Olive Oil…you know, that stuff with Rachel Ray’s face pasted all over it. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or as you may commonly hear it referred to: EVOO.
Up until a few weeks ago, I myself had failed to realize what real olive was, and how much of a difference it makes when you using it with good food. Thanks to Chaffin Family Orchards, I found out what real olive oil was.
Instantly after opening a bottle of this oil I could tell the difference. The smell was so much more pronounced. Fresh, and fruity. The nearly rancid smell you get from the store-bought stuff was completely absent.
Not only does this oil taste better than the stuff you buy at the grocery store, but there is two different kinds. Mid-Season and Late season. So what’s the difference?
Mid-Season: This oil is from olives harvested about 4 to 6 weeks earlier than the late harvest. These olives produce a sharper oil that has a spicy finish and slightly higher polyphenol levels. This oil is great for salad dressings and savory applications.
Late-Season: Harvested from olives that are fully ripe. They produce very soft mild buttery flavors. It’s more mild flavor allows you to use it in dishes where you don’t really want to taste the oil. ( mayonnaise for example ).
I am starting to sound like a commercial. But I promise I am not getting paid to advertise, this oil was really just that impressive.
Before I go any further. People, please do not use olive oil for frying. It is a more delicate oil which means it burns at high heat. I know you see Rachel and Emeril doing it all the time but guess what? They are trying to sell their product and don’t really care if you burn it. Olive oil has a smoke point between the ranges of 350-420 degrees F. When you burn oil it releases toxins that can cause cancer. No one wants cancer in a pan.
In reality, olive oil is best used with low heat and salad dressings. I love the fruity notes that extra virgin olive oil gives to salad dressings. Here are a few recipes that are great for using extra virgin olive oil.
Cranberry Walnut Apple Salad
For The Salad:
3 Cups of spinach or spring salad mix
1 cup of toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup of dried cranberries
3 apples, julienned
For the Dressing:
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil or mandarin infused olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
To toast the walnuts Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or toast them in a skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Combine all of the ingredients for the salad. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients to the dressing until well combined and add to the salad.
Oh Mayonnaise. You either love it, or hate it. I know, those dieticians have been telling you to sub it for mustard the past 10 years but the truth is if you just make it yourself, it has only a few ingredients and is full of good healthy fats.
2 egg yolks
16 ounces of EVOO
1 Tbs. Apple Cider vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbs. Lemon juice or to taste
Salt to taste
You can either whip up mayonnaise the old fashion way with some will power and a whisk ( like we had to do in culinary school ) or you can use a food processor. I have done my fair share of whisking so I went for the easier route this time.
Place egg yolks, dry mustard, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in the food processor.
Pulse a few times to mix up the ingredients and then slowly add in the oi while pulsing.
Continue adding the oil and pulsing until the emulsion forms and looks like this:
Now it is starting to look like Mayo. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add more lemon juice or salt until you are satisfied with how it tastes.
You can store mayonnaise in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to label and date it!
If you are scared of consuming raw eggs…there is a way you can pasteurize them at home.
To pasteurize your eggs: place them in a saucepan filled with water and fitted with a digital thermometer. Turn on the heat and bring the water up to 140F.
Keep the water temperature at 140F for 3 minutes (and no more than 142F), reducing the heat on the burner if necessary. Remove eggs from hot water and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Store in the refrigerator until needed or use right away.
Jumbo sized eggs need to 5 minutes in 140F water.
Enjoy your chemical free mayo!