Extreme Cuisine – Smoked Olive Oil
Olive oil, smoked? That’s right. Al Hartman and Brenda Chatelain of California experienced a middle-of-the-night flash of inspiration four years ago. Why not smoke olive oil? Hartman thought one night. After years of experimentation and struggle, Hartman and Chatelain finally perfected the patent-pending smoking process — a secret, of course. The two of them began selling their oils (of which there are now three flavours — Sonoma, Napa and Santa Fe) at local farmers’ markets and food shows. Since then, they’ve managed to open their own retail outlet called The Smoked Olive.
Chatelain says that smoked olive oils are a perfect complement to a wide array of foods. Drizzle some on steaks, oysters, shrimp, roasted vegetables, tofu and even scrambled eggs. She says, “It’s the only smoked olive oil in the U.S. made with a patent pending process that smokes the oil without exposing it to heat, air or light.” Olive oil is extremely sensitive to the last three, so any further processing is a huge risk. Hartman and Chatelain were able to find a way around that sensitivity and produce something that chefs worldwide are lining up to buy.
Want to try some for yourself? Some Whole Food stores carry it, so check there first if there’s a location near you. Otherwise, contact Hartman and Chatelain directly at The Smoked Olive. They ship internationally.
Once you’ve got your hands on a bottle, try this little refresher of a salad courtesy of Chef Brenda La Noue.
Watermelon with Santa Fe Smoked Olive Oil with Mint, Mandarin Orange & Sea Salt
4 cups watermelon, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
1-2 teaspoons Santa Fe Smoked Olive Oil
2 teaspoons fresh juice of Mandarin orange
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons mint, sliced very thin
1 teaspoon sea salt
Combine watermelon with Santa Fe Smoked Olive Oil, orange juice and sugar and toss.
Next sprinkle with sea salt and mint. Allow flavors to develop for 10 minutes and then gently toss again.
Serve as a side dish or appetizer.