I hate to feel like a food snob (because I’m not) but my husband actually caught me using the phrase “flavor profiles” the other day. It’s just that since we started eating healthier, I have more of an awareness of foods and ingredients.
And yes, flavor profiles.
Since we don’t make much from a box, we have a pantry stocked with tons of different, yet similar, products.
In addition to the normal array of herbs and spices, we have several varieties of vinegar: distilled white, apple cider, white wine, rice, balsamic, raspberry balsamic and fig balsamic. They all have different uses, different tastes and… wait for it… flavor profiles!
The same holds true for our stash of oils. You know, not all oils are the same. Some are better for frying while others are great as a base in salad dressings or marinades. The list of options is quite extensive: Examples include vegetable, corn, canola, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, sesame, peanut, olive, extra virgin olive and the list goes on. All with different functions and… yes, flavor profiles. As you can see from the shelves at Walmart, the choices among olive oils alone is pretty huge. Only through this outreach campaign did I realize that it can be even further sub-categorized. STAR Olive Oil differentiates itself by not just making “olive oil” but making different varieties using different types of olives. Each of the three compliments a different type of food. Picual for beef/lamb, hojiblanca for poultry/fish and arbequina for vegetables. Since we eat very little beef these days (sshh… I live in Iowa and that could get me kicked out so don’t tell anyone), we grabbed the varieties for poultry/fish and vegetables.
Hubby does most of the cooking around here so I told him I wanted to make fish and cauliflower to try out these new oils and he whipped up a nice plateful of deliciousness. I’m a fan of cauliflower raw and always have been but when it comes to cooking it, I find the taste less than ideal. We usually steam it and sprinkle it with Mrs. Dash or some other herb/spice. This time, the method of cooking was saute.
Sauteed Parmesan and Garlic Cauliflower
1 Head Cauliflower
2 Tbsps STAR Arbequina Olive Oil
1-2 Tsps California Garlic Salt (The kind with parsley in it, season to taste)
2 Pinches Dried Basil
2 Tsps Parmesan Cheese
Chop and clean cauliflower. Heat Arbequina Olive Oil to pan. Add cauliflower and allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add California garlic salt and basil. (If you don’t have California Garlic Salt, substitute regular garlic salt and a pinch of parsley.) Cook for additional 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir to prevent sticking while cooking for additional few minutes or until desired tenderness.
Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
4 Tilapia Filets
2 tbsps STAR Hojiblanca Olive Oil
4 tsps Parmesan Cheese
Cookie’s Flavor Enhancer (or your seasoning of choice, use sparingly)
Season each filet with a pinch of Cookie’s seasoning and 1 tsp Parmesan cheese – dividing equally on both sides. Set aside. Warm Hojiblanca Olive Oil in a pan. Add Tilapia and cook for 1½ minutes on each side (depending on thickness of filet). Serve immediately.
Serve Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia, Sauteed Parmesan and Garlic Cauliflower, salad and fruit and you’ll have a healthy dinner! We’ve had this Tilapia before and it always goes over well, but this is our first try with this type of cauliflower. I’m pleased to say that the kids actually asked for more. We had prepared the entire head, but it certainly didn’t seem like enough. Personally, I could have eaten much more myself and am adding it to our regular vegetable lineup! Whether it was the new cooking technique or an olive oil specific to vegetables, I don’t know. But if buying a special bottle of olive oil gets my kids to ASK for more vegetables, I’ll certainly be sure to stock it in my pantry.
For more information on STAR Olive Oil, visit their website where you’ll find available products, nutritional information, recipes and coupons. You can also follow STAR Olive Oil on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or check out their boards on Pinterest. Don’t miss out on the STAR Olive Oil giveaway running on Facebook, too!