Home-cooked meals are always worth coming home to—as a new wife, I’m working hard on being able to do these well.
One of the things I learned immediately was how top quality olive oil comes in handy when elevating the taste of a dish—whether it’s used for dipping, sautéing, or even frying (albeit tricky). One of the brands of olive oil we use is Doña Elena, which recently collaborated with two of the country’s culinary masters—Locavore’s Executive Chef Mikel Zaguirre and Raintree Restaurant’s Corporate Chef Kalel Chan—on a campaign called Chef Ambassador Series.
As the primary user of this precious ingredient, chefs understand that good quality olive oil is sacred. Highly versatile and suitable for a myriad of dishes, it’s also arguably one of the world’s healthiest oils, complete with a full range of benefits.
The first two recipes I’ll share from this campaign are from Chef Kalel, who was raised by a family of home cooks (the second one is for Salmon Confit with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, which you can find here). I love it because it uses bangus, which is my husband’s favorite fish to eat. Chef Kalel’s Spanish Style Balsamic Bangus Belly is not only something anyone can replicate at home, it’s also meant to encourage healthy home cooking on a regular basis. With the infusion of Doña Elena Pure Olive Oil and a heaping serving of balsamic vinegar, the result is delectable, punctuated with a slight kick of tang and a touch of sweetness that lingers in every bite.
His tip: “Low fire cooking is the key to allow the ingredients to further concentrate its flavors, tenderize the meat, reduce shrinkage, and retain its form. Simple, satisfying, and perfect for days or nights you need to serve something on the table in 30 minutes.”
This one-pan, three-step recipe boasts a medley of flavors. It’s a simple but sophisticated dish that will feed at least four people.
1 cup pure Doña Elena Olive Oil
100g bangus belly, cut into desired size
4 pc. garlic cloves, crushed
1 pc. red onion, cut into quarters
1 pc. carrot
2 pc. bay leaf
6 pc. green olives
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Spanish paprika
3 tsp. salt
1 pinch chili flakes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small pot, add olive oil and bring flame up to medium.
2. Once oil is warm, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 5min. on low heat.
3. Add balsamic vinegar, green olives, bangus belly, bay leaf, chili flakes, and salt, then simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the bangus is fully cooked.
Doña Elena Olive Oil is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation in the Philippines. It is available in three variants—extra virgin, pure, and pomace—and comes in 250ml, 500ml, 1L glass bottles and 5L PET bottle.