Chocolate, Toasted Almond, & Ultra Premium Picual Olive Oil Shortbread

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup almond flour, ground from toasted, blanched almonds3/4 cup powdered sugar + 2 Tbs.

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup very fresh, Ultra Premium extra-virgin olive oil such as Picual

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Whisk salt, flour, finely ground toasted almonds, cocoa, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until  thoroughly combined.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until creamy. With mixer running, slowly pour in olive oil; mix well, then gradually add granulated sugar and vanilla extract.

Slowly stir in flour mixture until just blended. Form dough into a large ball, flatten in to a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove the dough and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Press the dough in to an ungreased 11″ fluted tart pan with removable bottom.  Bake for 15-17 minutes until slightly firm to the touch.  As soon as the pan is removed, take a very sharp knife and carefully cut the shortbread in to wedges, making sure to slice completely though the dough.  Allow to cool completely and remove from tart pan.

Dust with additional powdered sugar.

 

Serrano Honey Vinegar Pickled Heirloom Beets

Serrano Honey Vinegar Pickled Heirloom Beets

This is an easy recipe and it draws its unique, and addictive flavor from marrying the inherent earthiness of beets with the spicy-sweet tang of hand crafted honey-serrano vinegar.

That being said, you could substitute the Serrano Honey vinegar with many other options including Champagne, White balsamic, Sicilian Lemon balsamic or Honey-Ginger white balsamic.  Experiment and see what you like best.  Below, please find my recipe for Serrano Honey Pickled Beets.

Ingredients

2 lbs. small to medium sized beets, scrubbed, washed, and trimmed

1 tablespoon high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil

Approximately 2 cups Serrano Honey balsamic

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash and scrub the beets thoroughly. Place the whole beets on to the baking sheet and enclose the beets with another sheet of foil. Roast the beets for approximately an hour, depending on size.  If using large beets, it may take up to 2 hours for the beets to roast. Check to see if they’re done by piercing the beet with a paring knife.  If it slides in to the center of the beet with little resistance, the beets are done.

Allow the beets to cool and then slip off the skins. You can also use a paring knife to help peel them. Cut the beets in to 1″ wedges, circles, or crinkle cut.  Place the beets in to a glass jar with a lid and cover with 2 cups of Serrano Honey vinegar or enough vinegar to just cover. Refrigerate the beets for 24 hours, and enjoy.

Truffled Cauliflower Gratin

Truffled Cualiflower Gratin

1 large head cauliflower, cut in to florets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons white truffle oil
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
1 cup hot half & half
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle the florets with salt and steam for 8 minutes until slightly tender but still firm.  In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat melt the 2 tablespoons of butter.  Gradually whisk the flour in to the melted butter until no dry spots remain.  Pour the hot milk and hot half and half in in to the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly  until it comes to a boil.  Continue whisking constantly for 1 minute until thickened and then remove from heat.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil and 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Butter a 2-3 quart shallow baking dish or casserole.

Place the drained cauliflower in to the baking dish and pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower.  Combine the remaining tablespoon of butter with the remaining teaspoon of white truffle oil.  Toss the butter and truffle oil with the bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the casserole. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden the bread crumbs are golden brown and the casserole is bubbling.

Serves 6

Cream of Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup With Tuscan Herb Olive Oil

Ingredients

2 – 28 oz. cans tomato puree
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 large red bell peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled and chopped, or one jar of roasted red peppers, drained & chopped
3 tablespoons Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves washed, dried, & torn, reserving 6 small sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Romano Cheese
1 cup heavy cream
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions
In a medium (5+ quart) heavy stock pot, heat one tablespoon of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, for about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Add the white wine and reduce by half.

Add the chicken stock, roasted peppers, tomato puree, basil leaves and oregano to the pot.  Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove the pot from heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the hot soup until smooth and creamy in consistency.  Add the heavy cream and Romano Cheese and stir to combine.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve individual bowls of soup drizzled with approximately one teaspoon of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and a sprig of basil.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Roll

Here’s a recipe that embodies spring.  It’s Easy, light, healthy, and delicious.  In this application we are using the  Honey Ginger White Balsamic Condimento in combination with our Japanese Roasted Sesame Seed Oil for a magnificent flavor explosion.

Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Roll

1 package clear edible rice paper sheets
1/2 lb U20 shrimp (cooked, peeled, deveined, halved)
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, washed and dried
1 bunch or bag of fresh baby spinach leaves (washed and dried)
1cucumber peeled and cut into very,very thin strips
1 carrot peeled and then shaved in to long, thin strips
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 package vermicelli rice noodles
4 tablespoons good quality soy sauce
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Honey Ginger White Balsamic Condimento2 teaspoons Japanese Roasted Sesame Seed Oil

Dipping Sauce
Hoisin Sauce to taste
chopped roasted peanuts
or spicy Vietnamese fish sauce

Directions:
In a small bowl, toss the shaved carrot and thinly sliced cucumber with two tablespoons of Honey Ginger White Balsamic Condimento and set aside.

Heat 3 quarts of water to a gentle simmer.  Remove the pot from heat and immediately stir in two tablespoons of soy sauce, and two tablespoons

of Honey Ginger White Balsamic Condimento.  Add the vermicelli rice noodles to the seasoned water and allow to sit for 10 minutes until tender.  Drain well and toss with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil blended with 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon Honey Ginger White Balsamic Condimento and set aside

Drain the carrot and cucumbers and make sure all other veggies and herbs are cleaned, dried, and set out before you start.In a shallow dish such as a pie plate, mix together 1 cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of Honey Ginger White Balsamic.  Dip a sheet of rice paper wrapper into the seasoned water very quickly, no longer than a second or two (or they will get too soggy) and lay flat on a work surface.
On one edge, lay a small handful of noodles, two shrimp halves, some cilantro, a few baby spinach leaves, some cucumber strips, a few pieces of shaved carrot, and a sprinkle of green onions, being careful to not over stuff the roll. Carefully start to roll up eggroll style, tucking in the sides, then continue to roll up-but not too tightly or the spring roll will split.

Combine a few spoonfulls of hoisin sauce with some chopped peanuts to use as a dipping sauce (or serve with prepared spicy fish sauce dip called Nuoc Mam, available at Asian markets).
Serve immediately- these do not keep and will harden up in the fridge, so it is best to make just as many as you plan to serve (store any extra unassembled fillings in fridge and roll later).

Serves  6

 

Fresh Arugula Pasta with Creamy Garlic-Mushroom Sauce

Fresh Arugula Pasta Dough

1/2 cup fresh baby arugula

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-1/2 cup fine semolina flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon garlic olive oil

Combine the arugula and tablespoon of lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process until it forms a fine green paste.

Place all the dry ingredients in to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Mix 1/4 cup of the arugula paste with the eggs and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture begins to form a ball. Add a little water if dough is dry. Remove dough from the bowl, knead until smooth, form into a ball and let rest, covered for at least 1 hour.

This dough can be rolled out by hand or to setting 6 on a pasta machine, and then cut in to any shape pasta.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.

Creamy Garlic Mushroom Sauce

1 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake and or baby portabella mushrooms

1 medium shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons garlic olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Tellagio and or Fontina Cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the garlic oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add minced shallots, and thinly sliced mushrooms and saute until just barely golden. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce for another minute before adding the cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely combined, then taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the fresh pasta for 2 minutes, drain well, and then add to the sauce in the saute pan. Simmer for a minute and then serve with additional cheese over the top, if desired.

Balsamic Glazed Ham Recipe

Ingredients
1 – bone-in skinless smoked ham, shank or butt end portion, 6-8 lbs.
1 cup Delizia Traditional Style Aged Maple Balsamic Condimento, or Delizia’s Traditional Style Aged Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic Condimento
2 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325.

Line a large roasting pan with foil.  With a sharp knife, score the fat all over the ham in a diamond pattern.  Place the ham, cut side down, in the roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake  for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, reduce the balsamic to 1/2 cup, by gently simmering it in a medium sauce pan set over low heat.  This process should be done slowly, taking approximately 25-30 minutes to complete.  When the balsamic condimento has become thick and syrupy and is reduced by half, remove from heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard.

After baking for an hour, remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350.  Using a pastry brush, liberally apply the balsamic glaze all over the ham, paying special attention to working it in to the scored portions.  Cover just the shank end with a small piece of foil to prevent it from burning.  Return the uncovered ham to the oven and roast for approximately 35 minutes, or until the glaze has caramelized and the ham is golden brown.

Serves 8