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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for the Category 'Healthy Recipes'

Drizzle Olive Oil From A Cruet On Your Olive Oil Panzerotti Mixed With Olives And Onions

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

For all your cooking needs, an oil and vinegar cruet would most certainly come in handy. You can store olive oil and vinegar at the same time separately in the same cruet decanter.

  • One and one half teaspoons active dry yeast
  • One cup Mediterranean black olives
  • One eight ounce baking potato
  • One quarter cup lukewarm water
  • Two eight ounce onions
  • Two garlic cloves
  • Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Three cups all purpose flour
  • Three cups olive oil for deep frying
  • Three quarter cups cold water
  • Three ripe plum tomatoes
  • Crushed sea salt to taste

Peel the potato and finely slice the garlic cloves, onions, and olives after removing the pits. Peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes and then dice them as well.

In a large pot, fill with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and cook the potato for 25 minutes, then empty the water. Mash the potato and then let sit. Fill a small bowl with the lukewarm water and fill with the yeast. Let stand for five minutes and stir until dissolved. In another large bowl, put in the flour and the mashed potato and sprinkle on salt. Then pour in the yeast mixture and add more water. Stir until soft dough. Knead the dough for ten minutes and add more flour as needed. Take another new bowl and pour olive oil in it and pour the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for one and one half hours.

Over medium heat, sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil for five minutes. Then put the olives and tomatoes in and cook for ten minutes. Turn off the stove and let cool. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a flat work surface. Add more flour as needed, and then pull off a golf sized piece of dough and roll out into a three inch pancake. Moisten the edges of dough with water and put one tablespoon of the olive mixture in the center of the pancake. Seal up in half, pocketing the olive mix and place on a baking sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and then repeat this process with all the dough.

Over medium high heat in a deep saucepan, fill two and half inches with olive oil. From the baking pan, place a small batch at a time of the panzerotti in the pan. Cook six minutes per side, then move back to the baking pan and keep warm in the oven. When all fried, remove from the oven the finished ones keeping warm, and serve right away.

Cauliflower With Drizzled Olive Oil

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

The trick in serving cauliflower is all in the preparation. If you overcook it, it is just plain disgusting or if you serve it plain, it is very drab and boring. However, you will see this vegetable featured in soups, gratins, curries, risotto, pastas and salads from India to deep in the Mediterranean. When you go to the produce section in the winter, it is all but bare save for Cauliflower, which is actually at its peak.

While most of us are used to the plain white cauliflower, there are many varieties currently available today: purples, light green and pale oranges are examples. They all have similar tastes so you can liven up your recipes by substituting them for each other at any time.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which feature phytonutrients and enzymes, in fact, it is loaded with them. These will help neutralize damaging toxins that can hurt your bodies cells. Cauliflower is also loaded with other beneficial properties such as the vitamins, B5, B6, C, and K. It is also rich in folate and dietary fiber along with being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and manganese. This is more than enough reason to make sure that you include it in your diet plan.

If your children are like most and grimace when you put a big bowl of steaming cauliflower on the table, try serving it raw. For whatever reason, the kids who scream the most about eating veggies will actually gobble up raw cauliflower.

 

Goat Cheese Topped Cauliflower Gratin

This is a great vegetarian dish and super easy to make.

  • 2 pounds of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 T olive oil, extra-virgin
  • Salt
  • Pepper, Fresh ground
  • 6 oz goat cheese, fresh
  • 1 garlic clove, shoot removed and cut in half
  • 5 T milk, low fat
  • 1 t thyme leaves, fresh (you may use a ½ of dried if fresh is not available)
  • 1/4 C breadcrumbs, dried

1. Get a 2 qt gratin dish and oil it up while pre-heating oven to 450 degrees.

2. Bring water to boil and place cauliflower in steaming basket about one inch above the waterline. Place cover over basket and allow to steam for one minute. After one minute, allow steam to escape for 15 seconds by lifting the lid. Replace cover and stead for an additional 6-8 minutes, cauliflower will be tender. Remove from steaming dish and run under cold water, pat dry with paper towels and then place in gratin dish.

3. Add an ample amount of salt and pepper and then toss with half of the thyme and 2T of olive oil. Evenly spread in dish.

4. In a mortar, place garlic and 1/4t of salt, use pestle to mash into paste. Move over to food processor and combine with goat cheese and milk and blend until smooth. Combine remainder of thyme and pepper to taste. When complete, spread mixture evenly across the top of the cauliflower.

5. When you are ready to place gratin in the over, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and then drizzle the remainder of the olive oil on top. Place in over and bake for 15-20 minutes. You should see a light brown color and dish should be sizzling. Serve immediately.  Yield: Serves 4

 

Oil and Vinegar and Eating Well

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

A Salad Dressing can Contribute to a Healthier Diet

In today’s world, time is of the essence. We rush, we cut corners, we sometimes even compromise. In no area is this as prevalent as in food preparation. In the not too distant past, many hours of each day were devoted to planning, shopping for and preparing tasty meals. We simply don’t take the time necessary these days to create good, wholesome dishes. And all this corner-cutting could prove detrimental to our health as we choose foods that are fast rather than good for us.

If you don’t want salad dressings full of preservative, additives, damaged polyunsaturated oils like soybean or canola, sugar and sodium and even sometimes hydrogenated fats, stay away from those that are commercially prepared. You can make your own healthier versions in very little time.

It’s simple to make a perfect vinaigrette with just three basic ingredients: a healthy fat, an acid and, if you want a consistent “creamy” dressing, an emulsifier. Here is an easy recipe which will take less than five minutes to prepare:

The juice of half a lemon, squeezed into a small bowl, provides the necessary acid. Be sure there are no seeds or pulp. Next, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard serves as an emulsifier when it is mixed with the lemon juice. Finally, one cup of extra virgin olive oil – the healthy fat – is added to the mixture, poured in a thin stream while vigorously whisking. And that’s it: a beautifully blended, rich and creamy dressing in just a few minutes.

If you’d like, you might add a bit of unrefined sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to enhance the flavor. Or you can substitute flax oil for about ¼ of the olive oil to add healthy omega-3 essential fats. If you are not fond of Dijon mustard, a raw egg yolk will serve well as the emulsifier.

Creative cooks will find this basic recipe perfect for adding their own unique touch. An authentic Caesar dressing can be conjured up with the addition of an egg yolk, finely chopped garlic anchovy paste and maybe chopped capers. Or make grapefruit vinaigrette by adding freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice. With your favorite, finely-chopped herbs, you will discover new flavors. Substitute balsamic vinegar for lemon to produce a balsamic vinaigrette. Or find another flavored vinegar to subtly alter the flavor– how about pear vinegar in a salad of fresh pear slices and Roquefort? And a raspberry vinaigrette is as easy as mashing up fresh raspberries (but be sure to use a strainer to keep out the seeds).

Order of operation is important, here. Just remember to add all ingredients to the emulsifier and acid mixture before slowly pouring in the oil. A hand-blender or food processor may be used to save time and save a tired arm when preparing more complicated dressings, like the Caesar.

You can create a better and healthier version of any grocery store dressing with this basic recipe and your own imagination, and you can do it quickly and at home. Who knows, you may come up with a fantastic new taste destined to become your signature dressing.

Healthy and inexpensive, this one little step takes you away from the processed food aisle and introduces healthier and tastier flavors to your table.

oil and vinegar salad, vinaigrette, salad dressing, healthy salad

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Healthy eating with oil and vinegar

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Taking a Healthier Step

Oil and vinegar? At what cost? In this modern day and age, when our schedules are more hectic and busier than ever, it is no surprise that we are all looking for ways to cut down on food preparation time. The preparation of healthy, all natural food takes a backseat to the other things that are going on in our lives and more often than not, in order to make things easier for us, we end up buying food that is commercially prepared. And although these ready-made foods are helpful in ways, they may actually cause us more harm than good, without us even realizing it.

One very good example of our corner-cutting ways is buying ready made salad dressing. Commercially prepared dressings are made with a lot of additives, preservatives, damaged and damaging polyunsaturated oils, and even hydrogenated fats. All these unhealthy substances can be found, and we actually purchase it, without knowing how unhealthy it actually is. Most people look at salad dressing as a complicated mixture and to make the effort to actually prepare your own homemade dressing is too much of a hassle. But contrary to this popular belief, salad dressing is incredibly easy to make. The basic ingredients? A healthy fat, an acid, and an emulsifier if you are aiming for a creamier dressing.

Try this simple vinaigrette recipe and prove it to yourself that making your own healthy salad dressing is a piece of cake: take the juice of half a lemon, squeezing it into a small bowl. This will serve as the acid of the mixture. Next, add in a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, which will be the emulsifier for this dressing. Finally, take a cup of extra virgin olive oil and incorporate it into the mixture; slowly drizzle it into your mixture of lemon juice and mustard while continuously and vigorously whisking. After mixing all the olive oil, all you have to do is season your dressing with salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself a rich and creamy dressing that literally just took less than five minutes to prepare.

Maybe you are wondering what an emulsifier is? What is the mustard for? Well, an emulsifier acts as a binder between the oil and acid (lemon juice or vinegar), helping to keep them together. Aside from Dijon mustard, an egg yolk is another versatile ingredient that is used as an emulsifier; you can even use a combination of the two to make a really rich and creamy dressing. Always remember, though, that you always mix the acid and emulsifier first, followed by any other ingredients, and finally the oil. It may also be a good idea to use an electric mixer instead of whisking the dressing by hand; this will speed up the process and save you from tiring your arm!

This simple recipe is a basic recipe and modifications to this are endless. You can play up your vinaigrette by adding your favorite herbs to the mix, chopping them finely to attain the ultimate flavor. Add some anchovy paste, chopped garlic, or even some chopped capers and you’ve got yourself a Caesar dressing. You can even infuse your dressing with fruit flavors, such as grapefruit juice for a grapefruit vinaigrette or some mashed raspberry for a raspberry vinaigrette. The acid in your dressing can also be substituted and changed; instead of plain old lemon juice, try using balsamic vinegar, or any other flavored vinegar for an interesting change.

So whenever you reach for that packet on the supermarket shelf, think again. With this simple recipe, it makes purchasing those synthetically flavored dressings unnecessary. And with little imagination and creativity, you can come up with unique concoctions that may even be far better than what can be found in the pack. Not only does this recipe keep you away reprocessed food, this proves that delicious, simple food is possible – an invaluable addition to your table.

oil and vinegar, healthy eating, vinaigrette 

 

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A Healthy Option: Salad with Vinaigrette

Sunday, April 06th, 2008

Salad with Vinaigrette

More and more people nowadays are starting to prefer vinaigrette dressings on their salads. There has been a shift in tastes – from dressings that are sweet and thick several decades ago to the vinaigrette, which makes use of a mixture of oil and vinegar.

Now, vinaigrette dressings are not mainly for your salad. It can also be used as sauces for foods such as fish, meat and other main-course dishes. Even deserts are starting to make use of the vinaigrette dressing. Indeed, there are chefs that create their own mixture to pour over desert. For example sweetened vinaigrette with mint and raspberries is poured over a fruit salad.

When you say vinaigrette, the notion is that vinegar always comes into play as one of the ingredients. However, you can also use other ingredients that have a high acid component, such as citrus juice. The vinaigrette as a dressing or sauce may be prepared and kept warm or at room temperature.

Now, if you do decide to add vinegar, you have many options you can make use of to give your vinaigrette a unique taste. You can use a number of herb vinegars, shallot or garlic vinegar, balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, sherry vinegar or honey vinegar. You can also use different oils. Usually, the oil used for vinaigrettes is extra-virgin olive oil. However, you may still opt to use herb oil, sesame oil, hazelnut oil, herb oil, red pepper oil, walnut oil, spice oil or ginger-flavored oil. It really is up to you.

[tag] oil and vinegar, vinaigrette[tag]

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette over Asparagus

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

A Balsamic Vinaigrette with asparagus is a delicious healthy dish for lunch or dinner. The same Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe can be used with a mixture of green bean varieties.

Ingredients:
2 pounds asparagus stalks or spears, washed and trimmed, (optional: a mixture of green and white asparagus spears)
3 tablespoons Italian aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon coarse fresh ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt to taste

Method:
To prepare balsamic vinaigrette: using a medium mixing bowl, whisk together aged balsamic vinegar, minced red onion, extra virgin olive oil, pressed garlic, and ground pepper. Let stand until asparagus is cooked.
Cook, or blanch the asparagus spears in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until tender crisp, make sure not to overcook. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water, then drain. Arrange asparagus on individual serving plates. Whisk balsamic vinaigrette and immediately spoon the vinaigrette over asparagus, allow a little extra vinaigrette to pool on the side. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.

Makes 4 servings.How to properly select asparagus spears:

Visually select bright green asparagus with closed, compact, firm tips.
If the asparagus tips are slightly wilted, you can freshen them up by soaking them in cold water. Keep fresh asparagus moist in the fridge until you intend to use it.

Another tip to cook or steam asparagus spears: use a medium saucepan with a small amount of boiling water. Place asparagus spears in boiling water and cook until tender. Fresh asparagus spears will be tender in 4 to 7 minutes.

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Balsamic Vinegar Is Healthy With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are regarded as a healthy mixture by nutritionist and food professionals. Balsamic vinaigrettes are a healthy salad dressing option to that of bottled commercial salad dressings that have been processed and have many ingredients that are not favorable to a healthy diet. Most people rave about the flavor combination and full-bodied taste a balsamic vinaigrette brings to a salad. The balsamic vinaigrette has became the favorite salad dressing recommended by dietitians. A mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil offers antioxidant ingredients and heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. As an alternative to commercial processed salad dressings, a fresh made balsamic vinaigrette can help lower cholesterol levels. Balsamic vinegar is fat-free, high in potassium, and boasts of flavor unlike any other vinegar.

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Balsamic Salmon Sockeye Fillets

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Balsamic Salmon Fillets, baked Sockeye Salmon recipe

Ingredients:
Two fresh sockeye salmon fillets, about 2 1/2 pounds each
one tablespoon lemon zest
two garlic cloves peeled and pressed through a garlic press
three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
two tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
one half cup red wine
one half cup aged balsamic vinegar
one quarter cup unsalted butter
one half lemon, thin sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place sockeye salmon fillets, skin down, in an oiled baking dish. With a basting brush, coat salmon fillets with olive oil. Mix together lemon zest, chopped thyme, and pressed garlic. Rub mixture of herbs over salmon fillets. Place baking dish with salmon fillets in the oven and bake at 350° for 40 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork. While salmon fillets are cooking, combine balsamic vinegar, red wine, and brown sugar in a skillet. Bring to boil and reduce until a syrupy consistency. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in unsalted butter. Spoon sauce over salmon fillets and garnish with a thin slices of lemon. Servings 8 to 10.

 

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Scallops sauted with Eggplant

Thursday, March 01st, 2007

Makes four servings.Preparation time 30 minutes.


One small eggplant, peeled and cut into 4 slices.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour dusted over a plate.
One egg, beaten well with a pinch of salt.
1/3 cup bread crumbs.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Eight fresh scallops.
One clove garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press.
Five basil leaves, finely chopped.
Four plum or cherry tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Five fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Salt and pepper.
Sea Salt.

Salt the sliced eggplant and let drain in a colander for 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Dip the slices in flour and shake off the excess. Dip the eggplant into the egg mixture, then dip it into the breadcrumbs and coat it well. Warm three tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet, using medium heat. Sauté eggplant slices until golden brown and tender. Drain on paper towels and set this aside.

Warm three tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet, using medium heat. Sauté mushroom slices until tender. Set aside as well.

Slice the scallops in half, to make too thin disks. Warm two tablespoons of the olive oil and another skillet over medium high heat. Then add the basil, garlic and scallops. Sauté the scallops until cooked through, should take about two to three minutes. Turn the scallops once or twice during cooking.

Place the tomatoes in a blender with the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and purée until smooth. Pour this into a small saucepan and cook it over medium heat. Stir regularly until purée is heated through. Will take about 5 minutes. Place one slice of eggplant in the center of each plate. Top each eggplant slice with scallops and sautéed mushrooms. Spoon some of the tomato mixture around the plate and serve.

sauteed scallops, eggplant recipe

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Steamed Mussels With Garlic and Fennel

Tuesday, February 06th, 2007

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 dozen fresh mussels in the shell
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine

Method:

Scrub mussels and remove beards. Store in a bowl in the refrigerator. Heat olive oil in large stockpot over high heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add fennel and chopped tomatoes. Cook over high heat, stir occasionally, for 4 minutes. Pour in wine, with heat at high, boil for 6 minutes. Add mussels, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until all mussels, are open, should take about 7 minutes. Remove and discard any mussels that do not open. Serve hot with crusty bread.

seafood recipes, steamed mussels, mussels recipe

 

 

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