This post is written based on an invite to an Olive Oil promotion event from Cobram Estate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We were given 8 sample bottle of extra virgin olive oil at the end of the event. We were also provided with $1 Off Coupons as give away to chowtimes readers.
Suanne and I were invited by Cobram Estate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to attend a learning and tasting session about olive oil.
The event was held in The Dirty Apron. We had heard a lot about the Dirty Apron but never had the opportunity to go there. As I understand it, The Dirty Apron is a cooking school operated by the same people behind Chambar and Medina Cafe. It is located just a few doors away from the two very popular restaurants.
Gosh, have you ever parked during Canucks game night? I haven’t and was quite shocked that the parking rate was $26 at the parkade across the street!! Not wanting to waste that kind of money, I drove a block away and got a street parking spot.
The demonstration kitchen was very impressive with a lot of expensive looking appliances. It makes me want to cook, really. But this is just a cooking demonstration.
The night’s event was organized by Cobram Estate who wanted to promote the use of Australian Olive Oil. We hardly use olive oil at home. Our perception was that olive oil is mostly used for salad and we don’t normally make salad at home. Suanne has a bottle all the time but it just takes forever to finish a bottle.
So we wanted to attend this to learn a bit more about Olive Oil.
Our first question is … why Australian Olive Oil? We had always thought that olive oil is almost entirely produced in Mediterranean region. The answer was “why not?” LOL! After all, Australia also produces some of the best wines even though it is not native to the country. The best reason we learn was that being in the southern hemisphere, it works to their advantage. This is because when it is off harvesting season in the Mediterranean, Australia will be in full production swing and this ensuring continuous world wide supply.
Along with this fact, unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age. The fresher it is the better it is.
Cobram Estate ensures freshness by pressing the olive at the spot and not more than 2 hours after picking. We learned about the advanced production processes that Cobram Estate traces quality in every step right to the consumer.
We were introduced to four types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
- Light and Delicate
- Fresh and Fruity
- Rich and Robust, and
- Lemon Twist
It got a bit more interesting when we get to taste the olive oil. We were instructed to warm up the olive oil with our hands and swirl it around. It was fine except that my cup were leaking and made a mess. LOL!
We were supposed to swallow and then breathe out through the nose. We were not used to consuming olive oil like this. It was supposed to be peppery and spicy at the throat. Instead, I just choked at it, especially with the Rich and Robust.
I was told that this is what is sometimes called a three-cough oil. So, the more intense it is the more cough rating it has. LOL!
Cobram Estates wanted to let chowtimes readers also have a try at their Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They gave Suanne and I a total of 8 bottles. Because it was logistically impossible to distribute it, we gave it away to the readers who attended the 12B dinner and also to the leadership team of the Richmond Community Kitchen.
They had also kindly given us a LOT of $1 coupons to give away. The Cobram Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil retails for $9.49 to $10.49 for a 375ml bottle. If you like to try the olive oil, please send an email to email@example.com with an address and we will snail mail a few to you.
I want to let you know that your mailing address will NOT be shared with Cobram Estates or anyone else. Neither will we keep your mailing address other than to use it to mail them to you.
The award winning olive oil is available in Safeway, H.Y. Louie, Thrifty Foods, Save-On-Foods, Price Smart, Cooper’s Foods and Overwaitea Foods stores throughout Western Canada.
The best part of the night is the cooking demonstration. Well, not so much of the cooking but the tasting that comes after!
The demonstration was conducted by Sally James who is an award winning Australian chef, author, television presenter and an ambassador for Australian food and wine. She has also published 18 books that have won international acclaim for food and wine pairing, health and creativity.
During that night, Sally demonstrated the preparation of four delicious dishes using the olive oil. That was the best part of the night … the tasting. If you are interested, below are the dishes that were prepared by Sally and its recipes.
Olive Oil Poached Kingfish with Pumpkin Puree, Lemon-Dressed Fennel and Rocket Chiffonade
- 1 bottle Cobram Estate Light and Delicate Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 sprig each thyme and rosemary
- 4 (about 6-8 ounce/180g) Kingfish Filet, skinless boneless (you can also use
- Ocean Trout, Grouper or other firm fleshed white fish)
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds or pine nuts, finely chopped
- Pumpkin Puree
- 14 ounces peeled butternut or Kaboocha pumpkin (squash), chopped
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Cobram Estate Fresh and Fruity olive oil
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 handful rocket (arugula), finely sliced
- 1 cup shaved fennel bulb
- 2 tablespoon finely sliced basil
- 3 tablespoons Cobram Fresh and Fruity or Lemon Twist Australian Extra Virgin
- Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Place fish in a frying pan that fits the fish snugly. Pour over enough olive oil to cover the fish by ¼ to ½ inch. Remove fish and pat dry. Add the herbs to the oil and heat to 150F (65C). If time permits, keep heat low and allow herbs to infuse for 30 minutes.
- To make the pumpkin puree, place the pumpkin in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, then mash or puree with the milk and oil, adding extra if texture is too stiff. Season to taste with pepper.
- Place fish, skin side down in infused oil and keep at 150C for 8-10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. This fish is sashimi grade, so can easily be enjoyed quite rare. Pat the flesh dry, scatter with nuts and keep warm.
- Spoon pumpkin puree onto plates, top with the fish and arrange chiffonade in a mound on fish. Serve with lemon wedges and extra oil for drizzling.
Lemon Tapenade with Pasta and Ricotta
- 1 pound spaghetti or long pasta
- ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
- Shredded basil
- Lemon Tapenade
- 10 ounces pitted black olives such as Kalamata
- 1 cup Italian parsley
- 2 ounces drained capers
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup Cobram Estate Lemon Twist Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- To make tapenade, pulse the olives, parsley, capers and garlic in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Stir in the olive oil and lemon and season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. This will make more than you need for the pasta, but it’s great to have on hand for spreading on bruschetta, over smoked salmon, stuffed in lamb or just as a dip!
- Cook pasta according to directions on packet, drain and toss with the tapenade and ricotta. Top with shredded basil and serve while hot. This is also great with halved cherry tomatoes.
Olive Oil Marinated Australian Lamb Loin with Salsa Verde
- 1 Australian Lamb eye of loin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup Cobram Estate Rich and Robust Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
- Juice of 1emon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup Cobram Estate Rich and Robust Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups warm cooked Israeli cous cous
- Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons Cobram Estate Light and Delicate or Fresh and Fruity Australian
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Place the lamb in a shallow dish or zip lock bag. Combine the oil, lemon juice and oregano. Pour over lamb, turn to coat all sides and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- To make the salsa verde, combine the herbs and capers in a small bowl. Whisk together the lemon mustard and oil and add to the herb mixture, Set aside.
- Heat a grill or heavy based pan to medium high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Remove lamb from marinade, season to taste and cook for 3-4 minutes each side, for medium rare, or until cooked as desired. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly.
- Toss the couscous with the lemon and oil, spoon onto plates. Top with the sliced lamb and spoon over the salsa verde.
Olive Oil and Sticky Wine Cake with Glazed Pears
- 3/4 cup Cobram Estate Lemon Twist Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup Sauternes
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 firm pears, such as Bosc (2 pounds), quartered lengthwise and cored
- 1/3 cup Sauternes
- 2 tablespoons Cobram Estate Fresh and Fruity Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 8 or 9 –inch square cake pan with olive oil.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs at medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil along with the Sauternes, milk and lemon zest and beat at low speed until blended. Beat in the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then unmold the cake onto the rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pears, toss the pears with the Sauternes, olive oil and sugar. Roast in the oven along with the cake for about 40 minutes, until the pears are tender and the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the pears stand until cool, slightly, strain any syrup from pan and set aside.
- Slice the cake and serve with the roasted pears and a drizzle of the syrup from the pan.