Friday, December 30, 2011

Mahi-Mahi with Artichoke Caponata

This flavorful dish uses a wide variety of Mediterranean ingredients and is low in fat.  Today we topped Mahi-Mahi with the Caponata but you could use another white fish or even chicken in this dish.  The Caponata can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.

1/4 cup STAR Reserved Basil Infused Olive Oil, plus a bit to drizzle over the fish
2 tender celery ribs, diced (1 cup)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup STAR White Wine Vinegar
4oz Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts,
drained and chopped
1/2 cup Star Cannonball Olives, chopped
2 tablespoons Star Capers, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 7-ounce skinless mahi-mahi fillets

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Lay four 12" x 13" pieces of aluminum foil on countertop. Place each fillet near center and season lightly with salt and pepper; drizzle with STAR Reserved Basil Infused Olive Oil.
Fold aluminum in half over top of fillet. "Roll" back towards fillet, then fold in sides to form an envelope; repeat. Transfer foil packets onto a sheet pan, then into the oven. Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven and let stand 2-3 minutes before opening.
While the fish is in the oven: In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of STAR Reserve Basil Infused Olive Oil until shimmering. Add the celery, onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until just softened, 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, wine, STAR White Wine Vinegar, Cara Mia Artichokes, STAR Cannonball Olives,  STAR Capers and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the fish to plates, top with the caponata and serve.  We paired this with a side of sauteed organic baby kale.
Monday, December 26, 2011

Creamy Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis's recipe
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: Cook Time: 27 min
Serves: 4 to 6 servings (8 cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary
3 large or 6 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (about 2 to 3) sweet potatoes, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 (6-inch long) stems fresh rosemary
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup

In an 8-quart stockpot, melt the butter and STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary together over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, rosemary and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the rosemary stems. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and maple syrup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Cook's Note: The soup can also be pureed by ladling, in batches, into a food processor or blender and blended until smooth.
Friday, December 23, 2011

Enter the Healthy Living Quiz and Sweepstakes for a chance to win Reusable STAR bag & 25oz CA EVOO!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Pancakes/Latkes

We took a traditional potato pancake recipe and switched to sweat potato. The result was very flavorful.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, grated
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons STAR Orginal Olive Oil, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon salt

For condiments:
apple sauce
or Sour cream with some dill and smoked Alaskan wild salmon as pictured

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
Place the grated onion into a bowl with the grated sweet potato. Stir the eggs, salt and pepper into the mixture until well combined.

Heat the STAR Original Olive Oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, and spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture per patty into the hot oil. Flatten the patties with a fork, and fry until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes.

Flip and cook on the other side, when done set the cooked patties aside on the prepared baking sheet in the preheated oven while you finish cooking the latkes. Stir the potato mixture before cooking each batch of patties.

Serve hot with applesauce, yogurt, sour creme with dill and smoked Alaskan salmon or other condiments.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Challah - Braided Bread

We continue our bread making this month by making a Challah.  Challah special braided bread that is eaten on Holidays and on Friday nights and Saturdays in the Jewish tradition.  The recipe makes two large loaves and can be cut in half if needed. This bread so delicious that you will be happy there is a second loaf.

For the dough: 
10 cups of flour (can do half whole wheat if preferred)  
1/2 cup pls 1 tablespoon sugar (add another 1/2 cup more if whole wheat flour is used)  
1 packets of dry yeast which is equivalent to around 2 tsps  
1/2 cup STAR Extra Light Olive Oil plus a little extra for the bowl  
2 cups warm water, divided  
2 large eggs  
1 tablespoons salt
    For the egg wash: 
    2 eggs beaten and 2 tablespoons water 


    Preheat oven to 350F.
    Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a pit in the center by pressing a measuring cup into the floor. (see picture) Place dry yeast into well. Add 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tbsp of flour to the center well. Let it bubble up for 5 minutes. 
    Add salt around the edges of flour (salt shouldn’t mix with the yeast)

    Add sugar and salt to the flour
    Add STAR Extra Light Olive Oil,
    eggs, and 2 1/2 cups warm water to the middle

    Mix all together until its desired consistency then knead it for ten minutes.  Please dough in a bowl coated in STAR Extra Light Olive Oil turning the bread once to coat it, and let rise for 20-30 mins. Make sure the bowl is covered with oiled plastic warp.

    Punch down, knead for another 10 minutes, return to oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise another 20-30 mins.

    Take the dough and shape into a two braids, and let rise again 20-30 mins. Make an egg was by mixing the
    2 eggs beaten and 2 tablespoons water. Brush with egg wash. 

    Place in the oven and bake for 30-40mins

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Rice with Black Beans and STAR Spanish Olives

    1/3 cup STAR Originale Olive Oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup medium or short-grain rice
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 cup water
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
    1/2 cup STAR Spanish Olives, sliced
    2 Tbs. STAR Red Wine Vinegar (or more)

    In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté until softened, about 30 seconds.  Add rice, cook and stir until opaque, about 3 minutes.  Stir in broth and water and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, heat beans in saucepan.  Stir in olives and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in vinegar, adding more, if desired, to taste.  Add to rice and stir to mix.  Serve immediately.

    Serves 6
    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Chicken with Fennel, Onion and White Wine

    We get a box of local produce delivered every month and this month's box had a beautiful fennel bulb.  The flavor of fennel is sweeter and more delicate than anise and, when cooked, becomes even lighter and more elusive in taste.

    1/4 cup STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
    6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    Salt and pepper
    2 tablespoons flour, plus more for coating, divided
    1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced, plus a small handful of fennel fronds, chopped
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    3/4 to 1 cup dry white wine
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 1/2 cups chicken stock
    1 tablespoon STAR Balsamic Vinegar
    A handful of cilantro, chopped
    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons STAR California EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken with salt, pepper and coat chicken lightly with flour. Add chicken to the pan and cook, turning once, until golden, 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reserve.

    Add remaining 2 tablespoons STAR California EVOO, fennel, fennel fronds, onion and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and cook 10 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add reserved chicken back to the pan and cook through, about 5 minutes.

    Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter to melt, then stir in 2 tablespoons flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and STAR Balsamic Viengar and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

    To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken, top with cilantro and serve with some of the fennel and onions alongside.

    Bolo Podre- cake with honey, lemon and cinnamon.

    This Portuguese cake is perfect for Holiday entertaining! Bolo Podre has a dense but not dry texture and can be served with fruit compotes or drizzled with honey or powdered sugar or just enjoy a slice with a cup of tea.

    6 eggs
    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups honey
    1 cup castor sugar
    1/2 oz Baker's yeast
    Rind of Lemon
    Cinnamon powder
    1 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Powdered sugar for garnish

    Pour 1 cup of STAR Extra Virgin in Olive Oil into a bowl, add the honey and the sugar; mix with a hand mixer on low speed to obtain a light , creamy consistency, then add the finely grated lemon rind and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

    Blend in the yolks of the eggs one by one, leaving the mixture to stand  a few minutes between one addition and another. In the meantime. whisk the egg white into stiff peaks. Using a hand mixer, add the flour to the honey mixture, then add the yeast diluted in a little lukewarm water and lastly, very gently, fold in the whisked egg whites.

    Cover the mixture with a clean cloth and leave stand for an hour. Turn into a well-oiled cake tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven  preheated for 375º for about 30 min. Allow to cool few minutes than turn it onto a plate, sprinkle with powder sugar and serve.
    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Pumpkin Fritters or Bolinhos Aboboa

    These quick and easy Pumpkin Fritters are very popular in Portugal.  Pumpkin is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

    1 lg can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
    1 egg
    1/2 cup flour
    2 tbsp sugar
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    Star Grapeseed Oil
    cinnamon and sugar for topping
    Ensure that the pumpkin is well drained. Beat eggs and add to pumpkin and mix. then add flour and sugar. If it is too thick add some more egg, if it is too thin add some more flour.
    Heat a heavy pan, using medium to high heat to start with. Add a little STAR Grapeseed Oil.
    Scoop up heaped tablespoons of batter, and drop into pan, but not too close together.  
    Fry until bubbles form on the top surface. They should now be firm and golden on the underside. Flip over and fry on other side. The fritters will puff up slightly while cooking. To test, press lightly on the fritters. When done, they will tend to spring back. 
    Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
    Serve warm with plenty of crunchy cinnamon- sugar.

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