Olive pork chops recipe

The other day at the supermarket I have seen some thin cut pork chops and I grabbed a box because they are awesome to do some sort of scaloppine. Scaloppine are thin cut slices of meat (often veal) lightly floured and then cooked in some sort of liquid (typically something alcoholic like wine, marsala or brandy).
Yesterday I was working at my computer, when I realized I was starving and I needed food fast. I opened the fridge and there there were the thin cut pork chops…. and a vase of pitted green olives…. and some black olives. Light bulb went on and I started cooking….

Ingredients

  • thinly cut pork chops (or pork loin)
  • pitted and sliced green and black olives
  • wine
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions

  1. First I put a pan on the stove and put some oil in to warm up. Meanwhile I floured the pork chops lightly and when the oil was warm I seared my pork chops on both sides. I then added the olives and a splash odf white wine. When the wine evaporated I added salt and pepper and a bit of water so that the meat stays nice and tender. After about 5 min the chops should be done (you can see it from the color of the bone, if the bones don’t “sweat” blood anymore the chops are done). Take them out of the pan and turn the heat up to reduce the olive base, I usually also add a bit of the flour left over from the flouring process. When the sauce is well reduced pour it over the chops and serve.
  2. Fast nice dinner. BF came back from his dinner meeting, smelled the kitchen and asked me why I never cook the good food when he is around…
  3. Note on the olives: obviously it is important to have decent olives that taste like something. I usually get mine at middle eastern stores and I get the dry oven roasted black olives and pitted green olives preserved in brine with no spices added..

Olive bread recipe

Since today I am talking about olives, I will catch up on a post I meant to write a while ago on olive bread. I baked this bread a couple of weeks ago and was very very happy with the result… BF and I ate a whole loaf of about 1lb in less than one evening….I swear it wasn’t our fault! it was just that the evil bread kept temping us with it aroma, the lightness and olivy goodness: we really couldn’t help ourselves!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cups of pitted black and green olives
  • 1 – 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 table spoon yeast
  • sugar
  • salt

Directions

  1. I did this bread with the usual knead before work – bake before dinner method (not really sure it is a proper method, but I like to think it is). First I dissolved a spoon of dry yeast in a cup of warm and added a bit of sugar (to facilitate yeast activation) and then poured 2 cups of white flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt. I added the water with the dissolved yeast to the flour and I started mixing the two using a fork and then by hand. I added about another 1/4 cup of warm water and got a pretty smooth, elastic and light dough. I then put a lid on my bowl and went to work.
  2. When I got back home my dough had more than doubled. I punched it down and added olives to the dough, I add about a 3/4 cup of olives which is kind of a lot, you can add however many you like. I kneaded the dough again until the olives where evenly distributed in the dough, adding a bit of flour to absorb some of the liquids that are often attached to olives (i.e., brine or oil) and then formed the dough in one biggish loaf, but you can also make 5-8 rolls or 2-3 smaller loafs, whatever you like best. I turned on the oven at 450F and placed my pizza stone in to warm up with the oven. When the oven got up to the right temperature, I put my loaf on the stone and cooked for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. My very scientific method to decide if the bread is ready or not is to wait until I smell the fragrant smell of freshly baked bread, give it another couple of minutes and then check on the crust. The crust should be golden and crusty and often there will be some cracks in the crust.
  4. Bake before friend arrive and serve with sliced charcuterie and you will have an appetizer people will talk about for months!.

Olive stuffed Cornish hen

What do you do when you have a lot of leftover pumpernickel bread? You use it for stuffing! And since the bread in question is quite tasty, you need to pair it with rather bold flavors. So I choose to throw olives and onions in the stuffing. And it was a good call! The olives stand their ground and shine through the other flavors to give a bright finish to the dish.

If you don’t have pumpernickel bread, you can substitute it with some other rustic, dark bread or you could use wild rice.

And what is the best thing to pair with roasted poultry of any kind? Roasted potatoes! And that is what I did. Except I lighten them up a bit by adding volume using turnips and squash.

By the way, I only recently learned how to make properly crispy roasted potatoes and now they are my favorite side. Much better than french fries in my book! The secret? Roast in an oven dish with plenty of space and live them alone without stirring and turning. Add 5 minutes of broiler at the end of the cooking time for extra crispy.

Olive stuffed Cornish hen

Olive stuffed Cornish hen

Ingredients

Directions

For the hen

    1. Start by preparing the stuffing by chopping the onion, the bread and the olives in a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of the seasoning for roasted meat or a combination of sage, rosemary and salt.
    2. Stuff the Cornish hen with about 3/4 of the stuffing and stuff the rest of the stuffing between the skin and the breast of the hen.
    3. Rub the other teaspoon of seasoning on the skin of the hen, tie it to ensure uniform cooking time and place it in a oven dish. Put in the oven at 400F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

For the vegetables

  1. Peel and cut the vegetables into small chunks about 1/2 inch in size. Place them in an oven dish and season them with the seasoning and the oil. Mix well and cook at 400F for about 30 minutes.
  2. For extra crispy vegetables, place them on the highest shelf of the oven and turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes or so. For extra soft vegetables, add them in the same oven dish as the hen for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Pasta alle olive

And another simple pasta. This time with olives. I told you I was going to go for simple for a while!

Anyway, when talking about simple pasta, this is one of my favorite. Together with amatriciana, arrabbiata, puttanesca and tuna pasta, olive pasta is one of the most common variations on the simple tomato sauce pasta. It can be cooked in only a few minutes and it is full of flavor.

Olive pasta for lunch

If you like olives, you will love this pasta. I like love olives and this pasta has saved the day on many occasions. In fact, as you can see from the picture I had it on multiple occasions lately. It is so quick to make and you really only need a couple of ingredients.

Oh for this pasta to turn out right you have to use good olives. Don’t use olives from a can! Go to your favorite Greek or middle eastern store or to some other place with a great olve bar and get some oven roasted black olives (with no added flavors or herbs and possibly pitted) and some green olives (again with no added flavors or herbs and pitted).

A simple pasta to recover from extensive celebrations!

A simple pasta to recover from extensive celebrations!

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. pasta
  • 3 tbsp olives (black and green)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated pecorino (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to box instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan cook the diced onion in the oil until soft and wilted. Once the onion is soft, add the olives sliced and the tomato sauce. Cook until the sauce is well reduced (about 15 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Dress the pasta with the olive sauce and return to a hot pot. Saute for a minute or so adding the grated cheese if using.
  4. Enjoy hot.

Tuscan Soup Recipe, Olive Garden inspired

Another recipe based on the Olive Garden soup. This was created by Toni for her friend Logan, thus the name. I have not tried it, if you do, let me know how it turns out.

Or try the original Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 mild Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 slices of bacon, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 2 tbls.)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium canned)
  • 8 cups unpeeled potatoes, cut in approx. 3/4″ dice
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1/2 cup kale, coarsely chopped and packed, or 1 cup loose
  1. Remove sausage from casing and brown in a large pot, breaking up large pieces as it cooks. When the sausage is thoroughly cooked and slightly brown, remove it from the pot and drain off all the fat.
  2. Add the onion and bacon to the same pot. Stir and cook until the bacon begins to brown and the onions soften. (It won’t hurt if they brown a little too!).
  3. Add the chicken stock and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are very done.
  4. Take about 2-3 cups of potatoes and stock from the pot and puree in a blender. Add back to the pot along with the sausage, fennel seed and kale and simmer about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Salt to taste. Let it sit a few minutes before serving. Garnish with some grated Romano on top.

Buon appetito!