Category Archives: Olives

Chicken Simmered with Red Bell Peppers and Pine Nuts

Cicken_with_Red_Bell_Peppers_and_Olives (1 of 1)We were in the mood for Spanish food again last night, and happened to have the typical Spanish ingredients on hand (onions, garlic, olives, red bell pepper, sherry, tomatoes, oh and did I mention sherry?) to make this quick, delicious, after-work chicken dish. To me, the hint of sherry in Spanish dishes is what gives them their uniquely Iberian, wonderful depth of flavor. A note on pine nuts — make sure you use only European pine nuts. I learned the hard way that Chinese pine nuts cause “pine mouth,” which is a bitter aftertaste that throws off the taste buds for days. I even read that the pine nuts that grow in Asia are not even edible! Anyway, I hope you’ll try this dish after a hard day’s work some night!

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced once down the middle, then sliced cross-wise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dry sherry
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup pitted black olives, sliced once lengthwise
2 Tbsp pine nuts, nicely toasted in a skillet over medium heat
3 Tbsp yellow raisins

Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper over chicken.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan. Stir in onions, garlic and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sherry and cook another minute. Stir in wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, olives, pine nuts, raisins and the chicken. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve with saffron rice.

Serves 4.

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Chicken with Olives, Rosemary and Peas

Chicken_with_Olives1 (1 of 1)This dish is from Rome, and is prepared with wonderfully fresh and simple ingredients that are typical of Mediterranean cooking. The key to this type of dish is the anchovy paste (or crushed anchovies), which adds a necessary depth of flavor that isn’t at all fishy in the final product. This recipe smelled so great while cooking that family members, cats and dogs were hanging out underfoot, waiting to sample it — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

2 lbs, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup flavorful black olives (such as Kalmata), pitted and halved lengthwise
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 cup peas
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Combine chicken, salt and pepper in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, rosemary and wine. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in olives, anchovy paste and peas. Cover and simmer 15 minutes (cover partially for last 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in red wine vinegar and serve with fresh bread or steamed white rice.

Serves 4.

 

Picadillo with Parsley-Herbed Rice

Picadillo1 (1 of 1)Picadillo is a flavorful, traditional dish served in Latin America. Its ingredients vary a bit from country to country, but most versions typically feature ground meat, chopped green bell peppers and onions. Mine is more of a Cuban variety, with ground beef, ground pork, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, olives, capers and other ingredients, which provide for delicious sweet and sour flavors (“picadillo,” by the way, is derived from the Spanish picar, which means “to chop”). I hope you’ll give it a try!

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb very lean, ground beef
1 lb very lean, ground pork
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and green bell peppers, and saute for 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, beef and pork. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes (or until meat is no longer pink), stirring constantly to break meat up.

Add the rest of the ingredients (through red wine). Turn heat to high, stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour (stirring occasionally). Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added an additional 4 tsp salt, which seemed about right).

Meanwhile, prepare the rice. For the herbed-rice, follow my recipe for steamed jasmine rice, but add 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley at the beginning.

Serve warm picadillo with the rice.

Serves 8.