Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marbleized Easter Eggs using STAR Olive Oil

Marbleized Easter Eggs using STAR Olive Oil
For marbleized eggs, coat eggs with a base color and let dry. Mix STAR Extra Light Olive Oil into another color of dye. The oil will repel color in some places and the dye will adhere in others, creating a marbled effect.

Here are more detailed instructions:
1. Hard boil your eggs as desired. In shallow bowls, mix together three cups of warm water with two tablespoons of vinegar and ten drops of food coloring. Whisk the ingredients together well.
2. Submerge your eggs and leave them in there until they reach the desired color. It is better to have a lighter color as the base color so the second layer of color will take well on your eggs.
3. Dry your eggs with a paper towel.
4. Repeat the process with the rest of the eggs. Rest them gently on your egg carton to allow them to dry.

Marbleized Easter Eggs using STAR Olive Oil
5. To create the marbleized look, add one tablespoon of STAR Extra Light Olive Oil to the dye that you have already prepared, and then, using a fork, run your fork through the oil to break the oil into pieces to create the solution to roll your eggs. As the oil swirls, roll your egg once through a contrasting color. Allow the oil to pick up & create another round of color on your eggs. Blot gently with paper towels.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Greek Salad

A Greek Salad tastes like Summer!  We are wishing for a little summer around here.Pin It

Greek Salad
Ingredients:
Dressing
6 tbsp STAR Extra Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp STAR Red Wine Vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
Salad
3 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into slices
1 medium red onion, cut into thin rings and soaked for 10 minutes in a small bowl of ice water to make it less sharp
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¾ cup kalamata olive
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Whisk dressing ingredients together until blended. Season to taste. Drain onion from ice water and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dijon Tarragon Chicken with Spinach Lemon Rice

We have a confession to make...we have never cooked with fresh tarragon. So, when we discovered this recipe we HAD to make it. Fresh Tarragon was a little hard to find and after much running around we found it at the local Save Mart.  Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise and that combined with the Dijon mustard makes this dish heavenly.
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Ingredients:
Fresh Tarragon and STAR EVOO
3 cup brown rice fully cooked
4 each skinless chicken breast - 4 ounce each
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp sea salt - divided
½ tsp black pepper
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. fresh tarragon - chopped
2 packed cups chopped fresh spinach
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

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Dijon Tarragon Chicken with Spinach Lemon Rice
Directions:
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with paprika and season with salt and pepper. Heat STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil in skillet on medium high. Cook chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from skillet and transfer to a large plate. Cover and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium low and add sour cream, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and tarragon. Stir until heated through, scraping the brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon, about 20 seconds. Uncover chicken and slice into strips. Spoon 1 tablespoon of sour cream mixture over chicken. Cover and set aside.

Heat remaining sour cream mixture on medium heat. Add rice, spinach, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 20 seconds. Spoon rice onto plates and top with sliced chicken and serve.

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint

This is like eggplant bruschetta, except the eggplant is the bruschetta, topped with a Mediterranean summer salsa of a salad and was created by one of our favorite food bloggers Smitten Kitchen.  Here is the link to her post (Click Here) and we have re-posted the recipe here with our slight changes.
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Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint
Ingredients:
1 to 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium), in 3/4- to 1-inch slices
2 ounces (1/2 cup) ricotta salata or feta (We used feta)
2 tablespoons STAR Capers, drained
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
3 seeded, diced medium tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoon STAR Red Wine Vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper.


Directions:
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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with STAR California EVOO, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
Meanwhile, mix your cheese, STAR capers, onion, tomatoes, mint, Red Wine Vinegar and remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning; the cheeses tends to be quite salty so you might only need a pinch of salt, if that. Add more vinegar, if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

When the eggplant discs are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salad over each round. Eat immediately. We served them on a bed of mixed greens.

Makes about 4 appetizer/salad portions, assuming people will eat two rounds each.
Monday, March 19, 2012

Simple Pan Sautéed Halibut

Simple Pan Sautéed Halibut

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  5 minutes

Ingredients:
2 fillets of halibut
1 oz of flour
7 tbsp of STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary
1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
sea salt
red peppercorns
lemon slices and fresh rosemary for garnish (optional)


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Directions:
Start by seasoning the fillets with salt and ground red pepper on both sides. Flour them on both sides and shake off any excess.

Place the sauté pan on a medium-high heat and allow to warm through. Once hot, add the STAR Family Reserve Olive Oil with Fresh Rosemary and the fillets. Let them sauté  for 1.5 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on their size and thickness. When cooked remove them from the pan.

Place the fillets onto a serving plate. Top with whole red pepper corns and fresh lemon juice.  Garnish with lemon slices and fresh rosemary if desired.

Serves:  2 - 4
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Balsamic Sirloin with Sweet Potato Mash

This recipe is adapted form one of our favorite food magazines, Clean Eating.  What we loved about this recipe is it was gluten-free and flavorful!  The Balsamic reduction adds sweetness to the meat and pairs with the sweet potato mash perfectly.

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Balsamic Sirloin with Sweet Potato Mash
Ingredients:
1/2 cup STAR Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1 lb boneless sirloin steak, trimmed of fat
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp STAR Grapeseed Oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Fresh thyme for garnish, optional



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Directions:
In a small bowl, combine STAR Balsamic Vinegar, onion, Worcestershire sauce, chile powder and allspice. In a large baking pan, add sirloin. Top with 2 tbsp of the vinegar mixture, turning several times to coat.  Marinate for 15 min, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, fill a pot with 2 inches of water and set a steamer basket over top.  Please the potatoes in the basket and bring water to a boil. Cover. reduce heat to medium and steam until fork-tender, about 13min.  (If you do not have a steamer basket you can boil the potatoes)

After the potatoes are done, transfer them into a pot. Mash with a potato masher and mix in the milk, 1/4 tsp of salt.  Cover and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the STAR Grapeseed Oil on medium-high. Remove sirloin from marinade and add to skillet. Discarding any leftover marinade. Cook the sirloin 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt and pepper.

Add the remaining vinegar mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil on medium-high. Cook, constantly scraping the bottom and sides with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes until reduced to about half.  Remove from heat. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the sirloin against the grain into about 16 slices. Ont he serving plates spoon the potatoes, place the sirloin and top the sirloin with the vinegar reduction. Garnish with thyme, if desired.
Saturday, March 10, 2012

Olivia and her favorite recipe, Estofado de Pollo

STAR EVOO
We recently had a chance to sit down with Olivia, the face of our Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to ask her a few questions:

Q: Where are you from?
A: Toledo, Spain just south of Madrid, in the area know as Castille-La Mancha.

Q: Tell us about yourself:
A: I am very pleased that Star Fine Foods has used my image on their large tins of Extra Virgin Olive Oil packaging for the last few years and have decided to use my portrait in the bottles now.

Q: What are some of your interests?
A: Cooking, entertaining friends and relatives, going to the Opera, attending museums and flamenco dancing.

Q: Favorite things to do?
A: I love to have my friends over for Tapas on Friday nights. Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. The city I am from, Toldeo, is know for a special cheese called Manchego and I love to use it in my Tapas.

Q: What do you like to Cook?
A: Besides Tapas, I love Estofado de Pollo. It is a typical chicken stew eaten in the region of Castilla, where the winters are chilly and food warms you from the inside out. Served with home-fried potatoes, warm, crusty bread and a simple green salad for a filling, delicious meal. It would be my pleasure to share that recipe and others with you!

Thank you, Olivia!

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Estofado de Pollo
Estofado de Pollo
Ingredients:
8-10 pieces of chicken skinless
1/4 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups of white mushrooms, sliced
4-5 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 cup Baby carrots cut in half
2 cups frozen green peas, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
In a large, deep frying pan or skillet, heat STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil and brown chicken for 5-7 minutes on medium high heat. Remove chicken and set aside. Add to the pan, mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrots and sweet red pepper to pan and sauté until mushrooms are softened and onion is translucent, approximately 5 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken and white wine to skillet and turn heat to high until broth boils, then reduce and simmer until chicken is cooked thoroughly and liquid is reduced a bit and thickens, 20-30 minutes. Check the pan while chicken is cooking and add more broth or water if necessary. 5 min before it is done, add green peas to pan and stir well. Serve with home-fried potatoes or rice.

Look at all the great vegetables in this recipe!

I serve this with a crusty fresh bread and love to soak up the sauce with the bread.

Enjoy!
Monday, March 5, 2012

Ricotta and Olive Torte with Tomato Vinaigrette

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Ricotta and Olive Torte with Tomato Vinaigrette

Officially, Spring does not start for a couple more weeks but we here at STAR are ready for it now. This recipe is has the fresh flavors of Spring and is perfect for brunch

Ingredients:
1/4 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbs. plain bread crumbs
2 (15oz.) cartons ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
1 (5oz) jar STAR Spanish Olives, drained and sliced.
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
3 Tbs. STAR Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs. drained STAR capers

Directions:
Coat 8-inch round cake pan with 1 Tbs. olive oil.  Coat with bread crumbs.  In a bowl, thoroughly mix cheeses and eggs.  Fold in olives.  Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees, 1 hour 15 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, remaining olive oil, vinegar and capers.  Turn baked torte out onto plate.  Cut into wedges, top with sauce, and serve at room temperature over greens if desired.

Serves: 6-8
Saturday, March 3, 2012

Olive Oil Health Benefits

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 From the National American Olive Oil Association

Olive Oil and Digestion
Because of olive oil's fatty acid content, research shows that it can be digested more easily than any other edible fat or oil. A lower incidence of gallstones has been reported in populations consuming olive oil, which is attributed to the way in which olive oil stimulates bile drainage, raises "good" HDL cholesterol and provides a balanced intake of fatty acids.

Olive Oil and Antioxidants
Olive oil also contains antioxidants, which help protect the body from harmful molecules called "free radicals," which may accelerate the aging process and contribute to the onset of several diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. 
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