Tag Archives: olive oil

The Wannabe Gourmet’s House Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s difficult to make a vinaigrette and photograph it to make it look like something appetizing, so please forgive my indiscretion. – Jonathan

In a mason jar with a tight fitting lid (or in my case, a repurposed pasta sauce jar), combine:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar di Modena (or your favourite type of Balsamic)
1 T granulated garlic (I use granulated roasted garlic)
2 T Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh finely ground black pepper
salt, if needed.

Close lid tightly and shake vigorously. Allow to sit for one to two hours to allow the flavours to meld. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

N.B.: The Dijon mustard acts as an emulsifier, giving the vinaigrette a more creamy consistency, but to use or not is up to you. Purists would not include it.


Chicken Chorizo…Caliente!

Easy, peasy, tasty, and even better the second day!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 links of skinless chorizo sausage
2 lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1 large red onion cut into wedges
zest of 1 unwaxed orange
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut chicken and chorizo into about 1 inch cubes. Cut fingerlings in half, if needed, to make all about the same size. In a large bowl, toss chicken, chorizo, potatoes, and onion with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle orange zest and oregano overtop, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Serve with fresh lime to squeeze over, and your favourite veggie as a side dish.

Serves 6 generously, 8, reasonably.


Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese.

Very easy to make.

Fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella 1/4″ thick, layer in alternate layers on a serving dish. Chiffonade basil (cut into thin strips) and scatter over. True caprese only has olive oil as a dressing. I recommend a nice balsamic to be drizzled over as well, and some cracked black pepper. Serve as an appetizer for lunch or dinner.


Shrimp with Sofrito and Manchego

Shrimp with Sofrito, Peppers and Manchego

1/4 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
20-24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red onion, cut into wedges, about 1/4 inch wide
2 sweet red peppers, seeded and cut into strips 1/2 inch wide
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup Manchego cheese, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil and butter in frying pan until butter foams, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp and sauté them over a fairly high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, until colored. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add onion and peppers to the pan, cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes until softened.

Stir in the tomatoes, cayenne, and paprika and cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir together, adding Manchego and sauté for 30 seconds. Season to taste, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

Yields 4 servings


Savory Mushroom Risotto with Sautéed Chicken Breasts

Savory Mushroom Risotto

6 cps low sodium, fat free chicken broth (may be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp rosemary, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp powdered rosemary)
2 medium shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth just to a simmer; turn heat back slightly and keep it warm.

Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in, then add in mushrooms, stirring gently to coat completely with the oil. Continue to cook until they take on a medium brown colour, about 3-4 minutes. Turn out into a bowl and cover mushrooms and any liquid they exude.

In the same pot, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and sauté the shallows. Cook for 1 minute, then add uncooked rice, stirring to ensure every grain is coated with oil. When rice smells nutty and has started to take on a toasted colour (about 2 minutes), remove from heat, pour in wine and add rosemary. Return to heat. Stir rice until wine is absorbed. Add broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring after each addition, making sure all liquids have been absorbed prior to next addition.

This will take about 15-20 minutes in all. Remove pot from heat, add Pecorino-Romano cheese, and return mushrooms with any liquid they exuded, stirring gently so as not to break up the mushrooms.

Serves: 6.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts

In a large fry pan, place 3 tbsp olive oil that has been infused with fresh rosemary and garlic (recipe below). Place pan over medium-high heat and after 45-60 seconds, add four boneless skinless chicken breasts. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook, covered for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and allow to cook 5 minutes more. Remove lid, turn the chicken one final time, and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Serves: 4.

Infused Olive Oil

2 cps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
fresh rosemary (the leaves of 4 fresh stems)

In a small saucepan, add all ingredients. Heat until the oil just begins to bubble. Turn off heat, allow to cool completely. Pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid (yes, garlic and all), and place in a cool, dark place for at least a week so the flavours have a chance to infuse properly.