I vowed, I would go early. We did, and it was so worth it.

Xavier picking berries

Xavier picking berries

There were so many ripe red strawberries in that field! You can see them in the photo. Our challenge this year wasn’t finding enough berries to fill a bucket. It was stopping! After we’d picked enough, we had to walk back through the rows towards the farm stand. It was literally impossible not to pause, lean over, and pluck a perfect ripe berry.

strawberry_plant

Strawberries in various stages

We managed to stop after each of us had filled much of a large bucket.

strawberry_buckets

Buckets of strawberries

photo 4

Fifteen pounds of strawberries

We picked about fifteen pounds total, and that left me with a dilemma: what to do with three people and fifteen pounds of fruit?

Well, quite a few were eaten plain. The rest were rinsed, hulled, and put to good use.

cleaned strawberries

There was a strawberry tart (with chocolate ganache and creme patisserie). There was jam. And then there were muffins.

You may remember from my last post that 37 Cooks is doing a challenge with Sciabica Oil of the Olive this month: I wrote about the awesome hash browns that I made with their jalapeno oil. Well, flavored oils aren’t all that this company makes. They have some awesome seasonal varietals of “plain” olive oils – and I use quotations because their oil is anything but plain. Although their fall-harvest selections were intriguing and promised bold flavors, I chose their buttery spring variety because… well, it’s spring right now. Since strawberries are almost the official fruit of spring, and the oil is mild, I thought it would be perfect to bake with these two ingredients. And what’s better than muffins?

The olive oil really adds an incredible flavor to these, so I’d recommend using it if you can. I made a batch on Sunday. They were delicious and gone almost immediately – a rarity in my household, because we’re usually very slow to eat baked goods. I made another batch on Monday using canola oil in place of the olive. Big mistake. The difference in taste is obvious and disappointing.

Strawberry-Olive Oil Muffins

Strawberry-Olive Oil Muffins

Strawberry-Olive Oil Muffins

8 ounces flour
4 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces Sciabica Mission Spring Harvest olive oil
2 large eggs
8 ounces milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, chopped
Small handful coarse sugar (such as Turbinado), to taste (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk until just barely moistened. Stir in the strawberries. Dollop the batter into a greased muffin tin. If you’re using coarse sugar, sprinkle it on now. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

triple-pepper hash browns recipe

As I realize that I haven’t blogged here in over a month, I can’t help but wish there were more hours in a day. There just isn’t enough time to do all the things I want! I wake up, go to work, and get home between 5 and 6. If I try to sleep by midnight, that gives me six hours to do… well, everything. It’s just not enough. I’d like four hours to study for the GRE, three to cook something awesome and clean up afterwards, two for practicing guitar, two for a workout and shower, and maybe another few to spend hanging out with my boyfriend.

With everything going on right now, it’s really nice to be a member of 37 Cooks. In the midst of mayhem, I can schedule a little time to do what I love: cook, photograph, and eat. Right now, we’re doing an olive oil challenge. It’s sponsored by Sciabica’s. We’re crazy for flavored oils in my household, so it was tough to decide on jalapeno (they also had lemon! garlic! basil!) – but I’m glad I did. If you try this recipe, you’ll see why.

The jalapeno oil was a perfect addition to hash browns – my favorite! I wouldn’t use it in the pan during the actual cooking process. Olive oil has a low smoke point to begin with, and this particular oil has a very delicate flavor because it is cold-pressed. But as a finishing drizzle on top of crispy potatoes, it cannot be beaten. I usually enjoy my hash browns with an equivalent volume of ketchup. But with a sunny-side up egg lending its yolk to the plate, no additional condiment was needed.

Triple-Pepper Hash Browns

Triple-Pepper Hash Browns
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as canola
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
3 cups shredded potato (fresh or frozen will work)
Fresh-ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Sciabica Jalapeno Olive Oil

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan, or a large nonstick one, over medium-high heat. When hot, add the neutral oil and shallot. Let it cook without stirring for a couple of minutes, until just beginning to brown, and then add the chopped pepper. Stir everything together and sprinkle with salt and pepper. After the peppers are beginning to soften, add the shredded potato and stir everything together again.

Now, leave the mixture alone and let it cook for a few minutes. You’re looking for the bottom to achieve a crispy crust. When it’s starting to brown, sprinkle a little more canola oil on the top side and use a large spatula to flip it over in as few pieces as possible. Let the other side brown. Remove from the heat and sprinkle liberally with jalapeno olive oil.

I would recommend serving this with a sunny-side-up egg on top. It’s even better when the yolk breaks over everything!