Sweet & Spicy Italian Peppers Pickled in Oregano White Balsamic

Posted by Rachel Dougherty on

 

Tis the end of the summer growing season.  However, peppers, cucumbers, okra and other vegetables which make fantastic pickles are at their peak.


Spicy-Sweet Italian Pickled Peppers in Oregano White Balsamic

2 cups Oregano White Balsamic Condimento

1 cup water
4 whole cloves garlic
2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt
2 cups sweet Italian peppers, sliced
1 ripe, red jalapeno, seeded and sliced 

Directions  
In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, vinegar, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Place the garlic and sliced peppers in a large mouth canning jar or two smaller jars. Pour in the hot boiled pickling liquid in to each jar, completely covering the peppers but leaving a head space of 1/2" from the top of the jar.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 10 days before eating. Keep refrigerated and use within 1 month.  These peppers can be enjoyed as is or drained of pickling liquid and drizzled with a fresh, herbaceous extra virgin olive oil such as Frantoio, Coratina or FS17. 

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Balsamic Glazed Ham

Posted by Rachel Dougherty on

 

Ingredients

1 bone-in skinless smoked ham, shank or butt end portion, 6-8 lbs.

1 cup Maple Balsamic Condimento, or Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic Condimento
2 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325.  

Line a large roasting pan with foil.  With a sharp knife, score the fat all over the ham in a diamond pattern.  Place the ham, cut side down, in the roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake  for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, reduce the balsamic to 1/2 cup, by gently simmering it in a medium sauce pan set over low heat.  This process should be done slowly, taking approximately 25-30 minutes to complete.  When the balsamic condimento has become thick and syrupy and is reduced by half, remove from heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard.

After baking for an hour, remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350.  Using a pastry brush, liberally apply the balsamic glaze all over the ham, paying special attention to working it in to the scored portions.  Cover just the shank end with a small piece of foil to prevent it from burning.  Return the uncovered ham to the oven and roast for approximately 35 minutes, or until the glaze has caramelized and the ham is golden brown.  
Serves 8  
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Easy Olive Oil Roasted Garlic

Posted by Rachel Dougherty on

 

This recipe is extra simple and extra delicious.  Slow roasting whole garlic heads brings out a nutty sweetness in the garlic and turns the cloves creamy and spreadable.  A robust olive oil is a must here otherwise you will loose the lovely marriage of flavors as the character of olive oils with modest phenol content will dissipate under such heat.

The ways in which you can then use this "garlic candy" as I call it, are endless. You can use them in dressings, sauces, marinades, smeared on a slice of toasted baguette with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, in aioli, on roasted meats, grilled meats, fish, chicken breast, with vegetables, on baked potatoes, in pasta, and on, and on...

Roasted Garlic with Robust Olive Oil
7-9 firm, whole heads of garlic, with the stem end sliced off.  (Do not slice the root end or the bulb may fall apart)
1/3 cup Fresh, Robust, extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.  In a pie tin, cake pan, or other shallow oven proof baking vessel, place the garlic heads cut side up. Drizzle each head generously with approximately two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Seal the pan tight with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, soft, and golden brown.

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Slow Cooker White Beans with Rosemary

Posted by Rachel Dougherty on

 

The beans above are exceedingly delicious, simple, and comforting.  They remind me of bygone days spent in my Italian grandmother's kitchen, and the sense of comfort I had when she would set a brimming bowl of  pasta fagioli, in front of me. Eating her simple, nutritious, and downright scrumptious food always brought a smile to my face.  I hope this recipe does the same for you.


 Rachel's Pasta Fagioli With Olio Nuovo - Hold The Pasta
1 pound Great White Northern Beans, rinsed and picked over
1 medium celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 large shallots, diced 
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 pound smoked bacon diced 
2 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
5 quarts chicken broth or stock, vegetable stock, or cold water
1 - 2" sprig fresh rosemary
1 dried bay leaf


Directions
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (at least 1 tablespoon recommended if not using stock)
1/2 cup Robust Olive Oil


Combine all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a large slow cooker.  Set the cooker to high for 6 hours.  Once the beans are tender, taste and adjust seasoning. Drain the beans with a slotted spoon and serve slathered in Olio Nuovo with crusty bread.
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Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms Fried in Olive Oil

Posted by Rachel Dougherty on

 

Spring.  It is an epic time in the kitchen namely because we have access to fleeting ingredients like green garlic, ramps, and squash blossoms.  This recipe harnesses several delightful seasonal ingredients and weaves them in to a flavorful and eye-catching culinary tapestry. 

As complicated as it may look at the outset, there are really just a handful of ingredients that come together to make this dish shine, and as you would expect, olive oil is a among them.  

Ingredients For the Filling

1 small shallot chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon UP EVOO oil 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Mascarpone
1 large egg beaten
8 oz. jumbo lump crab meat (Dungeness, if you can get it), picked through for shells
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

12 medium to large fresh zucchini squash blossoms 
 
For the Batter
1 cup seltzer water
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
 
UP EVOO for frying 
 
Combine the shallot, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, mascarpone, egg, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to finely chop the ingredients and combine.  Place the filling in a medium size bowl, and with the utmost of care, gently fold in the crab meat being very careful not to break it up too much.  Adjust the seasoning, cover, and refrigerate the filling for 1/2 hour.
In a shallow dish or bowl whisk together the seltzer water, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Heat 2 inches of UP EVOO up to 350 F. in a heavy bottom pot or pan. 
 
To Assemble
Make sure the blossoms are clean of debris.  Gently remove the flower stamens.  Using a spoon, gently fill each blossom with approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of chilled crab filling.  Gently twist the ends of the petals to seal.  Swirl each filled blossom in the batter rotating it in the same direction that you twisted the petals so as not to undo your blossom.  Place in the heated oil and fry each blossom for approximately 2 minutes, turning once until light golden brown on all sides.  
 
Remove the blossoms from the oil to a rack to drain.  Serve warm.
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