Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Chili-Rubbed Skirt Steak

Red meat is a staple in Chilean homes, with asados (barbecues) being a popular form of entertainment for families. Here, beefy-tasting skirt steak is marinated for several hours, then quickly grilled (preferably to medium-rare for maximum tenderness). Before serving, anoint it with additional fresh-pressed olive oil—Mother Nature’s perfect sauce. Pour a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients

  • Four 8-ounce portions (2 pounds) of trimmed skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons pure chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate
  • Chopped fresh chives, flat-leaf parsley, or cilantro leaves, for serving

Directions

Step 1

Make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic, the garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, the remainder of the spices, and the lemon juice.

Step 2

Arrange the steaks in a glass baking pan just large enough to hold them. Pour the marinade over the steaks, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Step 3

Remove the steaks from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Step 4

Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. (Alternatively, cook the steaks on your stovetop using a cast iron grill pan or skillet.) Brush and oil the grill grate with vegetable oil.

Step 5

Arrange the steaks on the grill grate. Grill until done to your liking, 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat.

Step 6

Let the steaks rest on a cutting board for 3 minutes, then slice crosswise on a sharp diagonal. Transfer the meat and any accumulated juices to a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and a few dribbles of balsamic vinegar. Top with the chives, parsley, or cilantro.

Serves 4 generously — Recipe adapted from vinepair.com

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Jalapeño Vinaigrette

With its clean, mild taste, firm texture, and payload of omega-3 fatty acids, halibut pairs beautifully with robust extra virgin olive oils. It is among the largest flat fish in the world, weighing up to 500 pounds!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium jalapeño
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Six 6-ounce halibut fillets
  • Fresh watercress or arugula, for serving

Directions

Step 1

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and onion with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then whisk in the honey, cilantro, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over high heat until just smoking. Add the jalapeño and cook, turning, until charred and blistered on all sides, about 2 minutes; let it cool slightly. Slip off the charred skin. Discard the stem and cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and finely chop the jalapeño. Stir the jalapeño into the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over moderately high heat. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until they are opaque throughout, about 8 minutes. Transfer the halibut to a platter. Whisk the vinaigrette, spoon it over the fish, and serve with watercress.

Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, March 2004

Shrimp with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Shrimp preparations are a specialty of Chile’s small coastal villages. If you don’t want to fuss with skewers, grill the shrimp in a grill wok or grill basket. The sauce is best when made shortly before serving.

Ingredients

For the shrimp and marinade:

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Juice of one large lime
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons pure chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

For the avocado cilantro sauce:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Step 1

Make the marinade: In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Pour into a large resealable plastic bag and add the shrimp. Toss to coat and marinate for 30 minutes. Drain the shrimp, dry on paper towels, and thread on metal or bamboo skewers. (Discard the marinade.)

Step 2

Shortly before grilling, make the avocado cilantro sauce: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the avocado, sour cream, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Run the machine in short bursts until the sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an attractive serving bowl. If not serving immediately, place plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce to delay oxidation (browning).

Step 3

Preheat the grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, use a cast iron grill pan on the stovetop.) Grill the shrimp on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until opaque and no longer pink. Serve immediately with the sauce. (Note: Metal skewers will be very hot.)

Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a main course — Recipe adapted from therecipecritic.com

Spatchcocked Chicken with Cracked Olives and Herbs

If you’re intimidated by butterflying the chickens (spatchcocking), simply buy chicken halves for this recipe. They’ll cook faster than whole chickens. The chicken can be roasted in an oven (even a pizza oven) or grilled.

Ingredients

  • 2 roasting chickens, each 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, or more to taste (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided use
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano, Cerignola, or other green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra leaves for serving

Directions

Step 1

The night before you plan to grill or roast the chickens, spatchcock them by placing on a work surface and removing the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Turn the chickens over, breast side up, and open them up, pushing against the countertop, as much as possible. Using your palms, press
firmly on the breastbone to flatten the breast. You may hear a crack. This means you’re doing it right. Set the chickens, breast sides up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours. (This step gives you crisper skin.)

Step 2

Set the chickens (still on the baking sheet) on your counter. Combine the garlic, Aleppo pepper, rosemary, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the chickens all over with the mixture and return to the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 3

Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. (Alternatively, roast the chickens on a wire rack set over a rimmed sheet pan in an oven preheated to 425°F.) Set the chickens, skin sides down, on the grate away from direct heat. Cover the grill. Grill, rotating the chickens as needed so that they color evenly, until the skins are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Turn the chickens and continue to cook, covered, until the skins are a deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breasts registers 160°F, 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer the chickens to a cutting board and let them rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Step 5

Mix the olives, orange juice, oregano, chopped parsley, the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, and any accumulated juices from chicken on the cutting board in a medium bowl. Season with salt. Mix the olives, orange juice, oregano, chopped parsley, the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, and any accumulated juices from chicken on the cutting board in a medium bowl. Season with salt.

Step 6

To serve, arrange the carved chickens on a platter and top with the olive mixture and parsley leaves.

Note: Aleppo pepper is widely used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Sweet Hungarian pepper with a pinch of cayenne can be substituted.

Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from bonappetit.com