Saturday, December 31, 2011

More quick recipes for party foods

I particularly like this Garlic Ginger Sauce as a serving sauce /marinade with shrimp. Place the shrimp in a leak-proof storage bag or tupperware container and add the sauce; cover and refrigerate for an hour or so. Arrange the shrimp and sauce on a serving platter with the sauce over the shrimp.   If you use frozen shrimp (defrosted, of course) this is a snap to prepare and serve.

Garlic Ginger Sauce


2 Tablespoons low-sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 cup  Joe and Son's Olive Press  Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Olive Press Dark Roasted Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Olive Press Eureka Lemon EVOO
salt and pepper to taste, if desired


Pour both oils into a pouring cup and set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.   Slowly whisk in the oils to emulsify.

Makes about 1 cup; 1 tablespoon per serving...12 servings

In addition, this can be used as a sauce for grilled meats, a dressing for salads or steamed vegetables or even as a marinade for tofu.


Goat Cheese Marinated in Walnut Oil


1/2 lb. goat cheese, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup Joe and Son’s Olive Press Roasted Walnut Oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime peel
2-4 teaspoons of Joe and Son’s Olive Press Roasted Garlic Pepper Herb Blend  ( to taste) 
2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced, reserved for topping

Place cheese slices in a single layer in a shallow glass dish. Blend together remaining ingredients and pour over cheese.

 Allow the mixture to marinate at least 4 hours and up to one day.

 Serve with toasted French bread slices and top with chopped fresh tomatoes.


By Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Friday, December 30, 2011

PALMA CEIA — In 1938, Italian immigrant Giuseppe Favata opened Joe and Son's Grocery in Ybor City. His son Johnny kept it running until 1976.

Now comes Johnny's granddaughter, Andrea Messina Gebbia, opening Joe and Son's Olive Press on Nov. 11. The shop offers 50 varieties of olive oil, including ultra premium, extra virgin and infused speciality oils, plus balsamic vinegars and an array of pestos, pastas and risottos.

She and her brother, store manager Michael Messina, honored their roots by decorating the Bay to Bay Boulevard shop with old family photos and advertisements from the original store.

At the Olive Press, oils are dispensed from stainless steel containers, "protection from light and heat,'' said Gebbia. Shoppers sample and make selections, "then we pour, cork and seal the bottles right here." Infused olive oils — try the blood orange — start at $10.99 for 200 milliliters. Specialty oils, such as truffle or butternut squash seed, start at $14.99. Fresh ultra premiums start at $11.99.

"There is a huge difference in the taste because of freshness,'' said Gebbia. Her husband, Chris Gebbia, a former U.S. Army Ranger who works at MacDill Air Force Base with U.S. Central Command, helps out in the store frequently.

Many of the balsamic vinegars are aged for 12 years, then infused with herbs and fruits. Sicilian lemon, cinnamon pear, dark chocolate and Tahitian vanilla are popular choices. For the purist, they sell an 18-year-old balsamic vinegar.

Joe and Son's Olive Press, 3401 W Bay to Bay Blvd., is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.; visit or call (813) 831-5600.

Wonderful article that talks about our history and our present store.

Discover delicious extra virgin imported olive oils and more at this locally owned business.
Discover delicious extra virgin imported olive oils and more at this locally owned business.
Photo by Mary Lou Janson

Joe and Son’s Olive Press, Tampa, FL

Family history is inspiration for new business featuring imported olive oils, infused balsamic vinegars, and specialty foods

by Mary Lou Janson | December 30, 2011

Andrea Messina Gebbia’s great grandfather, a local grocer, most likely touched the lives of thousands of immigrants from around the world who settled in Ybor City and made Tampa their new home.
She continues that family tradition with her new business that combines the same passion for food and making friends that inspired both her grandfather and great grandfather to operate Joe & Son’s Grocery for nearly four decades.

That original shop was shuttered in 1976 but the family flair for the food business has been re-interpreted by both Gebbia and her brother, Michael Messina, who recently opened Joe and Son’s Olive Press in South Tampa.  Generations of family ties are recognized in the shop’s name as well as in the historic photos predominantly displayed on its walls.

The inviting shop features more than 50 varieties of ultra premium, imported, extra virgin olive oils, infused balsamic vinegars, specialty oils, pastas, and herb blends and spices that are locally sourced and organically grown.

Professional chefs to people who are just particular about what they eat have made this shop a must stop for stocking up on all sorts of oils and vinegars for salad dressings, dipping sauces, and marinades, plus pastas, risottos, and more.

What’s best is that you can try before you buy as well as select  the quantity—as well as controlling the cost—by filling 200 ml, 375 ml, or 750 ml bottles on site directly from the stainless steel displays, called fustis.

Shoppers use small plastic cups to draw enough liquid to easily dunk a chunk of the Italian bread thoughtfully provided that is locally baked and delivered daily. You may think that will help to decide between organic butter or blood orange infused olive oils, honey or violet balsamic vinegars, or pumpkin or butternut squash seed oils. What it most likely will mean is that you’ll leave with more than one bottle and start to make this shop a regular part of your shopping excursions.

These are not typical types of extra virgin olive oils by any means. Each container clearly displays the country of origin, crush date of the olive, and descriptions of the intensity and boldness of the taste. The purity and freshness help these oils to maintain flavor as well as health benefits.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Extra Virginity author, Tom Mueller, has listed Joe and Son's Olive Press as a great place to buy good, fresh and authentic extra virgin olive oil.

Great olive oils of the world

This list is work in progress, and will grow and evolve a great deal over the coming months and years, so check in again soon for updates.  What follows is my personal first cut at places to get great olive oil in America, and brands from various parts of the world to watch for.  For now my focus is on the US market, though this will also evolve with time.  (For more on how I’m compiling this resource, see here.)

  • VF – olive oils at all of these locations are supplied by Veronica Foods, a pioneering importer run by Veronica and Mike Bradley, whose work is described in detail in my book Extra Virginity.  These stores sell a range of olive oils in stainless steel fusti, and encourage you to sample them before you buy.  Many store owners are olive oil experts, enthusiasts and apostles in their own right, and offer an ideal environment for learning about fine olive oil.
  • Williams Sonoma, Dean & Deluca, Sur la Table – these stores offer a small but carefully-selected list of oils in bottles, mostly from Italy and Spain.  As with every chain, the quality of an oil at a given location depends not only on the oils they buy, but how they are displayed, how rapidly inventory turns over, etc.
  • We Olive, Oil & Vinegar – two rapidly-growing franchises, the former in California, the latter nation-wide, both offering the taste before you buy model.  Prices seem a little high in the locations I’ve visited, and I’m not crazy about the translucent glass “amphorae” that Oil & Vinegar uses to store their oil, which aren’t good for oil storage (containers should block light, which together with heat and oxygen are the worst enemy of olive oil), but on my few visits to date I’ve had fairly good oil.
AventuraSur la Table (5 additional locations)
Boca RatonWilliams-Sonoma (21 additional locations)
Cocoa VillageFrom Olives and GrapesVF
Fort MeyersFort Meyers Olive Oil Co.(website coming) VF
Ft. LauderdaleJean Pierre Cooking SchoolVF
JacksonvilleOlive Oil StoreVF
Lakewood RanchKaty Rose Olive OilVF
NaplesNaples Olive Oil/Health WizeVF
Punta GordaBella BalsamicVF
St. PetersburgKalamazoo Olive Co.VF
TampaJoe and SonsVF
VeniceVenice Olive Oil Co.VF
West Palm BeachOil & Vinegar(opening summer 2012)
Winter ParkThe Ancient OliveVF

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Company is Coming !!

There's another holiday weekend coming up and you're either having people over or you've been invited to someone's home.  Wouldn't you like to be able to entertain with little effort?  Or to bring a dish  that your friends will rave about?
Today is your lucky day.  I have just the recipes for you.

Chipotle Grill Marinade


½ cup Joe and Son's Chipotle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


Mix all ingredients well and place in a zip lock bag or plastic container with up to 2 pounds of your favorite type of meat, poultry or vegetables. Refrigerate and marinate for 1-2 hours. Grill and enjoy!


Sun-dried Tomato Pesto


3 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1 cup of Joe and Son's Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-2 teaspoons of Joe and Son's Roasted Garlic Pepper Herb Blend ( or more if you like)
1/4 cup Joe and Son's 18-Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture has the consistency of pesto. Serve with crackers.


Rosemary-Lemon Glazed Bundt Cake


For the cake:

5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup Joe and Son's Lemon EVOO

2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the glaze:

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to 325° ; oil and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium-high speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the lemon olive oil until creamy, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating on medium speed between additions.
2. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack.

3. For the Glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and rosemary in small saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat.Reduce heat to low; simmer 1 minute. Spoon glaze over cake. Cool completely before serving.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So Excited!!!!

So excited! We just got a call from the St. Pete Times and we will be featured in the December 30th issue.
We'll be sure to post the link. Keep an eye out for it!
Thanks to all of our customers who have made this holiday season a huge success!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The taste difference between a Fine Quality EVOO and a Supermarket Brand.

 How does the taste between a quality EVOO compare to supermarket brands that many people use?

Supermarket brands tend to be refined olive oil, even though sometimes they are labeled Extra Virgin.   Refined -  meaning that the olive oil may have had defects, which were removed with use of charcoal or other filters.  The final product was likely blended with virgin olive oil. 

A specific supermarket brand will tend to taste the exactly the same year after year while Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) will vary in taste with each harvest. 

 EVOO ranges from a low intensity almost buttery taste, to a high intensity or robust flavor, and offers a  wide array of spicy and fruity flavors.

Also, please note there is NO such thing as Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  All EVOO is 120 calories per tablespoon.   Whenever you want a delicate, lighter taste,  select a low intensity, late-harvest EVOO.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a week!

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back, but we've been very busy at the store.

Andrea set out a new taste treat today that was very well received by our customers.  It was simple to prepare, beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. ( The perfect formula for a repeat dish, as far as I'm concerned.)

How easy, you ask?

Well,  set a slab of Goat Cheese on a pretty serving dish.  Drizzle a moderate intensity Joe and Son's premium EVOO over it and then sprinkle a teaspoon or so of our Garlic and Roasted Pepper dipping blend over the cheese.  Serve with crackers.

You have to admit it doesn't get easier than that.

. Let me tell you about a pork tenderloin I cooked the other day.

 I had 2 tenderloins about 2 1/2 pounds total that I needed to prepare quickly.

So.....I sliced the meat before I cooked it.  I did that for 2 reasons.  First, the meat slices beautifully and doesn't shred and there are more surfaces to absorb the flavor of the juices as it cooks.  Okay, there's a 3rd reason to slice before cooks a whole lot faster sliced than whole.

I placed the slices of pork in a small lidded roasting pan and lightly salted the meat. I sliced 2 medium onions and arranged them over the pork slices.
I happen to like some sweetness to the Mojo I cook the pork in, so I poured about 1/2 cup of Joe and Son's Cranberry/Pear Balsamic Vinegar, 1/4 cup Joe and Son's Traditional  18 year  aged Balsamic Vinegar, and 1/4 cup of Joe and Son's Garlic EVOO over the pork.

I cooked it (covered) at 300 degress for about 30 minutes until the pork was cooked.

I suggest checking the meat after 20 minutes to make sure the juices aren't evaporating and becoming too concentrated.  If they are, add about 1/4 cup of water to the roasting pan.

I served that with black beans and white rice.  We also enjoyed slices of avocado drizzled with our newest EVOO...Roasted Onion and Chipotle.

Who says a tasty meal has to be difficult to cook and take hours to prepare? I don't.

I'll continue to post easy and quick recipes as long as you keep asking for them.

I'll be back in a couple of days with more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate bites......A delicious mouthful

                                              Where can these tempting delights be found?

 At Joe and Son's Olive Oils located at 3401 W. Bay to Bay Blvd in Tampa, Florida.

If you came by Joe and Son's today you were treated to a delicious and easy dessert. Imagine the rich tastes of decadent chocolate and blood orange combined in a way to just melt in your mouth.

Come by tomorrow and purchase the ingredients to make these tasty morsels.

Take a regular brownie mix and substitute our Blood Orange EVOO for the vegetable oil that it calls for.

Add 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips to the batter and bake for the least amount of time your mix suggests. (Don't overbake the brownies.)
When they come out of the oven and are still warm, break up the brownies with a fork and incorporate the melted chocolate chips.
Add about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of our Dark Chocolate Balsamic to moisten the cooked brownie mixture and then roll into 1" balls. If the mix is too dry, add more Balsamic.

Coat with Sugar In The Raw or  cocoa powder.

HINT:  They taste good the first day, but are extra good on the second.  They may be refrigerated between servings.

 It is that easy!

You can even experiment with different oils and balsamics for a different taste!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm Back With a Delicious Balsamic Onion Jam

I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people at the store today and we got around to talking about recipes using the Joe and Son's EVOO's and Balsamic Vinegars.

I was asked to post some of the easy and tasty recipes we talked about.

Joy, this is for you.

Balsamic Onion Jam

4 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Joe and Son's Organic Butter EVOO
1 cup Joe and Son's Traditional 18 yr aged Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 teaspoons  brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend) to taste

Heat the Butter EVOO in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until they just begin to color, stirring frequently.  Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and stir to coat the onions.
Cover, reduce the heat and let cook for about 25-49 minutes, stirring often,  until the onions have caramelized.  If the mixture looks too dry, stir in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of the Aged Balsamic vinegar.

Okay, so now you have this jam and you're wondering what to with it.

It can be used as a condiment on hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches... but that's not the only thing I do with it.

Sometimes, I simply thaw out a bag of frozen meatballs. (I happen to like the Armour brand of small Italian meatballs.)
When they're thawed, I place them in a large bowl, add the onion jam and stir to coat the meatballs.

I place them in a covered baking dish and warm at 275 degrees until they're heated and then serve them.

We served these at the store's Grand Opening and people kept asking for the recipe. They couldn' t believe the meatballs weren't homemade and that the sauce was so easy to make.

Other times, I just spread it over a bar of cream cheese and serve it with crackers.

And for a "fancy night", I buy the pre-baked small tart shells (not phyllo) and fill them half way with softened cream cheese and then add a teaspoon of the onion jam on top.  Place them on a pretty serving tray and it looks as though it's gourmet fare.

Apple Chutney

4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Cranberry/Pear Balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar, to taste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well.  Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes.  Uncover and simmer for a  few minutes to cook off the excess liquid.  Cool the apple mixture; cover and refrigerate.  It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but it will be gone long before that, I assure you.

This is delicious served over cream cheese and spread on cocktail crackers.

Chicken in Ginger and Garlic

1/4 cup Joe and Son's Garlic EVOO
2 med onions, thinly sliced
6 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1 cup Joe and Son's Honey Ginger Balsamic vinegar

Pour the garlic oil into a saute pan and heat at a low temp.  Add the sliced onions and cook until they are transparent.  Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside.
Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place in the saute pan.  Cook until the chicken has a "golden" look and the juices run clear.

Place the chicken in a serving dish and arrange the onions over the breast pieces.

Add the Ginger Balsamic vinegar to the saute pan and cook over low heat for a few minutes until juices look a bit caramelized.  Pour the juices over the chicken and serve.

This is so easy, quick and tasty that there's no excuse for not cooking.
I'll be back tomorrow with some recipes for seafood and a pork tenderloin.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On a Healthy Note:

Healthy Facts

Did you know that 2 teaspoons a day of olive oil can help reduce risk of heart disease, fight high cholesterol and even help you lose weight?

Use our fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oils for cooking, on salads, in marinades, bread dipping, and even baking to reap the benefits.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Temporary website is up

It's taking longer than expected to get the website up and running, but here is a site where you can read about the tasty products found at Joe and Son's Olive Press.

Meanwhile, last night I prepared some scallops in a 2/1 ratio of Garlic oil with Lemon oil.

Joe and Son's Garlic EVOO...2 parts
Joe and Son's Lemon  EVOO...1 part
Red Pepper flakes
Salt to taste

 I first blanched the scallops to get them to release their water and drained them.  I heated the oils in a pan; stir fried the scallops in the oils until they were cooked and  added some red pepper flakes for a little kick.
I served the scallops over white rice. 

Also, I discovered a great new taste for spinach.

3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Butternut Squash Seed Oil
salt and pepper to taste

 I cut up 3 cloves of garlic and cooked it over low heat for about 3 minutes in 1/4 cup of Joe and Son's Butternut Squash Seed Oil.  Then I added a package of fresh spinach to the oil and stirred until it was wilted. I added salt and pepper to taste.

Both of these foods were quick and easy to prepare and certainly could be considered healthy cooking.
But the best part is that they tasted so good.