Friday, April 3, 2015

Spinach Torte

I know you probably have your Easter menu planned out, but here's an extra dish you might want to consider.  It works well as part of a Brunch menu.  It makes a wonderful finger food appetizer. And it could be a side vegetable dish.

You'll notice there is no milk and no flour in this recipe.  The cheese and the eggs add the firmness you need in order to slice pretty servings.  No worry about making it ahead of time because it warms up nicely as though it had just been prepared.

Heck, it's so good you'll find yourself making this quite often...not just at Easter.

Spinach Torte


2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil + 1/2 teaspoon for oiling the pan

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 packages frozen chopped spinach (14-16 ounces each)

12 large eggs, beaten

8 cups shredded cheese….I like a combo of Colby and Monterey Jack

1-2 cups of fresh , sliced mushrooms…cleaned and wiped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking pan.

Cook the spinach in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain completely until it is dry. Set it aside.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat/whip until foamy. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place the mushrooms in a large saute pan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is released. Drain the liquid and add 2 Tablespoons Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil to the pan. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes and add the chopped onions. Continue cooking and stirring until the onions are soft.

Add the drained spinach to the pan and stir until all moisture has evaporated. Add the shredded cheese and stir while the cheese melts. Let this cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Slowly, a little at a time, add the spinach mixture to the eggs and stir as you do this. If the spinach mixture is too hot it will cook the eggs and you don’t want this to happen.

When the spinach and eggs have been combined, pour this into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until set.

Cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter recipes

Those of you who know me know that I'm all about good cooking, good presentation and good tasting. You also know I don't like spending hours in the kitchen in order to prepare a good meal.

So, why not prepare an Easter meal that almost cooks itself?

This is  a tasty recipe for a glaze that  transforms an ordinary ham into a menu item that deserves a round of applause!

Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham

1 8-10 lb ham shank, fully cooked
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Joe and Son’s 18 yr. Balsamic Vinegar OR Joe and Son’s Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Remove the ham from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you place it in the oven.

Score the ham with cuts, 1/2" deep in a diamond pattern. This process allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the ham.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with foil and place the ham cut side down in the pan. Roast for about 30 minutes. While the ham is roasting, pour the Balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the vinegar thickens. Add the sugar and mustard. Stir to combine the ingredients. Remove from heat and set aside.

Take the ham from the oven and baste generously with the glaze. Continue to roast the ham until it is deep brown and glazed, brushing the ham with more glaze every 10 minutes or so.

Continue baking and glazing until the ham is heated through…for a total of about 1 ½ hours.

Transfer the ham to a large platter and let rest 10-15 minutes prior to slicing.

Every main course needs some side dishes to round out the menu.  New potatoes flavored with rosemary really compliment the glazed ham.  Be sure to make enough, because everybody is going to want seconds.

Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes 

3 pounds small new potatoes, halved
¼ cup Joe and Son’s Rosemary Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on a large lipped cookie sheet or jellyroll pan.
Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). Transfer to a platter and serve.

In my opinion, asparagus is delicious no matter how it is cooked.  But watch what happens when you drizzle a little Truffle Oil on it.

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Truffle Oil



1 lb asparagus, washed with the woody ends snapped off
2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Cobrancosa (Med.intensity) Ultra Premium EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoon Joe and Son’s Truffle Oil
1/3 of a cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 420F degrees.

Line a baking sheet aluminum foil. Add the asparagus in one layer. Drizzle with the Cobrancosa Olive Oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Toss lightly to coat asparagus and roast for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and drizzle with Truffle Oil.

Transfer to a serving platter and top with shaved parmesan cheese.
Eggs......What would Easter be without eggs?  For a more sophisticated version of deviled eggs, try adding herbs to them. 

                                              Herbed Deviled Eggs

6 large eggs
1/4 cup Joe and Son’s Olive Oils Roasted Onion and Herb Olive Oilsalt to taste 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled bacon
ground paprika

Hard boil the eggs. and let them cool.  Slice cooled eggs in half lengthwise and pop yolks into a small mixing bowl.

Mash with a fork until smooth. Add the Smoked Olive Oil, onion, cheddar, parsley, salt, and pepper to the yolks and mix well.

Spoon equal amounts of the yolk mixture back into the halved egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika.

Now, let’s talk about a fabulous finish to this great meal. A light, refreshing cake would be ideal and here’s a recipe for just that cake.  Would you believe it's made with  Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar?  And it certainly doesn't taste like a salad!
Citrus, Coconut and Rum Cake

1 yellow cake mix ( I prefer Duncan Hines)
4 eggs
1/3 c. Joe and Son’s Blood Orange OR Persian Lime Olive Oil
1/2 c. dark rum
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/4 c. Joe and Son’s Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
1 large size can crushed pineapple in its own juice (approximately 1 1/2 c.)


To the dry cake mix, add all of the remaining ingredients.
Mix together all the above ingredients in a bowl according to cake instructions. Pour into a prepared (sprayed or oiled) 9”x13” cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the cake and ice with the topping.  Keep refrigerated and serve cold.


1 lg. container Cool Whip
1 sm. can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/3 c. Joe and Son’s Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
flaked coconut for garnish

Mix topping together and spread on cooled cake, sprinkle with shredded coconut.