Tag Archives: kalamata olives

Tapenade Pork Chops

During the week, we often use leftover sauces and dressings from one meal as the basis for a new variation.  Today is an example – a quick recipe  based on the ideas at the end of our sun-dried tomato tapenade recipe.  Unfortunately, it was also prepared during our recent “camera malfunction” period, so I’ve only got a photo of the finished meat.  Not that you’ll need many photos to follow along…so we’ll fill in with a few tapenade shots for good measure.

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Portabello Elk Backstraps with Tapenade Sauce

When it comes to wild game meat, there are few things more coveted than the backstrap on a big game animal.¹  While cuts like the round and the flank are excellent, the loin (the muscle running along either side of the spine on the outside of the animal) is one of the most tender and flavorful cuts of meat and is very carefully rationed by the hunter when sharing with guests and friends.  I grew up hunting, and to receive a package of backstraps in exchange for helping someone out was payment as valuable as gold.  So when it comes time to prepare backstraps – whether from your own hard-earned harvest or the gift of a generous friend – it is important to treat them right.

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Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

Tapenade is a condiment from the region surrounding Provence, France, consisting of a variety of ingredients minced very fine or ground together in a mortar and pestle with olive oil.  And while the name derives from the French word meaning capers (tapèno, which are usually included), the dish is most often described by people as an “olive paste.”  Likely the most traditional use for tapenade is to spread it on bread or crackers and serve as an hors d’ oeuvre.  But limiting it’s use to a cracker spread overlooks the true possibilities hiding in the powerful flavors of this simple recipe.

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Chicken Puttanesca

With tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and kalamata olives, this dish is full of flavor despite having only a few ingredients.  It is also both simple and fast to make – perfect for the middle of the week when you’re running out of steam and want to get something on the table without a lot of effort.  Combine it with our green beans from yesterday, and you’ll have a complete meal on the table in about 45 minutes (assuming you’ve got the chicken thawed out ahead of time).

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Herb-Roasted Chicken with Fennel

Here is a great chicken recipe that is easy, can be prepared in advance or on short notice, and is loaded with flavor.  It also makes quite a bit, so (depending on your family) you can either choose to halve the recipe or plan to have leftovers.  And the best part is you prepare the veggies with it, so all you need to do is add a quick salad for a complete meal.

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