Thai-FUSION: Chili-Ginger Infused Pasta

Ginger Balsamic along with "what's in the fridge" were my inspirations for dinner one night that was even better than I imagined.

"What's in the fridge" means that I look at the odds and ends of veggies in my crisper and say, what can I make with that? For this recipe I had the following (but feel free to substitute whatever is in your crisper!)

  • Regular cabbage
  • Purple cabbage
  • Some tri-color carrots
  • Some diced splines from Kale (yes I save the splines and find a use for them later)

The remaining ingredients are:

  • Thin spaghetti pasta
  • enFuso Chili Cilantro Olive Oil
  • enFuso Ginger Balsamic
  • enFuso Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cashews (diced)
  • Fresh mint (diced) - I have in my herb garden (optional but better with this)
  • Kosher salt

I slow saute'd all of the veggies (also called "sweating") in enFuso Chili Cilantro olive oil. I used my favorite heavy weight every day pan by All Clad. I recommend heavy pans for this purpose. As the veggies started to slowly break down and caramelize the sweet aroma of cilantro filled my kitchen.

When I saw that I was really getting some caramel brown sweet clusters on the bottom of the pan, I brought out the enFuso Ginger Balsamic, the other primary inspiration. I generously doused the cooking veggies with it, de-glazed the bottom of the pan to get up all of the goodies, then covered the pan and allowed the balsamic to glaze the veggies and begin to make a sauce as they further broke down. I let it cook about another 10-15 minutes. Just before serving I added a pinch of Kosher salt to taste and stirred it in. When the veggies were ready to go, they were soft to the tooth with bits of brown caramelization and plenty of ginger glaze.

Meanwhile I cooked some thin spaghetti pasta. I like the Barilla protein plus pasta as this is a vegetarian dish and needs some protein augmentation. After cooking and draining. I lightly coated the pasta with some extra virgin olive oil.

 I plated the dish like this ...

I put the spaghetti on the plate and made a hole in the center. I filled the hole with the rich spicy gingered veggies. Then I topped it with chopped cashews, diced fresh mint, a final drizzle of enFuso Ginger Balsamic, and sprig of fresh mint.

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To eat it I ran my knife through the pasta to bring all of the flavors together. What a treat! I certainly consider this a fusion dish. I loved all of the flavors going on. The sweet yet tangy and spicy caramelized veggies were so good and the pasta was the perfect complement. The cashews added the needed richness while the mint gave a fresh finish.

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So many great flavors jumping in the mouth! This one was a winner.

Smoked Turkey Meatloaf

This recipe comes from our caterer friend Rich, who owns a cafe in Costa Mesa and plans to be using enFuso Smoked Olive Oil to enhance many of his recipes. The first one he offered is his healthy turkey meatloaf. We tested this recipe at home, and it's delicious!

What you will need:

  • 1 package lean ground turkey (20-24 ounces)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup mustard
  • 3 tablespoons enFuso smoked olive oil (Rich prefers our Buttery Late Harvest, but any will work)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-3 celery stalks, chopped (optional for extra crunch)
  •  A pinch of dried or freshly chopped herbs, such as thyme or rosemary

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Form into a loaf and then place on an open pan or on a grill over an open pan. This is important because it will allow any grease or fat  to render and drain versus having it cook in its own fat. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes until center measures 155-160 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Optional notes: If you want a less crunchy meatloaf, you can saute the veggies first. You can also create a nice glaze using ketchup, a little Worcestershire, a little brown sugar and then brushing the top of the loaf before baking.

Smoky Fig Pizza With Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onions

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

We love this savory dish!

What you will need:

  • Pizza dough (you can buy this at most supermarkets)
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Red baby potatoes, steamed and sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • Fresh chopped arugula
  • enFuso Fig Balsamic

First, take your your pizza dough and spread it out on a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal or flour. Then, rub it with our Smoked Olive Oil.

In a separate pan on medium heat, take chopped onions and sautee them in an enFuso Extra Virgin Varietal. Do this until they are golden in color.

Next, you will top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, potatoes, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Place dish in oven and bake for as long as your dough recipe package recommends.

Once done baking, drizzle with Fig Balsamic and sprinkle with arugula. Enjoy!

Lemon Pepper Vegetarian Hash

This recipe came from one of those nights when you need to clean out the fridge. You know, where you take whatever you find and turn it into a meal. My fridge was a little lean so I found potatoes, onions, and cabbage.

What you will need:

Put the potatoes in a large deep sauté pan with about ¼ cup of water. Cover and place over high heat to steam until the water is gone and the potatoes are about ½ cooked.

Add the onions and EVOO as needed to sauté the potatoes and onions. First, toss them liberally in the oil. Cover and wait about 3-4 minutes so that the bottom will brown. Turn over the mixture to bring the browned bottom to the top and repeat about 3-4 times until the potatoes are getting soft, there are lots of crispy parts, and the onions are nicely golden.

Add the cabbage and liberally sprinkle with Lemon Olive OIl and fresh ground pepper. Saute until the cabbage is soft but not wilted.

Add a bit of salt to taste and serve.

Smoky Chicken Salad Sandwich

Maintaining and growing the business keeps me busier than ever. I often eat on the run but I still want yummy tasting food. Yesterday, I worked through the normal lunch hour and then had only a few minutes before I had to head out to class. Grabbing what I had on hand, I made this tasty gourmet tasting sandwich in about 5 minutes – and ate it in less than ten!

What You Need:

  • Shredded cooked chicken (you can use canned or fresh; I prefer fresh)
  • Chopped crunchy veggies (like celery or bell pepper)
  • Spoonful of mayonaise
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • Artisan bread (I used a fresh baked crusty French)
  • Tomatoes or cucumbers for garnish

I had some leftover cooked chicken breasts from the night before so I pulled the meat off the bone and shredded it. Add your veggies then stir in a small amount of mayonnaise (and I mean small) and a generous drizzle of our Smoked Olive Oil. I prefer the robust (Late Harvest flavor) because the chicken and mayo already have their own sort of buttery flavor so the green flavors of the robust oil really complement it. The oil surrounds and penetrates everything, giving the sandwich plenty of moisture and making the chicken taste so rich and smoky.

Plop it on an open faced slab of artisan bread and garnish with whatever you can find in your garden (that's why I used tomatoes and cucumbers).  Then eat!

Note: to really flavor it up, drizzle any of our aged balsamic vinegar reductions over the top!

Spicy Mango Fish Tacos

This is a twist on a traditional street taco. We love any recipe that includes our Mango Balsamic Vinegar on fish, chicken or pork! For this dish, you will need:

We start with tilapia filets. Ours were frozen and we just defrosted them in some hot water. Then we pan fried them in enFuso extra virgin olive oil (Manzanilla) and dusted them with Cajun seasoning as we fried them.

Next, we took some fresh spinach and Swiss chard leaves and quickly wilted them in heated olive oil with some diced sun dried tomatoes.

Finally we plated the fish on some toasted white corn tortillas, placed the wilted greens on the side, sprinkled them with some grated Mexican style grated cheese (jack and mild cheddar) and then drizzled the Mango balsamic vinegar over the top.

Simple, and crazy good. It’s the combination of the spicy season and sweet fruity balsamic that give this the perfect flavor combination.