How I Landed My Wife with Flavored Olive Oil
Flavored olive oil is an amazing and diverse ingredient, but first things first...quality olive is not cheap. Much like electronics and footwear, you get what you pay for. The process of getting oil from olives is extremely labor and...
Flavored olive oil is an amazing and diverse ingredient, but first things first...quality olive is not cheap. Much like electronics and footwear, you get what you pay for. The process of getting oil from olives is extremely labor and time intensive. An olive tree can take up to 12 years to mature to the point that you can harvest viable fruit. On top of that, a well maintained orchard of olive trees will only produce between 2-6 tons of olives per acre. You can only expect between 10-30 percent of that weight to turn into oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is made simply by crushing olives and extracting the juice. It is the only cooking oil that is made without the use of chemicals and industrial refining. The most important thing you can do is pay attention to the label. If you see "refined" anywhere on the label, put it back. This means that the oil was obtained via high heat or an intense mechanical/chemical process. This oil does not have the ideal health benefits or flavor that a cold pressed extra virgin olive oil will yield.
Now that you have created a high quality olive oil, how do you flavor it? Great question! There are two ways to flavor olive oil. There are flavor "fused" olive oils and flavor "infused" olive oils.
Flavor fused olive oils have the product that produces the flavor pressed with the olives that create the olive oil. For example; if you are using a blood orange "fused" flavor oil, the rind of the oranges are pressed with the olives that are being pressed to create the olive oil.
If you are using an herb "infused" flavor olive oil, then the flavor is added through the addition of essential oils and other infusing methods after the oil has been extracted from the olives.
Now that we've covered what goes into your flavored olive oil, let's talk recipes. I have a reputation among my friends as being someone who can work culinary magic from a limited set of ingredients. So when one of my friends is at a loss of what to give me for a gift, they turn to the local gourmet shop for ideas. Currently I am fortunate enough to boast a few flavored olive oils in my pantry. Let me share my greatest success with you.
Goat Cheese and Wild Mushroom Pork Tenderloin
This is is the meal I made my wife for our first Valentines Day together. Years later she told me that this was the nail in the coffin on her decision to marry me. I can't guarantee the same results, but you never know.
First off you are going to have to decide if you want to stuff or unroll your pork tenderloin, I'll let you decide. Personally, I went with the unroll method because I like to challenge myself. For my particular situation it showed a level of dedication that did not go unnoticed.
- 1 shallot (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 cup white raisins (chopped)
- 1/2 cup Moscato
- 4oz. Goat Cheese
- 4oz. shiitake mushrooms (diced)
- 2 tbsp wild mushroom infused olive oil
- Heat olive oil in medium saute pan to medium
- Saute mushrooms until they begin to caramelize (10-12 min)
- Add shallot and saute until softened (about 4-5 min)
- Add salt, pepper, raisins and Moscato. Saute until alcohol cooks off (about 5-7 minutes)
- Remove from heat
- Add goat cheese and stir until melted
- Set aside
Tenderloin Spice Rub
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Tarragon
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provenance
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
- Butterfly or Unwrap the tenderloin it's up to you how far you want to go
- Place stuffing inside and tie up the stuffed tenderloin with butcher's twine
- Cover outside of tenderloin thoroughly with spice rub
- Heat 2 tbs wild mushroom olive oil to High
- Sear outside of tenderloin until caramelized
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°
- Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing
I can't guarantee it will put a ring on anybody's finger, but I'm pretty sure she'll take a second look if you pull this one off.