I recently attended Texas Olive Harvest at Central Market, a cooking demonstration highlighting olive oils from the Texas Olive Ranch, the only olive oil producer in Texas that puts out 100% Texas-grown olive oil. We’ve been using their olive oil for a couple of months and love it.
Texas has thrown its hat into the olive oil ring with an estimated 500 tons of olives to be harvested this year! Leading the demo was Lou Lambert, Chef-Owner of Jo’s and Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue and Rebecca Rather, Chef-Owner of Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg. Their olive oil themed menu included:
Sea Salt Roasted Almonds
Pan Seared Coriander Salmon with Fennel Salsa Verde
Braised Beef Tips with Button Mushrooms and Pearl Onions
Kalamata Olive Whipped Potatoes
Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries
Glazed Citrus Cookies
Putting olive oil in ice cream is a pretty unusual use (to me, anyway). But it ended up being my favorite dish of the night. A smooth, rich ice cream laced with the fruitiness of olive oil. It was paired with a Glazed Citrus Cookie that packed a citrusy punch to balance the richness of the ice cream.
At home, I chose to pair citrus and olive oil together in the ice cream using magical Meyer lemons. Served with a slice of citrusy angel food cake and fresh strawberry sauce, it was a fabulously bright and decadent dessert!
Texas Olive Oil & Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
A smooth, creamy ice cream flavored with fruity Texas olive oil and Meyer lemons.
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3/8 cup olive oil
Heat milk, cream, and lemon zest over medium heat until hot and bubbles form around the edge.
With a mixer, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt on high speed for 5 minutes until thickened and pale yellow. Reduce speed and drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil.
Slowly stream in the hot cream mixture until the side of the mixer bowl is warm.
Turn off the mixer and transfer the egg mixture back into the pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon or rubber spatula (if you're following along with a thermometer, the magic happens between 160-170F).
Pour through a strainer into a medium bowl. Refrigerate until very cold.
Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to your model's directions.
This dish from So Tasty So Yummy is one of our new favorite discoveries. It has all the goodies: chicken, bacon, pasta, artichokes, lemon, and just a little cream. It’s hearty enough to be a one-bowl meal… but you’re gonna make a veggie or side salad because it is still January
I made it right before heading down to Food Blog Camp and even with all the fantastic food we sampled in Mexico, it will be one of the first things that we make for dinner… After someone eventually makes it out to the grocery store (it’s “Minnesota cold” outside!). We learned some pasta styling tips from Adam Pearson and I can’t think of a tastier recipe on which to try out the new techniques.
This is one of those dishes that make me wish that I had an “artichoke” and “caper” tag over there —>.
Two ingredients we love, but two ingredients we never seem to keep on hand. Even The Foodie Baby seriously digs capers – she picked out the chicken and capers first before cleaning off the rest of her tray. She fits in well around here. I think both she and the recipe can stay
Artichoke Lemon & Chicken Pasta
Chicken, bacon, artichokes, and capers turn an ordinary chicken & pasta dish into a one bowl meal.
12 oz spaghetti
3 slices bacon
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 tsp capers, drained
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Cook bacon to a crisp in a large pot over medium heat and remove, setting aside, leaving the rendered fat behind.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow plate.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
Add the chicken to the pan and fry until cooked through and golden brown, ~5 minutes per side.
Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and let rest.
Add the artichokes, capers, and wine to the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and cooking for ~2 minutes.
Add broth and lemon juice, cooking for another 2 minutes.
Add the cream and the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted and incorporated.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch slices and add to the caper-artichoke sauce.
Add the bacon, pasta, and then gently toss the mixture. Serve immediately.
It can be tough to find a healthy side at the many holiday dinners that we attend. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made it a sort of tradition to show up with the one healthy side that almost no one else wants to eat.
There is always broccoli… baked in a vat of Velveeta and rice. Sweet potatoes buried under a mountain of toasted marshmallows. And even though my immediate family didn’t participate in the tradition that is green bean casserole, I do run into it other places. Not a fan, I tell you. Not a fan.
So my “naked” green veggies show up on a small platter as a small treasure to the 1 or 2 others that are looking to get through the day a little lighter. They’re roasted just until fork tender but still firm. The lemon makes a light, bright addition next to a plate full of heavier sides. And after a nice helping of green beans, you’ve got an excuse to have a second slice of pie
Roasted Green Beans
A light & healthy side dish, green beans roasted with citrus.
1lb green beans
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Preheat oven to 425.
Heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic over medium heat until the garlic browns.
Turn off the heat and remove the garlic with a slotted spoon.
Add green beans to the pan, toss to coat, and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Toss with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with lemon zest.
This recipe is the perfect example of why baking projects like Project Pastry Queen are so fun – I wouldn’t have ever made this recipe on my own. When it gets hot, my beverage of choice is usually an ice cold beer or a margarita. Alcohol aside, lemonade is next on that list. I don’t have to tell you how refreshing a frosty glass of Watermelon Lemonade was on an evening that saw the thermometer hit 101 with a “feels like” of 109.
It’s completely refreshing and my favorite non-margarita to drink on a hot day. I’ve made several pitchers. Some with tequila. Some with vodka. Some with just watermelon – it’s great and can be adjusted to suit your taste.
Thanks to Ashley for picking such a Southeast Texas-appropriate recipe! Check out the Watermelon Lemonade from rest of the Project Pastry Queen members and stay tuned next week for a summery twist on one of my all-time favorite Pastry Queen recipes: Rather Rich Corn Muffins.
A perfectly refreshing summer drink with watermelon, citrus, and the optional shot of vodka or tequila.
4 cups water, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (10-12 limes)
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups ice cubes
2 cups diced watermelon
Mixed fruit of your choice, or use more watermelon
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 lemon sliced into rounds
1/2 cup (or more) vodka or tequila (optional)
Combine 2 cups water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat until sugar is dissolved and clear.
Let simple syrup cool or put in an ice bath/fridge/freezer to expedite cooling to use right away.
Add watermelon, lemon juice, lime juice, and 2 cups water in a large pitcher
Add the ice cubes, diced watermelon, remaining fruit, and alcohol, if using.
Add simple syrup to taste (and additional water if too tart). Stir well and chill until icy cold.
Store any leftover simple syrup in a jar in the fridge.