Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Pizza

Hello! I hope your new years went off without a hitch! Let's make 2017 a great one okay? If it starts with could it go wrong?

So my new years eve was potluck.There was a great salad I'll post about later, cheese platters, pasta; the whole works. But the star of the dinner was the pizza. We have a chef friend, and that's never a bad thing. He makes his own dough and brought his own pizza peels and everything. They ranged from plain cheese pizzas to more creative concoctions. I'm sharing the two that featured our balsamic of course, but they were all delicious. Both of these are using the Jalapeno Balsamic, it has a really nice savoury flavour that really worked well.

You can use any dough for these, store bought is great, just follow the instructions for the timing. The topping is already cooked, so what really needs cooking is the dough. So as long as it's not a dough ball and your cheese is melted, I'd call it a victory.

The first pizza was for the host. It was also his birthday, so it's all his favourite toppings.

Birthday Pizza
makes 2 medium pizzas

1 handful torn kale
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup sliced Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup caramelised shallots
2-4 strips prosciutto, chopped
2-3 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp Jalapeno Balsamic

Stretch out your dough and spread the topping over it evenly. Drizzle to Garlic Olive Oil over top and bake.

Top with the Jalapeno Balsamic and serve.

This one is a little different. We made this up on the spot as a bit of a collaborative effort with things we had on various platters around the room. 10/10 will make again!

BBQ Pizza
makes one pie

Lots of roasted garlic cloves, we used about 10
1 slice grilled pineapple, cut into chunks
1/4 cup roast chicken, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

BBQ sauce
1/8 cup Ketchup
1-2 tbsp Jalapeno Balsamic
2 tsp worchestire sauce

Stretch your dough out and sprinkle the topping on. This is a sauce free pie, so be as generous as you like with the cheese. Dot out the BBQ sauce and bake.

You could double the BBQ recipe and stir it into the chicken before you put it on too. That would also be really nice.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts

You can cook this in separate dishes, but the best thing about it is when
the crab salad leaks out a bit and gets in the peas. And that’s just brilliant.

Crab Salad Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peas

Crab Salad:
8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon White Balsamic
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 spring onion or scallion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
Pinch of Szechuan Pepper Salt

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Chicken and Peas:
4 large chicken breasts
3 tablespoons Persian Lime Olive Oil
Crab salad
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

At the thickest part of the chicken breast, make a 3-inch incision. Cut so that it makes a pocket, being sure not to go all the way through the breast. Stuff with a couple tablespoons of Crab Salad.

In a greased casserole dish, arrange the chicken evenly. Fill the gaps with the peas. Sprinkle the Olive Oil over everything and add a nice coating of breadcrumbs to everything.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. It should be golden brown and the crab salad should be bubbling.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Maple Bourbon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

A simple recipe with a delicious result. This came about after a conversation with friends on the best way to make sprouts. We all agreed that we loved them, but we all had our own ways to make them. This is a combination of all our favorites and I think that makes us all winners.

Maple Bourbon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

2 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp Greek Olive Oil
2 tbsp Maple Balsamic
     Or 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp traditional balsamic
1lb Brussels sprouts, halved
1/4 lb Pork belly, diced

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Add sprouts, pork and oil to an oven safe pan, tossing to coat. Roast for 30 minutes.

Whisk bourbon and balsamic together in a small bowl. After 30 minutes, drizzle over the sprouts. Return to oven 10 more minutes.

Serve any way you like, even delicious when cold!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Imam Bayildi

Happy Black Friday everyone! This isn't our busiest day, we don't have any extra special sales on. Our busiest day is tomorrow. Small Business Saturday. So come by and enjoy the town at it's bustling best! Or come during the week for a calmer shopping experience. We'll be here 7 days a week.

I've heard many stories about the origin of this dish and its name. It literally translates to The Imam Fainted, and that's just fun. But I love the richness of this. It's not too heavy and the flavors blend together so well. Warmly spiced and comforting, a perfect fall meal. 

Imam Bayildi

2 medium eggplants
1 small onion
1/2 bell pepper
Parsley, handful
3 – 4 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil, divided
2 tomatoes
1 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh mint or 1 tsp dried

Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Salt liberally and place in a colander in the sink for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse eggplants, brush with a tablespoon of olive oil each and bake cut side up, 20 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 350°F.

Slice onion finely. In a sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil to medium and add the onion. Cook 10 minutes, until they are fully translucent. Dice and add the peppers. Cook 5 minutes.

Add the cumin, mint, diced tomatoes, and brown sugar. Roughly chop the parsley and add that too. Cook 5 minutes; stirring frequently, until everything is well blended and cooked through. Season to taste with the salt. (I like to use our Smoked Salt or the Toasted Onion)

Make a series of shallow cuts over the length of the cooked eggplants. Brush with the remaining olive oil. Spoon veggie mixture over the eggplants. Add 2-3 tbsp water to the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Did you know that all those tiny pumpkins you buy for decoration this time of year are edible! It never occurred to me to eat them before, but I saw a picture on Pinterest...and you know how that goes. Now, I'm buying them up and going straight pumpkin crazy.

These are brilliant for appetizers, or an adorable main dish. If you have left over filling, I save it to serve over rice the next day.


8 mini pumpkins
1 lb ground chorizo
2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp Chocolate Balsamic
2 tbsp Rosemary Olive Oil
1 tbsp Tuscan Olive Oil, for drizzling
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut tops off pumpkins and save. Using a large spoon, scoop out seeds and strings. Save to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds later.

Place pumpkins upside down in a pan with 1/3 inch of water. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully turn pumpkins upright and return to oven until flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Let cool and set aside.

In a pan over medium high heat, brown the chorizo with the Rosemary Olive Oil. Tear the spinach into pieces and stir into the meat with the cranberries. Wilt the spinach, cooking another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Toss the Parmesan and Balsamic into the cooked filling and remove from the heat.

Taking a fork, scrape the insides of the pumpkins until some of the flesh pulls away from the sides. Scoop the filling mixture into the cavities, filling them just over the top. Drizzle with the Tuscan Olive Oil and put the caps back on.

Roast for 10 to 15 minutes.


Separate the strings from the seeds. Rinse and dry the seeds well. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Toss in a teaspoon or so of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Roast about 45 minutes, until golden, stirring occasionally.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Customer Recipe: Philip J.

Friend of the store Philip J. contacted us on Facebook recently to show us this great dish he made with the White Truffle Olive Oil. He gave us a quick rundown of how he made it as well and permission to share it.

Thanks Philip! It looks fantastic!

Boil Penne pasta al dente, in a skillet over medium heat, few tablespoons of oil, fry garlic and mushrooms, set aside. Drain pasta, keep half cup of pasta water. Throw everything into skillet with half cup (I eyeball everything) of the oil, table spoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of ground pepper, some sea salt, some oregano, 5oz fresh grated parmesan. Combine all ingredients together and serve immediately.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fra Diavolo

While traditional Fra Diavolo gets its spice from the sauce, this Fra Diavolo gets all its heat from the pasta itself! 

This recipe uses one of my favorite things from the frozen seafood case. Prepackaged, cooked and shelled seafood. I really love mussels and if I have the time, steaming them is a great joy. But, when I want to whip together a pasta, having to do all that first kind of takes the fun out of it. Find them if you can, but if you can’t get the precooked ones, I’ll include a recipe for basic steaming underneath. You can use cooked shrimp for this as well if you have them handy, but you’ll only need half the oil.

Fra Diavolo?

1 pkg Peperoncino Pasta
½ pound mussels, cooked and shelled/thawed*
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed**
¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas
4 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil, divided**
¼ cup white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pepper pasta until al dente, 6 or 7 minutes. Rinse, drain and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the wine, tomato paste, whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until dissolved together. Add 2 tbsp of Garlic oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Increase the heat to high and cook about five minutes, or until thickened slightly, whisking constantly.

In a large sauce-pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsps of Garlic oil to medium low. Place the shrimp in an even layer of the bottom of the pan, do it in batches if you have to. Without moving them, cook for 2 minutes and then flip and repeat. They should be firm and evenly pink on each side.

Add the shrimp, peas and mussels to the sauce-pan and let simmer for another minute. Flip the pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Serve.

*Cooking mussels isn’t hard, just time consuming. For the steaming liquid, I like a combination of white wine and vegetable broth with big chunks of garlic and parsley in it. Here is a link to the best steaming method, this is the way I do it, I can’t write it any better. Steaming Mussels.

**Fresh Shrimp vs Frozen Shrimp. I prefer fresh shrimp most of the time, but I have a bunch of frozen shrimp in the freezer left over from a party. If you use the pre-cooked kind, you can toss them right in when you put the mussels and peas in. I like to give them a little spin around a saute pan anyway. You won’t need all the remaining olive oil, just toss them with one tbsp of the garlic oil and saute on medium for about a minute. Then go ahead with the recipe as planned.