Tag Archives: olive oil

Aljotta (Maltese Fish Stew)

I love this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the years, and if it weren’t so expensive to make, I’d make it more often. Why is it expensive? The ingredients are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, peeled & minced)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 large can)
  • Fish stock
  • Basil leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Mint leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Marjoram leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rice (2 cups, cooked)
  • Fish (1-2 lbs)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)

Neither fish (something like cod, haddock, or tilapia works well here) nor fish stock are cheap. I’ve found that seafood stock is inferior to actual fish stock (if you can find it) and in either case, it’s hard to buy enough to avoid having to supplement the stew with some amount of water. But if money is no issue for you, just use fish stock.


The ingredients.

The place to start is with a simple, empty pot. Then add the oil.


Heating the oil.

Add onions and garlic and fry in the oil until soft.


Cooking down the onions and garlic.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then the fish stock (if need be, you can supplement with fish bouillon, but I never have).


Add the tomatoes…


…and then the fish stock.

Next, tear basil and mint leaves into pieces, then add to saucepan with marjoram leaves.


Green stuff!

The next ingredient is the fish, cut however you like (I do cubes).



Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice. It’ll expand even further in the stew, so (depending on how much broth you like) you may want to add more water in.



Finally, season the stew with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I usually use at least a tablespoon of each, and often more. But they’re all to taste, so you’ll need to decide for yourself : -)


The finished product – enjoy!

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Gambas al Ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) is a famous Spanish tapas recipe that is mesmerizingly delicious. These are the ingredients:

  • About a pound of frozen shrimp (roughly 25), heads and tails off, medium or large
  • 10 large cloves of garlic
  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dry sherry, either a quarter cup or a third of a cup
  • Lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

The ingredients

The first step is to finely chop the garlic, and add it to the olive oil.


Add that garlic!

Then let the shrimp marinate for a while. The longer they marinate, the more garlicky they’ll be, but 30 minutes is fine. This is also when you add the salt and the baking soda. The baking soda helps keep the shrimp crunchy, and together, the salt and baking soda help the shrimp retain their juiciness.


Marinate the shrimp.

Next, remove the shrimp and dump everything else in the pan. Cook the garlic for about five minutes on medium-high heat to bring out more of the flavor.


Cook the mixture (minus the shrimp).

Next, add the red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute or so.


Add the red pepper.

Add in almost everything else – the shrimp; the sherry; the pepper (to taste); the lemon juice (again, to taste). Don’t overcook the shrimp! About 4 minutes on the medium-high heat should be good enough.


Add everything else, except the parsley.

That’s plenty of time to chop the parsley for the garnish.


Chopped parsley!

Then add the parsley and you’re done. The shrimp are delicious, but the oil is too – it’s incredibly flavorful, and perfect for mopping up with a baguette.



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Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Not potato chips, but actual potatoes. Thanks thekitchn.com!

Boiling the potatoes in a salt and vinegar bath allows them to soak up all of that briny flavor before you dry them off and crisp them up in the oven. The result is a soft-in-the-center, crispy-on-the-outside potato that’s loaded with flavor.

The ingredients are:

  • Small or fingerling potatoes, about two pounds, cut lengthwise in half
  • Salt
  • A cup of distilled white vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Chives

The ingredients.

The first step is simple: you cut all those potatoes lengthwise, in half.


Split asunder.

See? Now you’ve got a nice big pile of them.


Don’t eat them yet!

Put them all in a pot with the vinegar, and add enough water to the mix to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Then bring to a boil, and leave it alone for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.


This is where they take on that vinegar flavor.

Next, drain the potatoes, and dry them off with a paper towel, a hair dryer, or a blow torch. Once they’re dry, mix them with enough olive oil to coat them , and lay them all out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Not the wax paper I’m using here – apparently that can catch fire if you use it in the oven (a lesson I learned, fortunately, without the experience).


Covered in oil.

Now bake the potatoes for another 25-30 minutes or so. They should come out looking like this:


Soon to broil.

Ah, but see, you want them crispier than that. That’s what the broiler is for! Put them in the broiler for a few minutes, maybe 5, but keep a good eye on them so they don’t overcook. You may also want to cut up your chives at this point.


The garnish awaits.

When they look crispy enough for you, bring them out and garnish with the chives, and salt to taste. Then enjoy!





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Portobello Appetizer

This recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to make. This is the (very short) list of ingredients:

  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Pepper flakes
  • Gorgonzola cheese, preferably crumbly (but blue cheese works too)

The ingredients.

First, clean the portobello caps, and cut down any stem that might make them difficult to fry on both sides. Then make sure they’re dry.

Next, coat the bottom of your pan (preferably cast iron) with olive oil.

Fry the caps – gill sides down – on low heat for a while. You want to cook them thoroughly, but without burning or searing them.


Gill sides down.

When you’re ready, flip the caps. Now they can cook gill side up for a while. And the gill side is now hot enough to help melt the cheese you’re going to crumble over them. Add as much cheese as you care to. Then add some red pepper flakes too – again, to taste.


Crumble the cheese

Cook for a while, until you think they’re ready, or the cheese is melted. Cut into quadrants and enjoy!



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