Chile Olive Oil Dinner Party

How virgin is your extra virgin?

(Olive oil, of course.)

That’s the statement emblazoned in the extra virgin olive oils from Chile. Truth be told, I didn’t know too much about the olive oil industry of Chile, and I also didn’t really understand the many degrees of purity of olive oils in general. I only recently learned that the Chilean valleys have excellent conditions for natural olive oil production, and that  the production of Chilean olives from tree to bottle takes less than 24 hours, ensuring fresh-tasting olive oil that is bottled right at the orchard.

Knowing that, I was really looking forward to tasting some Chile EVOO. And maybe drizzling it on some sammies? (Sorry, I can’t shake my Rachel Ray talk.)

But first, a simple lesson: let’s figure out the difference between extra virgin and virgin olive oils.

Extra virgin olive oil has a maximum free acidity of 0.8%. Anything above that level is just virgin. (Chilean EVOO have acidity levels as low as 0.2%)  The lower the acidity level, the fresher and purer the oil tastes – none of that flat, almost rancid taste you get from lower quality olive oils. And ohhh when it comes to old, cheap, rancid olive oils, I should know; I once had to resort to “EVOO” from 7-11 and let’s just say… blech.

A few months ago, I was contacted by the PR company for Chile Olive Oil to see if I’m interested in hosting a sponsored dinner party. They gave me 3-course menus to choose from, then sent the ingredients to me (delivered by my favorite Whole Foods, thanks @WholeFoodsRVR!) along with a box of olive oils, plus adorable mini bottles to give away as party favors.

I LOVE hosting dinner parties but because I live in a teeny tiny apartment, I can only have a few people at a time. So I asked my friend Val if we can have the dinner party at their lovely home. She and her husband Louie have a kitchen/dining room worthy of an Apartment Therapy – Small Cool Kitchens award – it is so well designed and pretty!

Val and I donned our floral aprons and then spent the afternoon cooking for the dinner party. The menu items we chose were the caprese salad, goat cheese and mushroom ziti, and CEVOO brownies.

We used the bold olive oil for the caprese and the ziti, and the smooth olive oil for the brownies. I’ve baked and eaten many, many brownies, but I am ranking these EVOO brownies as one of my immediate favorites! I’ve never actually baked with olive oil before (I’ve baked with coconut oil though) and it gave the brownies such a fudgy consistency with just the very slightest hint of bitterness that went well with the dark chocolate.

Of course I can’t have a party without a cheese plate – and in this case, we had a meat and cheese plate: prosciutto, salami, and a jalapeno-and-peppadew cheddar. We also served some spicy garlicky shrimp, bowls of cherries and raspberries for nibbling,  bread, white sangria, and my friend Mich brought some mini smores pies and key lime pies from Provincetown. It’s safe to say we had a feast.

My friends and I had a great time and I was really happy to not just taste the Chilean olive oils, but also to discover a new brownie recipe. Somehow, my experiences all always end up with choocolate, don’t they?

CEVOO (Chile Extra Virgin Olive Oil) Brownies

Ingredients

 

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (I actually used about 6 oz instead - can't go wrong with more chocolate...)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to brush on baking pan)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brush an 8x8 baking pan with olive oil (instead of using butter or a baking spray).
  3. In a large bowl, combine your melted chocolate and olive oil. Whisk in your eggs, sugars and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add in the flour and salt and stir until well mixed. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Spread the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake approximately 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted 1 inch away from the edge comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

You can learn more about Chile Olive Oil on their website, Facebook and Twitter.  You can also enter the giveaway to get free samples.

Have you ever baked desserts with olive oil before? I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes!

   

20 Responses to “Chile Olive Oil Dinner Party”

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    1
    Erica @ In And Around Town posted September 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Looks like a fantastic dinner party! That pasta dish looks amazing. A good brownie recipe is always necessary. I had some of this olive oil at the Olive’s opening party and the treats they made with it were delicious!

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    2
    Samantha Angela posted September 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    That looks like an awesome party!!

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    3
    rj posted September 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    EVOO brownies look great! And so does everything else! I miss you and whole foods. :)

    • Bianca Garcia replied September 4th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Aww thanks RJ! I miss you too. I went to Whole Foods this past weekend for like two things and left with almost a hundred dollars worth of food. *sigh*

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    4
    Clarkie @ Beloved Green posted September 2, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Love all the cheese, especially the mozzarella on the caprese salad. I have used olive oil in baking, but I have used coconut oil more often. The dinner looks like it was a success!

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    Simply Life posted September 2, 2012 at 9:02 am

    oh what a fun spread of food! Love seeing all these different uses for olive oil!

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    dan posted September 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    bummed I couldn’t make it! Everything looks great.

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    Megan posted September 3, 2012 at 8:02 am

    What a fabulous dinner party! I’m going to have to try those brownies. I’ve had desserts made with olive oil, but I don’t think I’ve made them myself before.

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    Joanne posted September 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

    First of all, that is an AWESOME slogan. For real.

    Second of all, YAY for good olive oil! Is there anything better? I think not. Well…probably those brownies of yours!

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    Shannon posted September 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    what a feast, indeed :) YUM!! now, olive oil brownies?? YUM!

  10. #
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    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted September 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    What a party! I’d love to try brownies with EVOO!

  11. #
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    Meghan posted September 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Everything looks amazing! I have always baked with olive oil because it’s usually the only oil I have in the house!

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    Sues posted September 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    OH YUM! I need to try this olive oil for sure. I used to think “pshh all olive oils are the same,” but then I learned how wrong I was! There’s NOTHING like a great EVOO! Your dinner party looks like so much fun and the brownies look fabulous!

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    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted September 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve never tried baking with olive oil, but it actually does sound like it would go well in those brownies! Sounds like a fabulous dinner party!

  14. #
    14
    Elizabeth posted September 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I want this whole meal. I started baking with OO back when I was vegan but I haven’t done it much lately. I totally want to try out brownies with it.

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    15
    Erin posted September 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Looks like such a delicious and fun dinner party! And the brownies looks wonderful! I’ve never made sweets with olive oil as a main ingredient, but these just look divine. :)

  16. #
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    Kerstin posted September 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I’m intrigued by the EVOO brownies! Looks like such a fun dinner party :)

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    Molly Galler posted September 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    You are quite the hostess, Bianca! Every course looks fantastic. I am obsessed with the Apartment Therapy Small Cool contest. I checked back daily this year for new submissions!

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    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted September 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    And why wasn’t I invited to this party? Hehehe. Looks like a fun EVOO party! I know I would enjoy all this good food, definitely.

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    Sacha posted September 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    These were my thoughts just now: “Oh, my. Look at that food!” (I love baked goods with olive oil.) And then: “Oh, my. Look at that *kitchen*!” I’m suffering from some serious food and kitchen envy right now. Looked like fun.

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