Ah, what a lunch I have had. Yesterday I obtained some fresh caught squid on the Bribie Island road which I sixty-second parboiled and then marinaded in a garlic, olive oil and herb mix. I had also bought some olives from a local olive grove -- Coolana Olives -- who grow an excellent Kalamata, despite their sub tropical locale. (Who woulda thought?) Compared to all my other supply options: great price too.(Next time I'm purchasing bulk...)
These I had been marinading for a week.
So that's my quest: marinade anything that is dead.
That said my chooks love the squid bits I don't eat. Crazy, crazy feeding frenzy. Land sharks.
There's art to marinading (useful comment at this link: note support for yogurt marinades) and it isn't a simple spontaneous potpourri business. Once you start playing around with salad dressings -- albeit with determination to keep it simple -- you get hooked on the flavour rush. Since I like eating the bitter greens -- chicories, dandelion, rocket and endives -- you need a boutique salad dressing to package the taste.
So I keep asking myself,"what else can I drown in olive oil?"
I guess the core thrust is doing things with, by adding things to, extra virgin olive oil.
Hello.My name is Dave and I'm an olive oil addict.
In his interesting book on food, culture and genotype -- Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity -- Gary Nabhan shares his experience of eating on the Greek Island of Crete which has the highest per capita olive oil consumption in the world. Figures vary but we're talking about an average intake of between 25 - 35 kilograms per year. In day to day terms, that's the individual consumption of around 80 grams per day!
Nabham, who is from a Lebanese background, balked at the intake after a week of food drowning in the stuff. I think he pushes a barrow I don't fully accept, but, to give you an idea about this olive oil island, in one interview he said:
So, even though there’s great benefits of the Mediterranean diet to some extent for everyone, if we really tried to consume as much olive oil as the people in Crete or Lebanon do, most Americans would fall short of even being able to absorb that much olive oil without metabolic effects... I was surprised when I went to Crete of seeing about a cup of olive oil in the bottom of what we’d call a Greek salad. Here in the United States we might get two teaspoons of olive oil in a Greek salad and be able to tolerate that.
But me, I'd adapt in a week.
Apart from the olive oil component to marinades and dressings, the other key ingredient is this acid component. After years cooking Middle Eastern food I had relied on lemon juice to acidify my mixes. Since Moslems don't drink alcohol, they aren't going to have a supply of vinegar on hand. Thus the reliance on lemons. But I have now swung back to using vinegar - especially white wine vinegars -- for my dressings and marinades. The problem with lemons is that you need to keep yourself in fresh supply and that is often inconvenient or expensive. So when seeking lemony taste I rely now on using Preserved Lemons. Of course, these are a marinade/pickle too so I've got preserving them on my to do list.
But add a preserved lemon in a marinade and you are citrusified. Preserved lemons are also Tagine essentials.
So acid has gotta rule my world.