All About Olive Oil and Layered Nachos for Super Bowl


Today chatting with Matt Swaim on the Sunrise Morning Show/Sacred Heart Radio it was all about olive oil. Here’s some interesting Biblical and current facts about this healthy oil.  And, of course, a fun and yummy recipe for game day.

Olive Oil

Exodus 27:20 Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually.
Olive Oil was considered holy and valued partly because of the amount of work that goes into harvesting enough olives to create it. It’s mentioned a lot in the Bible for both sacred and everyday purposes.
Kings of Israel and kings of Judea were anointed with scented olive oil while being enthroned.
King David valued his olive groves and olive oil so much that he posted guards to protect them around the clock.
Olive oil has been considered one of the best oils since ancient times.
The olive tree was the most prolific tree in Palestine and olive oil was necessary for everyday life, whether it was lighting lamps, anointing sick and dead, in offerings, skin care, medicines and in food. The Romans thought people who used animal fat instead of olive oil in their food were barbarians!
We still dip flatbread in flavored olive oil for an appetizer.
Today there are so many kinds of olive oil. What constitutes a “good” healthy olive oil?
Well, you need to buy a really high quality olive oil. If you buy it at the regular grocery store, the best I believe is one that is “estate bottled” and extra virgin, which is from the first cold pressing of the olives. With each successive pressing, the amount of acid increases and flavor decreases.
Just like wine, it means that the olives were grown, harvested and pressed from the same olive grove. A lot of olive oils are blended from different areas, and some of them are good.
Now if you want to have the very best, go to a place like the ones here in Cincinnati, Spicy Olive or Flying Olive, these are stores that get fresh olive oil from different hemispheres depending on the season and they are stored in stainless steel containers with spigots. You choose the olive oil and it is freshly poured into bottles. I believe these franchises are nationwide.
How do you know when to cook with olive oil vs a vegetable oil like canola?
Again, a high quality  olive oil can be used for frying. It has a higher smoke point than folks think. Check your recipe and the flavor profile you want. Often times I’ll sub in olive oil for sauteeing blanched vegetables like snow peas, potatoes, and meat proteins like chicken, pork and beef. Also good for fried eggs.
If you’re making something like say, French toast or pancakes go with a neutral oil.
What about olive oil sprays?
I like them very much for spraying on veggies that are roasted in the oven. Also if you’re making a savory casserole or something with a crumb topping, spray a bit of olive oil on the topping and that helps it brown. Really good on baked Mac & cheese and breaded chicken or fish roasted in the oven.
Another game day fave. Thanks to Marie, a listener to the show, for her interpretation of a popular nacho recipe adapted from Rachel Ray.
Messy but so good!
Even if you don’t use the beef & beans topping, you can just top the tortilla chips with warm cheese sauce, drained black beans and Pico or Salsa.
Ingredients: set these aside
Favorite tortilla chips – we like blue corn and regular but you choose. Put these on a large platter to cover.
Homemade or deli made Pico de Gallo or salsa 
Nacho cheese sauce – your favorite store bought or homemade
Extra toppings:Put these in small bowls and set aside
Sour cream
Thinly sliced green onions
Jalapeno pepper slices
Beef and Beans Topping
Olive oil
1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
2 teaspoons garlic, minced, about 2-3 cloves
1 small red or other onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 teaspoons chili powder or more to taste – I use 1 whole pouch Buena Vida chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 can black beans, drained
In a large skillet add enough olive oil to film bottom of pan. Add everything but beans and cook until meat is done, smooshing down with potato masher or spoon. Stir in beans and heat until hot.
Warm cheese sauce in microwave and pour over chips.
Top with beef and beans and Pico or Salsa. Serve with extra toppings alongside.

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