Thursday, 27 November 2014

Olive Oil Cornbread


Cornbread can be dry but, not this one! It has lots of yummy olive oil to keep it moist. It is not too sweet and is perfect to add to a cornbread stuffing recipe. I love it warm with loads of honey!

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (mine was lemon salt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey (if you like it sweeter you can add 1/2 cup )
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil - I used Domenica Fiore Reserva (don't use cheap olive oil - if its cheap it is usually not even olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp butter to grease pan

Step 1: generously grease a square pan (8x8) set aside.


Step 2: get two bowls one for the wet ingredients and the other for dry. In one bowl add cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix and set aside. In the other bowl add eggs, honey and mix right away. (never leave eggs and sugar or the sugar kind of cooks the eggs)


Step 3: pour some great extra virgin olive oil like Domenica Fiore Reserva from Umbria, Italy. Mix well with a whisk. Look at that glorious colour!!


Step 4: add the wet to the dry mix and carefully mix only until just incorporated. If you mix hard you will get a tough bread.


Step 5: pour into prepared pan and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Cut into squares and drizzle with gobs of sticky honey!












Friday, 21 November 2014

Green Tea Grilled Salmon



Marinade it, grill it and drizzle it! Green Tea added to the marinade and lots of delicious Asian flavours to make this salmon a favorite.


You will need:

  • 1 side of wild salmon - you can grill it whole or slice it into pieces - remove bones and leave skin on
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 orange - juiced with pulp 
  • 1/2 juicy lime - juiced
  • 1/2 premium green tea bag - rip open and pour out contents
  • 1/2 white tea - mine was a blend with ginger and pear (if you can't find this then just use the full contents of one green tea bag.
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 6-8 Szechuan peppercorns - crushed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five spice powder
  • 1 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1mm sliced frozen ginger - I always freeze mine lasts forever!)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or 1 tbsp sesame oil - whichever you prefer or half of each.


Gather all your ingredients. I find this way you don't forget anything.


Remove any bones in your fish if you find any.


Mix all your ingredients into a small bowl or measuring cup.


Pour  marinade over fish but, leaving at least 1/3 cup aside to drizzle over cooked/grilled fish. Let sit for at least 20 minutes or while the grill heats up. Cook on a hot grill skin side down (I like to place a piece of foil over the grill so that once the skin side has cooked I can leave the skin on the foil for easy clean up. If you like to eat the skin be my guest.

Once cooked drizzle the remaining marinade that you did not pour over the fish and serve. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Come see our new website and online store!


I am very excited to share my new business adventure with you! I have just launched a new website and online store to showcase EVERYTHING OLIVE OIL!!

I am a Certified Olive Oil Taster from Imperia, Italy and have also attended the Master Milling Certificate Course at the University of California at Davis. I am passionate about using this great product in my cooking and have finally decided to sell some of the world's best. 

I have created a place for you to learn everything you always wondered about Olive Oil. You can learn how to choose a great bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil even if you don't by from us. I want you to know how great oils are made and what might be in that bottle of olive oil you bought at the grocery store for $4.99. 

Our store has a selection of fantastic olive oils from trusted producers and artisans. I will continue to add to the store and increase the selections to include more countries and types of oils. I will create collections with oils that are Mild, Medium and Robust in intensity.

I only sell the oils I use in my kitchen and would feed my own  family. The very best!


I will also post a blog on the new site which will hi-light specific oils and their producers, uses for olive oils, health benefits and as always I will continue to showcase these beautiful oils in actual recipes right here at www.iwanttocookthat.com. I hope you will come to the new site and subscribe to receive my blog posts there too. 

Olive oil is not just for Caprese Salad!!


So....I invite you to come discover and learn more about Extra Virgin Olive Oils.


Subscribe to my blog there or LIKE us on Facebook to keep in touch.

As always I will continue to post my favorite dishes on this site and I THANK YOU for your interest in seeing what is new in my kitchen.

Best Wishes!

Hilda

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Chocolate Orange and Walnut Cake



This cake is moist and decadent and just happens to be gluten-free. It is is also known as a Torta Caprese in Italy. There will be nobody feeling unhappy after a slice of this beauty, I promise!

It has a crunchy meringue like top and the inside is moist and rich. There is a nice balance between great quality chocolate and orange flavours and I simply cannot tell you how perfectly this goes with the soft, slightly sweetened whipped cream! Perfect!

In fact, my husband Big Pete said it was one of the best chocolate cakes he had ever had and neither one of us has a Gluten issue. Those who do will love it because it is not your typical dense gluten-free cake. In Europe many cakes have always been made with nut flour instead of wheat flour.

You will need:

  • 1 cup fresh walnut pieces - which will be processed to a walnut flour (1/4 cup used for dusting pan and rest in cake)**note you can replace walnuts for almonds or other nuts
  • 1 tbsp butter for coating cake pan
  • 1/4 cup mild olive oil or butter which ever you prefer
  • 150 grams of great quality dark chocolate - broken into pieces
  • 4 eggs - separated (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream whipped with 2 tbsp vanilla sugar until soft peaks
  • bit of powdered sugar or cocoa powder to top

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


Step 1: process your walnut pieces for approx 10 seconds - you want a powder but, if you process too far it will turn into nut butter. You can use almonds, hazelnuts/filberts or your favourite nut here.


Step 2: place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a 9 inch spring form cake pan and click the spring form right over it. I don't even trim it. Then take 1 tbsp of butter and grease sides and bottom of pan. Remove 1/4 -1/3 cup of the walnut flour and coat the pan - knocking out any excess back into the bowl of the remaining walnut flour to be used in the batter of the cake.


Step 3: add a few inches of water to a small pan and place a bowl over the top to form a water bath. Heat on stove over medium heat to melt broken pieces of chocolate and butter (or olive oil). Let sit over heat for a few minutes before stirring. Once melted remove from stove and pan to cool before adding to cake batter.


Step 4: separate egg whites and yolks into 2 bowls.


Step 5: add 1 cup sugar to egg yolks, orange juice and orange zest. Mix with a whisk or hand mixer for 3-4 minutes this will dissolve the sugar and the egg yolks will become a lighter, paler colour.


Step 6: whip egg whites on high until you get stiff peaks.


Step 7: add nut flour to the egg yolk mix and stir to incorporate well.


Step 8: add cooled melted chocolate and mix well.

Step 9: fold in egg whites with a spatula until just incorporated. Folding is when you cut your spatula into the middle of the bowl and then cut down to the bottom and fold towards yourself, then flip back into the middle. Keep spinning the bowl, cut, fold over and turn...repeat until just blended. You don't have to be scared or worried about this step just don't whip it or stir hard or you will deflate the eggs you spent time whipping.


Step 10: Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. It will puff and then crack and fall a bit.


Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes (it will deflate and crack which is fine) run a knife around cake pan to loosen and unhook. Top with a bit of powdered sugar or cocoa and serve with whipped cream. Stays fresh in a covered container at room temperature for a few days. (I just cover the plate it's on with the Spring form pan flipped over.)


I like to eat this while slightly warm best but, honestly it is still fantastic a couple of days later!!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Ravioli


This is delicious combination of Ricotta cheese and butternut squash served simply with good olive oil, some pine nuts and fresh sage leaves. If you do not have a ravioli form these can easy be made with a cookie cutter or even a glass to cut the ravioli. I have also added a bit of semolina to the dough to add some texture but you can make a smooth dough by using all flour and omitting the semolina or cornmeal. These can be frozen perfectly for a rainy day when you want something quick.

You will need:

  • 1 small butternut squash - roasted for 40 minutes - then pureed or squished- puree =1 3/4 cup
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup ricotta (drained for 1 hour or pressed in a paper towel)
  • 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves (chopped fine)
Pasta Dough
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina or fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
Once ravioli cooked add to pan:
  • more best quality extra virgin olive oil finishing in pan (you could also add a bit of butter if you like)
  • few leaves of fresh sage
  • salt and pepper 
  • fresh grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • a sprinkle of pine nuts (as much as you like or just a tbsp per serving)



Step 1: Take a small butternut squash and slice into a few large pieces. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and cover with foil. Roast at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes - 1 hour depending on the size of the squash. You want the squash to be very soft once cooked. I don't remove seeds or skin until the squash is cooked. I scoop out seeds (which you can roast and salt) and then scoop out the very soft flesh. I discard the skin.


Step 2: in a small bowl add the squash and puree easily with a fork. You do not want the squash too wet so roasting is better than boiling it. If you find the squash very wet you can press in a paper towel or clean tea towel. You are looking for an end product that is like a thick paste.


Step 3: add salt (mine is grey salt but, any kind you like is fine)


Step 4: add a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg.


Step 5: add the ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. If your ricotta is very wet you can drain it for 1 hour in a sieve or press in a cloth/ or paper towel to remove most of the water.  The squash has water in it and you do not want the filling too wet. You can also add more cheese!


Step 6: add about a tbsp of chopped sage leaves. Put in fridge while you make the pasta.


Step 7: add the pasta ingredients into a food processor. You can add the semolina or omit it entirely. If you omit it add the 1/4 cup equivalent in flour to the recipe. The "all flour" dough is a much smoother, fine dough.


Step 8: process until it starts to form a ball (maybe 15 seconds)


Step 9: take ball out of processor and with a bit of flour form a nice smooth ball. Knead it for a minute or two to get a nice smooth ball.


Step 10: wrap the dough and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.


Step 11: remove from fridge and cut ball in half and then each piece into 4 = 8 even pieces.


Step 12: flour each piece and start to run through the largest setting on a pasta roller (of course you can roll this by hand with a bit more effort!)


I run the dough through a few settings. You do not want it too thin or the filling will break open when cooking the ravioli.


Step 13: roll out 2 sheets and place one on the bottom of a generously floured ravioli form (I just got this one and I love it!) I used to make them by placing one sheet on the bottom and placing spoonfuls in the same kind of order then placing the next sheet on top and pressing in between and either cut with a knife to make squares or use a small glass to form round ravioli.


This press has a need form to make the ravioli.


Step 14: add a teaspoon of filling to each hole. I add a bit of water around each  by dipping my finger in a glass of water.


Step 15: place top sheet on ravioli and take a rolling pin to seal and cut each. I love the open bottom to this mold so you get nice fat ravioli. Remove excess dough around edges. Flip mold and knock on counter for ravioli to release from mold.


Step 16: toss in lots of flour and place on a plate or sheet to be frozen individually. Do not let them touch while freezing.


Step 17: once frozen put them in a Ziploc bag. They can be removed and boiled frozen right from the bag when you want to cook them.


Step 1: to cook: boil a few ravioli in salted water at a rolling boil. Wait until they float to the top and cook 1 minute. In a saute pan add a few tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. I used a lovely Tuscan variety called Viola Sincero which is a Moraiolo oil that is a nice medium oil with a nice peppery finish.


Step 2: add some buttery pine nuts and toast for a minute or two until just starting to brown. I keep the pine nuts in the freezer since nuts go rancid easily if left out. Add some fresh sage leaves. They will fry and get nicely crisp. Cook 1 minute.


Step 3: add your cooked ravioli to the pan and cook another minute.


Serve with a generous shaving of Parmesan or Pecorino and don't forget the salt and pepper!