Tag Archives: sustainable

Gal Foodie Favorite: New Organic Olive Oils

I’m a huge fan of the olive oil tasting bar at one of my favorite specialty food stores, ChefShop.com in Seattle. I always look to them when I’m interested in how olive oils can flavor or inspire a certain dish. It’s amazing to me how very different certain oils can taste on their own, and when combined with other ingredients. (My fav combo is a nice dipping oil, crusty bread and sea salt!) I just received a few product reviews that I would like to share with you about 2 new olive oils from a California producer. (No, great olive oil doesn’t have to come from Italy!)

Knowledge is power, and olive oil can be a complicated topic! ChefShop.com knows their olive oils, so if you are just getting educated about the different uses for olive oils, or are a seasoned professional looking for a new treat, you won’t be disappointed with either of these Gal Foodie Favorite picks!

New Organic Chef’s Pick Olive Oil

Many of you know that one of the best deals in olive oil is Organic Chef’s Pick from Albert and Kim Katz. We often speak highly of their oils and, just recently, we let you know that Katz December Oil (2008) was their very best new oil ever. Their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil is a sure-fire and always-fun winner too.

Well, it is that time of year again. The new Organic Chef’s Pick is here… the first bottling and, as such, the most robust of the year. (Each shipment is a little different as the oil is kept in an airless stainless vat until it is bottled. So, the oil will mellow a little as the year progresses.) This year’s Chef’s Pick oil is a direct reflection of the December Oil. If you were one of the lucky ones to have ordered a bottle this year, you know what we are talking about! This year’s Organic Chef’s Pick oil is full of vitality, green with a punch, has a smooth feel, and a finish that doesn’t linger too long. It explodes in the mouth – full of expression. It really is good! This Gold Medal winner, at $25 for a 750 ml bottle, is by far one of the best deals in the world for such a great olive oil. If you like Italian oils, this oil will show you why California is a great place not only for wines, but for olive oil too!

Purchase Organic Chef’s Pick Olive Oil

New Organic Rock Hill Ranch Olive Oil

It has been a rocky road for Rock Hill. For me, Rock Hill has never been my personal favorite. An oil with definite character and personality, but, like people, perhaps not your cup of tea. Its opinionated taste has brought it Gold Medal accolades for the last three years at the prestigious L.A. International Olive Oil Competition. The flavor characteristics in the past have been strong, with a sharp pronounced olive along the edge of the tongue, some bitterness, clean grass, and a strong, open flavor. Delicious, but never quite as appealing to me as the classic Chef’s Pick. But despite this oil’s bumpy start, it has an ever growing following, perhaps because of its strong personality.

New Organic Rock Hill has matured into a very special oil. With a grove of Allegra olives now producing enough olives to be the significant voice in the oil, Rock Hill seems to have found its song. I guess as a young oil that you expect to be a superstar, there comes likes and dislikes. This year it appears that all things have come together on top of Rock Hill…and here’s why. The olives that make up this year’s complex oil include Taggiasca and Casaliva olives, native to Ligurian and Lombardy regions in Italy. These two olives make up 40% of this oil and contribute a soft taste, a hint of fruit, and a rich mouth feel. The Leccino olives, which make up 10% of this blend, add the classic green grassiness and peppery finish, so typical of Tuscan oils. The Allegra olive makes up 50% of the blend. A slow growing (low-vigor) and very rare olive variety from Italy creates beautiful “clusters” of fruit, yielding full oil with wonderful round flavors. This is the “secret” ingredient! The Allegra olives (and trees) are just maturing and are making Rock Hill one of the most interesting oils of the year! If you haven’t tried it, this is the year to do so!

Purchase Rock Hill Organic Olive Oil

About the Olive Oil Producer
Albert and Kim Katz have completed their third transitional year for all of their olives using organic and sustainable farming practices. They are proud to have made this commitment, and Gal Foodie is thrilled to further her longtime support of organic farming.

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Staying Creative. Grilled Teriyaki Steak with Steamed Baby Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabi and Rice

I got excited when I saw the vivid green of fresh baby bok choy at the market last week. It is such a cool little veggie. And it’s just fun to say “bok choy.” Unfortunately my imagination ran wild, only to find that the fish department had closed for the evening and my sesame crusted seared tuna steaks would have to be replaced by something a little less exotic.

Living on an island in Downeast Maine has it’s perks in summer, but winter brings a far less desirable set of circumstances, including but not limited to, a lack of fresh, edible produce, fish, and meat.

It might seem odd to think that in an age of shiny Whole Foods markets, and a push for sustainable harvests, a grocery store could even get away with showcasing half rotting peppers, “pucky” cucumbers ($1.00 each!!!), fish that looks dead, or pricey meat that has clearly been “prettied up” with a little help from red #47. But here, it is the norm, and what it forces those of us who know the difference to do is be a little more creative.

Baby Bok Choy

Baby Bok Choy

So you can see why I got very excited when I saw the baby bok choy. I just KNEW I needed to treat it with the respect it was commanding, there, amongst the rusty lettuce and sprouting carrots. Instead of tuna steaks, I shall use London Broil. Say what? Yup. Take a less expensive meat, marinate it in homemade teriyaki, throw it on the grill, steam up the bok choy and the rabi, drizzle it with a little sesame oil, whip up a wasabi cream for dipping, pile it all on top of some nice rice and TAH DAH. A delicious, inexpensive dinner for 4, with lots of flavor and not a lot of fat or calories – all in about 20 minutes.

Grilled Teriyaki Steak with Steamed Baby Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabi and Rice
Makes 4 Servings

Marinating Steak Teriyaki

Marinating Steak Teriyaki

The Teriyaki Steak
1.5 lb London Broil steak – 1″ thick if you can get it

1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 garlic
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground ginger

Combine marinade ingredients. Place steak in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over steak. I like to make sure that the steak have been coated on both sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least 2 hours. Better overnight. I also like to flip my steak a few times so it’s absorbing the marinade evenly.

At dinner time, grill to taste. I prefer mine medium rare. Make sure to let your steak rest, covered with foil for at least 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices.

The Veggies & Rice
2 heads of Baby Bok Choy
1 bunch of Broccoli Rabi
2 cups of rice
1 tsp Butter
S&P to taste
Sesame Oil

I have a really cool pot for steaming veggies. It’s an All-Clad Stainless-Steel 2.5-Quart Sauce Pan and Steamer Set. I know. A little extravagant, but I love it and I use it all the time. And if you look at the price of a compound miter saw, you’ll see that my “tool” costs less. Justified.

1. Steam the bok choy and the rabi together until bright green and slightly tender.
2. Cook rice to package specifications. For this dinner I’m using a basic white rice.

Wasabi Cream
I love this…
1/4 cup non-fat sour cream
Wasabi powder* or paste
1 tsp cold water
* if using wasabi powder, you will find that adding it to sour cream alone does not activate it’s HOT properties. Adding water to the mixture, produces a very, very different situation all together. Start with a little and add more to taste.

Mix sour cream and wasabi together to taste (I like it a little hot, but not too hot.)

Steak Teriyaki with Baby Bok Choy and Broccoli Rabi

Steak Teriyaki with Baby Bok Choy and Broccoli Rabi

1. Portion rice in the center of the plate
2. Top with Rabi
3. Side with steak slices
3. Slice bok choy in half, position on the opposite side of steak and drizzle with a touch of sesame oil
4. Add wasabi cream right in the middle, or drizzle around the plate edge for a fancy restaurant look. The wasabi cream and the sesame oil add a great burst of flavor, and help to tone down the bitterness of the bok choy.

Get yourself some hot Saki and you gotta date! (Ben had Coal Porter from Atlantic Brewing Company in Bar Harbor and he said it went “swimmingly”.)

Gal Foodie