About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Georgia Olive Oil

I finally bought some Georgia Olive Oil after reading about the Shaw family and their brilliant idea of growing olives in the southern part of the state.  "Why not", thought one of the son's while studying abroad.  The climate is warm enough and it turns out, olives where previously grown by early Spanish settlers along the Georgia coast.  The Civil War and production scale eventually doomed the olive in Georgia until recently.  In 2008 the Shaws planted a modest 20 acres of the arbequina variety and plan to grow olives exponentially. I feel a road trip  to Lakeland, Georgia coming on.  I love driving past the groves of olive trees I've seen in California, Italy, France & Spain  and have wondered if it was possible in Georgia-well yes it is!

Personally, I'm thrilled for the Shaws and Georgia. The health benefits of olive oil have made it a staple in most pantries.  EVOO has as many flavors as wine, depending on variety, growing region and production method. Georgia olive oil is a bit pricey but it will find it's niche in the specialty foods market. I'm not an expert on its flavor but, I like this Georgia variety because it definitely has flavor.  I did note, the label indicates both Georgia and California olives in the blend but I guess that's like wine making, it's requires blending. Best yet, it's all American!

In my opinion, olive oil can never replace butter when it comes to cooking, but I've learned to love it
and use it every chance I get.  Here's an simple pasta dish to try out the fruity flavor of Georgia Olive Oil.  Check for this product on line Georgia Olive Farms.com.

1/2 lb spaghetti
3 tbls. Georgia olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
 1 egg yolk
1-2 ladles of pasta water
2 oz prosciutto chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Chopped basil leaves to garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Heat Georgia olive oil in large skillet and add red pepper flakes, heat briefly before adding minced garlic. Stir for 30 seconds before adding chopped prosciutto.  Shake skillet and stir. Add drailed spaghetti shake and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a seperate small bowl, add 1 ladel of the pasta water and the quickly wisk in 1 egg yolk. Add to pasta mixture and heat over medium low heat stirring constantly. Add grated parmesan and add 2 tlbs  Georgia olive oil to finish, add more pasta water for desired thickness.  Garnish with chopped basil.

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