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Don’t Skip the Fat! Use Olive Oil Instead

October 4, 2016

Immediacy has, for so long, invaded our mindset when it comes to living in the city. Everything is fast-paced, from cars to emails, it’s a world of what will make this go to that at the shortest amount of time. Food is no exception to this type of thinking. We often end up cooking dishes that are quick and easy, most of the time sacrificing healthy options for the convenience of a quick meal. This usually ends up with someone frying something and plopping it on a bed of rice. This need to be immediate has forced us to neglect that sometimes speed comes at the price of flavor and, more importantly, health.

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But eating quick meals doesn’t have to be unhealthy. There are many ways for us to enjoy our meals without sacrificing the health benefits provided by its ingredients. One way of doing this is using olive oil. Not only extremely healthy for you, olive oil has proven to be a valuable part of anyone’s kitchen. It doesn’t just give you amazing health benefits, it also adds another dimension of flavor and depth that normal cooking oil cannot provide. It’s also an extremely versatile ingredient that has proven itself as one of the most utilized products in the market.

Not only does it span uses, it also spans cuisines. From a simple Greek Salad and a bit of hummus on pita bread, to a bowl of seafood pasta finished with a spritz of lemon and a bath of extra virgin olive oil, or just a simple bowl of freshly made mayonnaise. Olive oil shines in many occasions not just as an ingredient, but also as the defining moment in the dish. Filippo Berio Olive Oil understands this and provides a plethora of products that can give you that healthy alternative to your otherwise unhealthy choice of cooking.

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To highlight the many uses and dimensions of flavors the Filippo Berio olive oil products can impart, we created five sauces, each showcasing a different profile of the olive oil to go with our porchetta sandwich.

Begin with the soft and mellow garlic aioli made fresh to give the pork a subtle bite at the end. You may also choose to make your porchetta brighter and more vibrant with onions bathed in balsamic vinegar, the tart flavors accentuated by the subtle bitterness of the oil. There’s also the choice of making the sandwich more exciting with the sharp tang of our dayap chutney emboldened by the extra virgin olive oil. Or, for a more classic paring, a spoon of our sun dried tomato dressing, a serving of both sweetness and sharpness that would add a lot of character to your sandwich. Or just utilize the creaminess of avocado punctuated by the sharp citrus from the lemon, heightening your dish.

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It just comes to show that when it comes to eating right, it doesn’t always have to be ungodly unhealthy. There’s a place for olive oil in our obnoxiously immediate life, and if we haven’t proven it yet, I don’t know what will.

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Porchetta Sandwich

Yield: 4–6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 kg whole boneless pork belly
  • 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 5 pcs lemongrass
  • 5 stems leeks
  • 10 pcs bay leaf
  • 3 pcs thyme leaves
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ciabatta bread
  • arugula

Procedure

  1. Score belly meat side in a diagonal pattern.
  2. Season pork with salt then sprinkle with crushed pepper. Use your hands to rub the mixture deeply into the cracks and crevices in the meat. Fill the inside with all the aromatics.
  3. Roll belly into a tight log and push to top of cutting board, seam-side down. Secure the log with a twine long enough to tie around the pork in regular intervals along, about 1-inch apart each.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons kosher salt with 1 teaspoon baking powder. Rub over entire surface of porchetta.
  5. If roast is too large, carefully slice in half . Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least overnight and up to three days.
  6. Adjust oven to the lower-middle position and preheat to 180°C. Place pork on a wire rack or v rack over a roasting pan.
  7. Place roasting pan in the oven and roast until internal temperature of pork reaches 160°F, about two hours, baste it with pan drippings every half hour.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 250 degrees C and continue roasting until completely crisp and blistered, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  9. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife into 1-inch thick disks and serve.

Sundried Tomato Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup sundried tomato
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor except for the oil.
  2. Once all the ingredients are broken down to smaller pieces, slowly add in the oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper

Avocado Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pc (small) avocado, pitted
  • 1 jalapeño, deseeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp onion, chopped finely
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 3 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. Combine oil, avocado, jalapeño, garlic, and shallot in a medium bowl. Squeeze limes into the mixture. Using a spoon mush the mixture to a chunky consistency.
  2. Stir the pesto and cilantro to the sauce just before serving. Season it with salt and pepper.

EVOO Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • ½ pc lemon
  • pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Whisk egg yolk, garlic, salt, and water in metal bowl and mix well.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened and emulsified.
  3. Stir in cayenne; Squeeze lemon and season with some pepper.

Balsamic Vinegar – Pickled Onions

Ingredients

  • 300g (small) shallot, peeled
  • ⅔ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, cracked
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Procedure

  1. In a saucepan combine vinegar, olive oil, water, sugar, salt, peppercorn and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes then add in the peeled shallots.
  2. Cook in low heat for another 8-10 min or until the shallots are tender. Transfer to a sealed container.
  3. Reduce the pickling liquid to 2/3 of the amount. Turn the heat off and add in the balsamic vinegar. Pour over the shallots, cool down and store until needed.

Dayap Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 pc dayap (lime), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 4 pcs shallots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Procedure

  1. Preheat broiler to 100 degrees C.
  2. In a bowl mix dayap (lime) , shallots, sugar, and about 1/4 cup oil coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture out on a tray lined with foil.
  3. Cook the mixture until it begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Turn over to uncooked side and broil for another 3-5 minutes. Be careful it burns easily. Set aside and cool down.
  4. Coarsely chop the mixture and transfer to a bowl again. Stir in vinegar, chives, Dijon mustard, and remaining 1/2 cup oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Andre Orandain SEE AUTHOR Andre Orandain

Andre’s love for food began with his affair with a televised Nigella Lawson. He then met the literary voice Doreen Fernandez after reading Tikim, he was a changed man ever since. He aspires to eat around the Philippines, slowly unraveling the rich culture that archipelago can offer.

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