Saturday, April 27, 2013

Basil and Lemon

My goodness!  The thought  of either Basil or Lemon makes my mouth water.  So, why not combine the two and double the pleasure?

 And that's exactly what I've done with this cookie recipe.  Oooh, these tea cookies have a little crunch on the outside with a chewy inside.  This texture, combined with a sweet, tart, savory taste, will guarantee that they become a family favorite.

                                      Basil Lemon Tea Cookies

  • 3/4 cup Joe and Son’s Eureka Lemon Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp very finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cookie sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Cream the oil, milk and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Mix in the egg, vanilla and basil. Mix together until fully combined.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix into the oil mixture until combined.  The dough will be moist.
Roll the dough to form 1” balls. ( If dough is too soft to roll, refrigerate for about 10 minutes before rolling.)  Roll the cookie balls in coarse sugar.
Place about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.  Chill again for 10 minutes.
Bake 8 minutes until they turn a light, golden color.  Do not overbake.
           Makes about 4 dozen  cookies

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Perfect After Dinner Treat

I've been posting lots of main course recipes, and you're telling me you really enjoy them.  You've commented on the very things I think make a recipe "a keeper".  You like the fact that they taste good, are quick and easy to prepare and they look pretty when you serve them.

Now, don't you think you deserve a reward in the way of a tasty dessert?

This was my first venture in making Biscotti, but it is an easy recipe and seems to be a no-fail recipe even for a beginner baker.

Lemon Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

½ cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Eureeka Lemon Olive Oil.... plus 1/4 teaspoon to coat the cookie sheets

1 teaspoon lemon extract



Coat 2 large baking sheets with 1/4 teaspoon of Lemon Olive Oil.   Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the Lemon Olive Oil, lemon extract and eggs. Whisk until well blended.

Add egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir and fold with a large spoon until a soft dough forms.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, shape each part into a log. Each log will be about 12 inches by about 1 ½ inches. (If you want larger biscotti, roll the logs into a 2” width.)

Place the logs on one baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The top of the log should feel firm when slightly pressed. Let the logs cool for about 30 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

With a serrated knife, slice the biscotti into either diagonal pieces or straight across. (The diagonal slices will be larger and give you fewer servings.)

Place the diagonal slices on the unused cookie sheet. Do not lay them flat; set them upright about ½ inch apart and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you have sliced them into 48 pieces, you’ll need 2 cookie sheets for the second baking.

Cool and serve.*

Servings: 24 diagonal pieces or 48 straight cut pieces.

* Delicious when served with coffee and scrumptious when dunked in milk.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shrimp with Artichokes and Bruschetta Topping

We just had this dish this for dinner.  Goodness, was it good!  And it was so quick and easy to prepare.

 A slice of avocado on the side drizzled with Joe and Son's Olive Oils 18 yr Balsamic Vinegar and a piece of good Artisan bread completed the meal.

Shrimp with Artichokes and Bruschetta Topping


12 oz linguine pasta
2 tablespoons Joe and Son's medium intensity EVOO
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Sun Dried Tomato bruschetta topping (found at Joe and Son’s Olive Oils)
24 oz peeled/deveined shrimp, thawed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 /2 - 1 teaspoon drained capers
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup  chicken broth
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Garlic Olive Oil
1 box frozen Artichoke Hearts (I use Bird’s Eye) cooked and drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook and drain pasta following package instructions. Set aside and keep warm.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium 1–2 minutes. Place oil and garlic in pan; cook 3–4 minutes or until the garlic edges begin to turn golden.

Add bruschetta topping, shrimp, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook and stir 1 minute.
Add broth; cook 2–3 minutes or until shrimp have just turned pink and opaque.
Reduce heat to low; stir in the garlic oil oil, cooked  artichoke hearts and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for another 2-3 minutes.

Use about 2 tablespoons of the sauce to tint the pasta, if desired,

Portion out the pasta for 4 servings and top with the shrimp and artichoke sauce.
Top with the grated Italian cheese and serve hot.

Makes 4 ample servings.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cooking with Black Garlic

Joe and Son's Olive Oils is introducing a simple food with a wonderfully complex flavor. Black garlic is "sweet meets savory", a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it is unique.

In Taoism mythology, black garlic was rumored to grant immortality. We can’t promise you that, but there’s no doubt that black garlic is great for your health—it’s loaded with nearly twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic. It also contains S-Allycysteine, which is fancy talk for a natural compound that has been proven to be a factor in cancer prevention.

Okay, so you're thinking..."Cut to the chase and tell me what I can do with it".

Here is a delicious dish featuring Black Garlic.
Prepare, and enjoy!!!
Linguine with Mushrooms and Black Garlic
Serves 2

1/4 cup Joe and Son’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (I used Cobrancosa Moderate intensity EVOO)
a very generous grind of black pepper

6 to 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
8 cloves black garlic, peeled and sliced  (May be purchased at Joe and Son’s Olive Oils)

1 medium to large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan

8 ounces uncooked linguine . 
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
As pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Grind black pepper into the oil as it heats.

Add mushrooms and black garlic to pan and toss to coat with oil.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and add shallot to pan. Cook, stirring frequently—you want to sweat the shallot, not brown it.
When pasta is done cooking (keep it on the al dente side—it will continue to cook when added to the mushroom garlic mixture), turn off the heat under the skillet. Drain the pasta, reserving a half cup or so of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Add the basil and toss. Season with salt to taste. If the pasta is too dry (ours wasn’t), add some reserved pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Divide the pasta mixture into two pasta bowls. Then spoon the mushrooms and black garlic remaining in the pan over the tops of the bowls. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Italian Wedding Cookies w/ Roasted Walnut Oil

In spite of what you may have heard from my family and friends, I'm not nutty. 
 But these cookies sure are. 

Using Walnut oil in the recipe gives the cookies a deeper  dimension of a nutty taste.  They're so good, you won't be able to stop at just one cookie. 

Italian Wedding Cookies w/ Walnut Oil
2 cups unbleached baking flour
1 cup finely ground walnuts
3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar,
3/4 cup Joe and Son’s Roasted Walnut Oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, ground nuts, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together the Walnut oil and vanilla extract and then stir the liquids into the dry ingredients, until a sticky dough forms.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap.
Chill the dough for several hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough into marble sized balls and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven and cool cookies on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Roll in remaining 1 cup confectioner's sugar.

Makes about 60-70 Wedding Cookies.