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I have an 8 year old with a very expensive habit. She is addicted to those fancy shriveled olives floating in a marinade of oil and yummy mystery spices that cost 7 or 8 dollars for a little glass jar. My budget favours pitted black olives on sale for a dollar a can. The last time she wiped out a jar of the expensive olives in one sitting I drained the liquid off of a can of cheap black olives and put them in the left over liquid from the expensive olives. A couple of days later those black olives were up to the kid's standards. So I am trying to replicate the greek olive marinade. I tried mixing olive oil + basalmic vinegar + minced garlic and while yummy it wasn't quite right. I checked on the internet and found a couple of recipes which basically come down to oil + vinegar + variety of spices. Of course it's the spices that are the problem. The recipe for the "greek marinade" calls for oregano and thyme, but again, that doesn't quite get it. Does anyone have a recipe that they love, that is a good imitation of the expensive gourmet olives?
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probably not "quite" the answer for which you are looking, but
I pickle garlic, and I make provolone-prosciutto-peppers - and I think that part of what helps with some of the flavor/texture to those is a quick boil to the vinegar or vinegar/oil combination, if that might help.

Sometimes (sometimes) - you can also take the "left over" oil, and add more oil, and keep the flavor going like that for quite awhile as well...

peace & marinades
t
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Does anyone have a recipe that they love, that is a good imitation of the expensive gourmet olives?

I don't think you can get "there" from "there"!!! Those commercial canned olives are lye-cured while the "goumet" olives are salt cured. The lye curing is faster and more economical but removes a lot of the olive flavor. The salt (brine) curing takes months and involves some microbial action that produces additional flavors (in addition to the olive flavors).

You can't undo what the lye-brining has done to the flavor - and, you can't "add back" the complex flavors that result from classical brine curing.

Sorry. You'll just have to settle for "close, but no ceegar"!


OleDoc
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Since I never tried them olives that cost 8 or 7 bucks a jar, I can’t tell you for sure how to duplicate them using $1.00/can black olives (me, I usually get my black olives for $0.59 or $0.69/can at the Salvage Store.) If I was to guess, I would start with something like (See; http://beadcreation.tripod.com/homemade_olives_raw_olive_cur... ) and add maybe rosemary and/or bay leaves to the oil/marinade.

C.J.V. - now then, if you send me 4 or 3 jars of them fancy olives to sample, I can probably duplicate the marinade for you, me
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I love the marinated olives that are typical in the south of France. What I do to duplicate them--or at least, to come very very close--is to put them in a jar, pour a sweet fruity olive oil over them, pound diced garlic with rosemary or herbes de Provence and mix that in. Then let it sit for a few days.


sheila
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What I do to duplicate them--or at least, to come very very close--is to put them in a jar, pour a sweet fruity olive oil over them, pound diced garlic with rosemary or herbes de Provence and mix that in. Then let it sit for a few days.


Doesn't this court botulism? The oil provides the anaerobic surroundings and if your herbs and/or garlic contain spores...shudder.

Teri
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Doesn't this court botulism? The oil provides the anaerobic surroundings and if your herbs and/or garlic contain spores


Have you ever heard of this happening with marinated olives? It certainly isn't a problem in France.

Looking this up now, since you've raised the issue, I've learned that the chance of this happening is remote, and that it concerns only long-term storage in olive oil, and only of garlic, nothing else. Anything freshly prepared is fine for at least a week.


sheila
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and that it concerns only long-term storage in olive oil, and only of garlic, nothing else. Anything freshly prepared is fine for at least a week.

"Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin (low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been reported in North America."

Did some research myself, and found exactly zero articles stating that 'at least a week' is fine. For me and my family, I will stick with zero possibility vs remote possibility.

YMMV

Teri
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Guidelines on safe food put together by Colorado State University note that storing fresh garlic in olive oil is safe for the first week. Keeping the mixture refrigerated significantly retards any possible changes. They also state that adding an acid will prevent production of the toxin. Vinegar is fine, in a proportion of 1 T vinegar/1 c olive oil.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/safefood/newsltr/v2n4s08.html


sheila
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in my defense, nowhere in your post was the word 'refrigerated' used.

Teri ... thinks if one is recommending a process to others, accuracy is important.

Also, many articles I found online mentioned vinegar but all pointed out it is extremely difficult to ensure the vinegar has neutralized all parts of the garlic.

Again YMMV but others who might use your 'idea' should be warned.

Safety first, use commercial products.
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in my defense, nowhere in your post was the word 'refrigerated' used.

It's there: "Keep oil infusions refrigerated in order to retard the growth of any microbes,"

Teri ... thinks if one is recommending a process to others, accuracy is important.

Agreed. My credo as well.

many articles I found online mentioned vinegar but all pointed out it is extremely difficult to ensure the vinegar has neutralized all parts of the garlic.

I've been talking about crushed garlic, not whole cloves. I would think that this caution would apply only to whole cloves and large pieces.


sheila
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So why not just heat up a small quantity of your olive oil to say 300 or 275 degrees F. and put the garlic into that? Allow it to cool to about 250 or 230 degrees and add the rest of your olive oil & olives. That should kill any botulism spores.

A alternate method that I have used is to pack the herbs & garlic into pint jars, cover with oil and process in a pressure cooker for about 30 or 25 minutes at around 1 atmosphere pressure gauge. Allow the pressure cooker to cool and the contents of the jar to sit at room temperature for 6 or 5 weeks before breaking the seal on the jar. I would then strain the now-flavored oil into a jar for cooking, discarding the herbs, garlic, and any aqueous material in the jar.
;-)


C.J.V. - ain’t killed myself yet, me
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I'm not even talking about making massive quantities of olives in the olive oil marinade and keeping them on hand long-term. I make a small amount, and if there's anything left over, it goes into the fridge and gets nibbled during the ensuing week.


sheila
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Every village along the Mediterranean Coast has markets selling olives fixed with crushed garlic. No refrigerations on anything. Most supermarkets have olives with this preparation "en vrac" (selling in buckets of these olives~you buy the amount you want). I buy and eat these olives since I arrived here twenty years ago.

I wanted to make some garlic tasted olive oil. My recipe needed to cook the garlic bulbs. In the US you can buy ceramic dishes to cook them in the oven. I used aluminum foil to create a "house" for the bulb and then cooked them. The cloves of the garlic become soft and sweet. It was easy to put into my olive oil.

Garlic is a root herb and can have more problems putting it into olive oil. Thyme, Rosemary, or some other herbs/spices can be put direct into the olive oils, without worrying about bacterial increase.

My olive oil is still good and it's supposed to be okay for three months. By that time they get a bit over the top and I should get rid of them. The olive oil prepared with the garlic becomes very strong at the end of three months.

For cooking uses, I try to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil but putting garlic into the oil, I only use basic Olive oil.

Nigella Lawson, the British chef, has a recipe for making linguine with the garlic olive oil. Yummmy!

Blackduff
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Here's the recipe for from Nigella.

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/linguine-with-garlic-oil...

It's really scrummy!

Blackduff
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In the US you can buy ceramic dishes to cook them in the oven. I used aluminum foil to create a "house" for the bulb and then cooked them. The cloves of the garlic become soft and sweet. It was easy to put into my olive oil.

I love to roast heads of garlic. I also create an aluminum foil house, after I liberally drizzle the garlic head with olive oil and sprinkle with herbes de Provence, or sometimes just with rosemary. I either separate the cloves and serve them on the dinner table. Or I squeeze them into the blender, add olive oil and puree. Then I mix it in to a big pot of vegetable soup/stew.


sheila
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Every village along the Mediterranean Coast has markets selling olives fixed with crushed garlic. No refrigerations on anything. Most supermarkets have olives with this preparation "en vrac"


Boy do you bring back some of my favorite and most fragrant memories of doing my food shopping in the local market when we've spent time in the south of France! The only problem was which ones to choose. As with the cheeses. I want....some of this, and that, and that one, and this one, and that one there....and....and....


sheila
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