Monday, May 25, 2015

Babalucci in a Marinara Sauce......aka "Snails"

Babaluuci?  You're wondering just what this is, aren't you?  Relax, this is simply an Italian version of an Escargot.

In days past, we were forced to hunt down these creatures and then we had to determine which were live and edible or which were not. (Those of you who recall having to do this, also recall the hazards of leaving them unattended.)  Nowadays, the work is done for us and we can buy them in a can. 

Babalucci in a marina sauce is another alternative to a red sauce pasta dish.  And it does make for interesting conversation.  The question is, "Are you ready to try it"?

Actually, this marinara sauce is quite tasty on it's own.

Babalucci (Snails) in a Marinara Sauce


1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Joe and Son’s Green Chili Olive Oil
2 cans extra large snails….each about 28 oz. with 6 dozen snails
1 large can tomato puree….about 28 oz
1 large can whole Marzano tomatoes…..about 28 oz
1 ½ cups water
3 medium onions, diced
6-7 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon crushed rosemary
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the snails and keep refrigerated

In a large Dutch Oven, warm the Olive Oil to medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft. Add the next 3 dry ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, puree, water, Bay leaves and sugar to the pot; lower the heat and cook for about an hour. After about 15 minutes of initial cooking time, break up the whole tomatoes. Stir to make sure the onions aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the snails and cook over low/medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Serve over pasta.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Simply Savory Pork Tenderloin

Savory, succulent, scrumptious, satisfying and good!   I could have titled this recipe "Greek" or "Italian" because of the Greek yogurt or Gremolata Olive Oil but I decided  on "Simply Savory" because that's exactly what it is.

If you're pressed for time, and who isn't these days, then this is truly the recipe for you.
It takes only about 20 minutes of prep time and about 20 minutes of roasting time.  Add some side veggies and a salad and you're ready to go.

Sometimes I serve this with roasted sweet peppers or with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes but this time I served it with potatoes and carrots. Whatever your choice of vegetables, I think this dish needs color on the plate but that's just my opinion.

Savory Pork Tenderloin

½ teaspoon dried, crushed oregano
¼ teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary 
¼ teaspoon dried, crushed thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pork tenderloin….weighing about 1 pound
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son’s Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
1 6 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon shredded lemon zest (avoid using the bitter pith)
dried chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the first 4 dry ingredients. Rub the mixture all over the pork tenderloin. Place the pork, covered, in the refrigerator for about an hour.

When ready to prepare the dish:

In an oven-proof pan, heat the Milanese Gremolata Olive oil to a medium heat. Cook the pork tenderloin for about 5-8 minutes, turning it to be sure all sides are browned.

Place the oven-proof pan ( with the pork) in the hot oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until the pork is just done.....Be sure not to overcook the pork.  Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for several minutes before slicing.

Combine the yogurt, lemon zest and garlic. Top the pork slices with the yogurt mixture before serving and garnish with the chives.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicken Cassoulet

Sometimes, an all in one meal is really a nice thing to prepare for company or a family meal. But if you call it a casserole, it just sounds so mundane. So, let's up the description with a little French Fantasy, shall we? Let's call it a "Cassoulet".

This cassoulet, served with some hot, crusty, artisan bread .....along with a crisp salad is all you need to impress your guests. They'll think you've been in the kitchen for hours, and really, with about 30 minutes of prep time you've prepared a beautiful dish.

This dish calls for carrots and celery and sometimes I slice both of them on the diagonal, rather than the straight cut. I do this, because I think they look pretty this way and because you're left with more exposed surface to absorb the flavorful juices they're being cooked in. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Chicken Cassoulet

6 chicken thighs, deboned and skinless
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son’s Herbs de Provence Olive Oil
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced

8 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 cans Cannellini beans with the liquid …about 16 ounces each
1 can diced tomatoes with the liquid…about 16 ounces
½ cup olives..without pits, drained and rinsed...sliced in half
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the Herbs de Provence Olive Oil in a large frying pan to a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning the pieces to brown both sides.

Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.

Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onion to the oil in the frying pan. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Be careful not to overcook them.

Stir in the kielbasa, cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, rosemary and pepper. Taste for salt and add, if needed.

Bring to a low boil and transfer the mixture to a rectangular baking dish.

Arrange the chicken pieces on top.

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Southwestern Coleslaw

Hot days are fast approaching; actually, some would say they're already here.  For that reason we need to be thinking about foods we can cook that will stand up to the heat and not spoil if served at an outdoor event.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe.  The truth is that Laurie, one of our customers, is the person who deserves credit for putting these ingredients together.  She brought in a sample for me to taste and I gave it a "Thumbs up".

You have the option of making this a rather hot and spicy slaw by using the Green Chili Olive Oil, or you can tone it down a bit by using the Chipotle Olive Oil. 

Your choice; both are very good.

Southwestern Coleslaw

For the slaw:

1 bag shredded cabbage ( about 4 cups)

2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal

1 red bell pepper, cut into matchstick slices

1 cup whole kernel yellow corn….canned & drained OR frozen & thawed

3 scallions, white and green parts, cut into small pieces

For the dressing:

1/3 cup Joe and Son’s Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup Joe and Son’s Chipotle Olive Oil OR 1/3 cup Green Chili Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon good quality Honey….I use Palma Ceia Honey--locally produced and may be purchased at Joe and Son’s Olive Oils store.

½ teaspoon powdered cumin

In a large salad bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate until serving time. 

Into a glass jar with a lid, pour the Grapefruit Vinegar, the Olive Oil, Honey and cumin. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to form an emulsion.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage slaw; mix well and serve. Serves 4.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Asian Inspired Salmon

Here I am again with another recipe for cooking  quick, easy and delicious pieces of salmon.  I happen to enjoy Asian inspired dishes flavored with a combo of flavors that include Sesame Oil, Ginger and with a hint of sweetness and this recipe has all of those.

 I like to serve this with a side dish of steamed, white rice and some fresh asparagus.
Looks good, doesn't it?

Asian Inspired Salmon


For the salmon:

4 salmon filets

1/4 cup Joe and Son’s Garlic Olive Oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Honey Ginger Balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Toasted Sesame Oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

4 green onions, thinly sliced

Sesame seeds for garnishing


For the Honey Ginger Glaze :

2 tablespoons honey …I use Palma Ceia Honey..locally produced and found at Joe and Son’s Olive Oils store

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Joe and Son’s Toasted Sesame Oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Salt? For my personal taste, I find no salt is needed. But add if you feel the recipe needs it.

Instructions for the glaze:
Whisk together honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, ginger and sesame seeds in a small bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Garlic Olive Oil, soy sauce, Honey Ginger Balsamic vinegar, Toasted Sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and green onions.

In a large size Ziploc bag, combine ginger marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place salmon filets along with the marinade onto prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Serve salmon immediately with Honey Ginger glaze. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Espresso Balsamic......our newest addition

Joe and Son’s Olive Oils has added a new addition to our many selections of Aged Balsamic Vinegars. Let me introduce you to our Espresso Balsamic.

I know you’re thinking that it sounds interesting and it sounds like it could be good……but you’re not quite sure how you’d use it.

Let me give you a few suggestions.  I'm sure you'll find them tasty.

Lets start off with a salad, shall we?


I combined equal parts of Espresso Balsamic and Arbequina EVOO. I poured them into a small jar; shook it vigorously until the combo thickened and formed an emulsion. Then I poured it over my salad greens.

In this case I used spinach, tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella cheese, red bell peppers and scallions. I seasoned with a little salt and pepper….and I was done.


Another use would be to drizzle the Espresso Balsamic over a baked sweet potato.

I reduced the Espresso Balsamic until it became slightly thickened and I set it aside. When the sweet potato was cooked, I split it and drizzled the Espresso Balsamic over it. It didn’t need any butter or additional sweetener.



Use Espresso Balsamic as a basting sauce when baking a 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.

As a drizzle to enhance desserts, it’s delicious!

Drizzle Espresso Balsamic over a slice of cheesecake and top it with slices of fresh berries.

Drizzle Espresso Balsamic over vanilla ice cream....simple and very good.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Kentucky Day good they're worth repeating

These were posted last year and perhaps you've made note of them.  But, there may be some friends out there who never go back and reference recipes.  So, at the risk of boring those of you who do recall these they are again.

Bring out your best Kentucky  Bourbon, and start cooking!

                                                Bourbon Chocolate Pie

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of Joe and Son's Organic Butter Olive Oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Bourbon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
prepared pie crust...or homemade pecan crust*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle the pecans into the pie crust and top with the chocolate chips.

In a bowl, mix the Butter Olive Oil and the sugar together until smooth. Mix in the flour until the consistency of cream.  Add the eggs and Bourbon and stir until all ingredients are combined.

Pour the filling into the crust which contains the nuts and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

*  Pecan crust:

1 1/2 cups pecan meal, or you can grind pecan pieces in a food processor
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son's Butter Olive Oil + a little more if mixture seems too dry

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until they hold together.  Place this in an ungreased 8" pie plate and press to form a crust on the bottom and sides.


Bourbon Marinated Pork

Pork tenderloin weighing about 2- 2 ½ pounds

Marinade ingredients:

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Bourbon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
5 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Toasted Sesame Oil
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the pork in a zip-lock bag.  Remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade.

Place the pork in the bag with the marinade and refrigerate for 12-14 hours.

Grill or broil the pork tenderloin, turning once or twice, until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees.

Cover with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to let the juices settle.

Slice into serving pieces and drizzle the reserved marinade over the pork before serving. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cinco de Mayo Suggestions

I generally post just one recipe at a time, but because this was such a simple menu to put together I am going to talk about everything we made.  Really, if you're hosting a dinner and don't want to be stressed at the last minute, this is the perfect menu for you.  This all tastes better if made the day before and then assembled just before serving.

We, Joe and Son's Olive Oils, had the pleasure of hosting a cooking/ demo at our store last evening.  Actually, there was little cooking involved...mainly just some slicing, dicing, chopping and then assembly. 

Normally, if you're invited to a meal and you know that no cooking is involved, you'd expect a salad and a sandwich.  This meal will show you that isn't always the case.

We started off with a Black Bean Appetizer.  Followed by a Mexican inspired "Bowl" dish.  This was a combination of layers of several foods prepared with complimentary flavors that were spicy, savory and sometimes a bit sweet.

Not only was this Quinoa Bowl tasty, we used recipes that could stand on their own.  The hummus could be used as part of a sandwich wrap.  The bean/corn salad, as well as the salsa, could be served with chips.  And because there is no mayo, they will hold up well if you serve them at an outdoor event during the warm weather.

                                                     Cinco De Mayo Menu
The first course was a Black Bean Hummus.
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Joe and Son's Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Sicilian Lemon Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Using a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients in the bowl of the appliance you're using and process until the beans are soft and almost pureed.  If the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of water to get the right consistency.  Add more water if needed.
Next came the Salad.
Chunky Fiesta Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Mixed greens
cucumber, diced
jicama, diced
tomato, diced,
red onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Queso Fresco, shredded...for garnish
1/3 cup  Joe and Son's Roasted Onion/Herb Olive Oil ( with cilantro)
1/3 cup Joe and Son's Persian lime Olive Oil
2/3 cup Joe and Son's Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
Combine the greens and vegetables in a large bowl.  Pour oils and vinegar into a jar and shake vigorously.  Pour over the salad and toss.  Garnish with the Queso Fresco.
* I cannot take credit for the salad dressing recipe.  This combo was suggested by Michael Messina.  We tasted it; we loved it and we're using it often.
The main course was a Quinoa Bowl.
The first layer would be Quinoa.
Cook the Quinoa according to directions on the package. The amount you prepare will be determined by the servings you want.  After it is cooked, set it aside and lightly drizzle Joe and Son's Persian Lime Olive on the Quinoa just to moisten it slightly.
Next layer would be a Corn and Black Bean Salad
 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Persian Lime Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the Persian Lime Olive Oil and Grapefruit Vinegar into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.  Pour over the corn salad and stir well.  Serve at room temperature.   This is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight.
Next layer would be Shredded Cabbage.
Folks, that is all there is to this layer.  Plain shredded cabbage.  Shred your own or buy prepackaged shredded cabbage.  This is mainly for the "crunch", not added taste.
Next layer would be Mojo Chicken.
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 cup Joe and Son's Oregano Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Persian Lime Olive Oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 heaping tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 heaping tablespoon Onion powder
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Place the chicken and seasonings in a covered roasting pan. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours until the chicken is falling apart.  Remove from the oven and shred.  Set aside.
* You can use pieces of a cooked rotisserie chicken with skin and bones removed and marinade them in the above seasonings.  The taste won't be quite the same... but if you're in a hurry, this works.
Next layer would be Mango/ Pineapple Salsa.
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son's Chipotle Olive Oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son's Coconut Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar if the fruit isn't sweet enough for your taste

2 cups mango, diced into small pieces
2 cups pineapple tidbits, diced into small pieces
OR1 package of frozen mango/ pineapple pieces found at Sam's club.  They are cut into perfect little diced pieces and will save you lots of time.  Just thaw, drain and use.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  This tastes best if made the day before.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serve at room temperature.
The last and top layer would be Pickled Onions.
There really is no need for a recipe for this.  All you do is slice a red onion into thin slices.  Place them in a bowl.  Pour enough Joe and Son's Peach Balsamic Vinegar to almost cover them.  Cover the bowl; refrigerate for several hours or overnight, stirring to make sure all the slices come into contact with the Peach Vinegar.  Serve at room temperature.
Dessert would be a Citrus Rum Cake.
yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
1/3 cup Joe and Son's citrus infused Olive Oil...either Mandarine, Blood Orange or Persian Lime
1/2 cup dark rum
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Coconut Balsamic Vinegar
1 large can crushed pineapple with its juice (about 1 1/2 cup)
Mix all of the ingredients.  Pour into a 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check if it's completely baked.  Cool the cake completely.
1 large container Cool Whip
1 small can crushed pineapple with its juice
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup Joe and Son's Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
flaked coconut for garnish
Spread this topping over the cooled cake and serve. I like to serve the cake chilled, just out of the fridge.
If you'd like some color added to the cake, you could slice some maraschino cherries(drained and rinsed) and sprinkle them on top of the coconut.  Or you could sprinkle colored sugar over the cake.....Or, both.