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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for the Category 'Oil and Vinegar'

Quick Pesto Vinaigrette

Sunday, April 06th, 2008

Pesto Vinaigrette
(5 minutes preparation time, no need to cook).Ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 ½ tbsp Walnuts or pine nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp white-wine vinegar

1. Drop the garlic and nuts into a food processor. Process it until finely chopped.
2. While the food processor is running, add basil leaves until these are finely chopped.
3. Add olive oil by slowly pouring it through the processor’s feed tube. Then, add vinegar. Turn the processor off and stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the processor. You may now use the dressing. This is perfect for a tomato or green salad or fish or chicken that is sautéed, broiled or grilled.

The recipe is good for 6 to 8 servings as a dressing and 4 to 6 servings when used as a sauce. Yield is about three-fourths cup.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
(5 minutes preparation time, no need to cook)

2 tbsp raspberries, fresh
¼ cup raspberry vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Mash the raspberries and mix with the vinegar. Add the oil, and continue beating until the oil is blended.
2. Add pepper and salt according to taste. You may serve this over sautéed chicken breasts, some salad greens or grilled quail.

The recipe is good for 2 to 4 servings as a sauce and 4 servings as a salad dressing. Yield is about ½ cup.Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette
(10 minutes preparation time, no need to cook)
Juice from 2 lemons
1 tbsp black olive paste (also called olivada and can be bought in deli shops)
5 tbsp extra virgin oil
Black pepper, freshly grounded
1 tbsp Italian parsley leaves, minced finely

1. Mix the black olive paste and lemon juice until both are blended well. Add olive oil.
2. Add pepper and salt according to taste. Add some parsley (Optional)

This can served as a sauce for cooked dried beans or fish.

Asian Vinaigrette
(5 minutes preparation time, no need to cook)

¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
½ cup Chinese sesame oil
A dash of red pepper flakes


1. Mix the sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Add in the oil and beat until well blended.
2. Add red pepper flakes.

This can be used as dressing for vegetables (steamed or boiled). Average yield is ¾ cups.

vinaigrette recipes 


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How to make a good vinaigrette

Sunday, April 06th, 2008

To make good vinaigrette, you have to be mindful of the proper blend. It should neither be too oily or too acidic. The sharp taste of the vinegar should be a counterpoint to the oil.

The suggested mixture would be one part acid to every three parts of oil. However, if you are using balsamic vinegar, orange juice, or an acid component that is sweet, you can have a good mixture at one part acid to every two parts of oil.

But that’s not all, the versatile vinaigrette can also be used to marinate meat, poultry or fish. In this case, you should decrease the amount of oil, so that you have two parts acid to one part oil, or even, one part acid to one part oil. Remember, you should not recycle the vinaigrette used for marinating and use it as a sauce for cooked food. Always make a fresh batch or bring the used marinade to a boil, at the very least. This is to avoid contamination from bacteria found in raw food.

What’s good about a vinaigrette is that preparation is very flexible. You can tweak the taste by adding a little more vinegar or oil as you go along. Vinaigrette also keeps well. If you end up making more than what you can actually eat, all you need to do is store it in a tightly closed container and put it in the refrigerator, where it can last for weeks or even months.

One thing you have to also make sure is that the vinegar and oil are properly blended together. Sometimes you need to put the mixture in a jar and shake it or beat the mixture vigorously. A small amount of prepared mustard beaten into the vinegar before the oil is added can help in the emulsification.

You can also add spices, grated minced herbs, diced fruits, crumbled cheese and other ingredients to add more flavor to your basic vinaigrette recipe.

make a vinaigrette, oil and vinegar vinaigrette

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Olive Oil and the food it goes with

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Pairing Olive Oil with Food

The quality of any extra-virgin olive oil is dependant on several factors; namely the climate, variety of olive, method of harvesting and production process. Extra-virgin olive oils come in many different varieties and the aroma,  taste and color of each varies from region to region.

Generally speaking, the Liguria and Lake Garda regions in Veneto produce some of the lightest Italian olive oils while Tuscan and Umbrian olive oils are richer and fruitier and Sicilian, Sardinian and Calabrian oils are lighter but fuller. Oils from the same region can differ widely in terms of taste and flavor. Conditions such as the type of processing method used and the time at which the olives are harvested all contribute to the eventual flavor of the final product. Tasting the various olive oils available in the market and deciding which one would suit your cooking best is always a fun activity. There are, however, some general guidelines that you should follow in order to ensure good results when you use olive oil to cook or as a dressing.

You should treat olive oil in the same manner as you treat wine. Using low grade wine in cooking would give food an unpleasant taste. The same applies to olive oil. Also, you must make sure that the taste and flavor of the olive oil you choose is suitable for the type of food that you are preparing. The three flavor classifications – mild, fruity and fruity-spicy – are each suitable for certain  types of food. Mild olive oil goes well with delicate preparations that do not contain garlic. Pasta sauces with garlic, herbs, spices and salads all taste excellent when paired with fruity olive oils. Fruity-spicy olive oils work best with grilled meats and roasts, dishes containing generous amounts of garlic and spices and aged cheeses. Before you decide to cook with it, you should always taste the olive oil in order to determine what sort of food will be best served with it. Always remember that the taste of olive oil is most intense when it is used raw.

Remember, cooking and serving quality ingredients offer the best results of your food preparation, especially so with olive oil. 

olive oil with food


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Olive Oil Tasting

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Tasting Olive Oil The rule is to finding a good extra-virgin olive oil is simple  – simply sample various olive oils and choose whichever one you like the most. If, however, you wish to e more discerning about your choice of olive oils, then you must think like an Italian would. There are three basic classes of extra-virgin olive oil and you must know them intimately, for each one goes best with certain specific dishes and methods of preparation. The three classes are:

• Mild – Mild olive oils are light and taste sweet, and complement dishes such as steamed or grilled fish, both raw or cooked vegetables, meats, soups and pasta sauces. It is also an excellent companion for cheeses of all types. Most children have a preference for this particular class of olive oil.

 • Fruity – The richer, more fruity taste of olive oils in this class is perfect when paired with grilled meat, cooked vegetables, and pastas or rice cooked in mild sauces. It also tastes great with garlic sauces or light cheeses.

 • Fruity-Spicy – Olive oils in this class have a strong flavor that complements the cruder tastes of traditional dishes such as the panzanella, the Tuscan bread and tomato salad, and ribollita, the Tuscan vegetable soup.

In order to be able to distinguish between the different classes of olive oil, you will need to train your sense of taste by experimenting with and tasting as many different types of olive oil as you can get your hands on. You should also ensure that your tasting sessions are carried in controlled surroundings, alone, and with at least an hour separating your tasting sessions and your last meal.

At the beginning, you should start by getting a feel for the differences in taste between an expensive, high quality extra -virgin olive oil and a much cheaper one.

Tasting Steps

• Place a maximum amount of roughly 15ml of oil in a cup, then cover it until your are ready to conduct the taste test.

• Warm the olive oil by holding the cup in both hands for a minute or two. This will cause some of the oil to evaporate, releasing the aroma of the oil.

• Examine the color of the oil.

 • Empty your lungs, then remove the cover from the cup and breathe in the aroma of the oil. This olfactory evaluation will allow you to form your first impressions of the oil. Then replace the cover and repeat this process.

• Dip your bottom lip into the oil slightly, then use your tongue to examine the oil.

 • Sip a small amount of the oil and roll it around your mouth. Try to identify which class it belongs to. You can ascertain this by determining how spicy it seems. Pay special attention to the degree of spiciness you experience along the ides of your tongue. 

• Determine the texture and flavor of the oil (see Technical Terms, below).

• Conduct this taste test twice for each type of oil, making sure to drink some clean water and eat some fruit or bread between each test to cleanse your palate. 

 • Finally, decide if each oil is to your liking.

Technical Terms

• Appearance – clear, shiny, green, yellow, brown

• Texture – smooth, thick, sticky, pungent

 • Aroma and flavor – grassy, fruity, rancid, peppery, bitter, earthy,

olive oil tasting, taste olive oil


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Grilled Steak with Oil and Vinegar Marinade

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Grilled Steak Recipe with Oil and Vinegar Marinade

Oil and vinegar offer no MSG as an ingredient to this grilled steak recipe. Onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and fresh rosemary are pureed to make a marinade for steak. It can be used with a variety of steakssuch as T-bone and sirloin steak.Time for prep: about 15 min. Time to cook: about 15 min.

Recipe Ingredients:
1 small Walla Walla or other sweet onion, diced
7 peeled cloves garlic
1/2 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs steak, can be tri-tip, flank, sirlion

Cooking Method:
Add diced onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, chopped rosemary, mustard, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Place steak in a large zip lock or resealable plastic bag. (A one gallon bag works well). Pour marinade over steaks in the bag and be sure all meat is covered. Zip up the bag and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
You can turn the bag over a time or two while meat is soaking in marinade for better coverage.

Preheat your grill for high heat.
Brush grill grates with oil. Remove steak from bag and let drip a few minutes on a platter. Discard marinade, and place steak on the prepared grill. Cook for 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes as a side.

Yield: 6 servings


Oil and Vinegar, the movie

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Oil and Vinegar, the animated movie

For those who may not think an olive oil drizzler that leaks, is a great concern. View animated short movie ‘Oil and Vinegar’

Award winning: Oil & Vinegar, qualified for consideration for an Academy Award, has received international acclaim at film festivals…

Produced and Directed by:
Mike Blum

(copyright 1999 Pipsqueaks Films)

Animated Film Reviews:
“…this enchanting film’s beautiful animation can weave its spell…4 Stars!”:
“Cutting-edge animation, as well as a funny script, makes Oil & Vinegar a great short.”:
“…dramatic!”: Animation World Magazine
“…cute, clever…Just what you hope for in a short…”: Let’s
2nd Place: Best Animation at the Pacific Coast Film Festival
Audience top ten at Hardshare FilmFest.
‘Oil & Vinegar’ is U. Grad’s Baby: Salt Lake City Tribune

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Salad dressing recipe, home made

Monday, April 02nd, 2007

salad dressing recipeA salad dressing from a home made recipe is an art with no trans-fats. The health benefits of a fresh made salad dressing recipe, outweigh all of the convenience of the store-bought salad dressings.
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It is also devoid of the dreaded detriment of hydrogenated oils and trans-fats that lurk within commercial processed salad dressings.

An oil and vinegar salad dressing recipe is a staple every kitchen should have. The classic vinaigrette salad dressing can be made from a basic recipe or from numerous delicious variations.

An oil and vinegar vinaigrette is a simple mixture of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Dress a salad with small drizzle of vinaigrette salad dressing and adjust the amount to your personal preference and taste.

Basic home made vinaigrette salad dressing recipe


1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 Tablespoons raw blackberry honey
dash of sea salt and pinch of fresh ground pepper


Place all ingredients except olive oil in a medium mixing bowl, whisk until honey and sea salt have dissolved. Add extra virgin olive oil and whisk together until emulsified.
Drizzle over fresh spring greens. You can garnish with chopped walnuts and raisins.

Vinaigrette salad dressing recipe 101.

An oil and vinegar vinaigrette is a home made emulsion. (To make an emulsion, you would mix two liquids that ordinarily do not mix well, such as oil and water or oil and vinegar.) Vinaigrette mixtures of oil and vinegar will eventually separate, the oil going to the top, and the vinegar settling to the bottom.

A basic vinaigrette salad dressing recipe is very simple to make. It can be made in a blender or simply whisked together in a mixing bowl. After preparing a home made vinaigrette salad dressing, allow it to stand for several hours before using, the flavors of all ingredients will blend together for additional taste and body. You can keep a vinaigrette salad dressing several days in the fridge after making. When you are ready to use, don’t be perplexed by the vinaigrette mixture separating, simply shake or whisk together again before serving.

The classic ratio of a home made vinaigrette salad dressing recipe is one part vinegar to four parts oil. The proportions will vary by recipe and personal taste.

In some salad dressing recipes the vinegar may be substituted with a citrus juice-vinegar blend. Dijon mustard is commonly added with the vinegar. Dijon mustard added to any vinaigrette recipe will help stabilize the emulsion a little longer than if made without.

Select fresh or dried herbs to add to your vinaigrette recipe. Diced onions, minced shallots, and pressed or grated garlic and ginger are also welcome additions. Be sure to add the dried herbs and other ingredients to the vinegar along with sea salt and mix well before adding the olive oil. It is best to mix the fresh herbs just before mixing the emulsion.

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Masserie Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Masserie Balsamic Vinegar

Masserie di Sant’Eramo Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Aceto Balsamico di Modena Acidity 6%
Product of Italy with Produzione Certificata

masserie balsamic vinegarMasserie balsamic vinegar of Modena is made following centuries old methodology. Vine ripe red grapes are cooked to a concentrated red grape must. Aged wine vinegar accompanies the grape must while being aged in prized wooden casks in temperature sensitive environments.

Masserie balsamic vinegar is ideal for most culinary purposes. This artisan style balsamic condiment is made in the traditional method and aged as a high quality vinegar. Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic vinegar is one of the cook’s best choices when a gourmet recipe calls for balsamico as an ingredient.

The slow ripening of the grapes add to the body of the grape must reduction. The long aging process produces a condiment unlike ordinary wine vinegars. Masserie balsamic vinegar differs from the other wine vinegars because of the intense aroma, rich flavor, and intriguing contrast between sourness and naturally sweet undertones. A splash or extra drizzle of this quality balsamic vinegar is usually enough to give any salad or side dish an extraordinary taste and depth.

Aceto balsamico is used sparingly as a seasoning accoutrement. When added to a meat marinade it helps tenderize and flavor either poultry or red meat cuts. Balsamic vinegar can add a lift to soups, and a sparkle to both pasta and garden green salads. Enjoy an olive oil cruet filled with extra virgin olive oil as a bread dipping sauce or Masserie balsamic vinegar on the table to drizzle on top of a cooked dish.

Serve with crusty bread and fresh sliced tomatoes as an appetizer. Fresh vegetables can be steamed crisp and served with a drizzle of Masserie balsamic vinegar and coarse grained sea salt for seasoning.

Thinking of giving a bottle of wine for a housewarming or hostess gift? As a gourmet gift, Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic vinegar makes a better impression than the conventional bottle of Chardonnay, and will last much longer too. Especially combined with a unique handblown cruet

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Balsamic Vinegar Selection

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Balsamic vinegar is a local product produced in the Italian regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Authentic traditional balsamic vinegar is an extravagant and pricey condiment. A small bottle of traditional aged balsamic vinegar can easily sell for several hundred dollars, especially if it is 30 to 50 years old. Balsamic vinegar is a treasured gift that is so highly prized, it is sometimes not sold at all. For centuries it has been saved by Italian families for special gifts and wedding dowries. A quality Italian balsamic vinegar is usually served by drops or a thin drizzle, it is never poured. A rich syrupy balsamic vinegar is often used by gourmet chefs as a dessert accoutrement. One popular recipe is simply to drizzle the thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar over a quality vanilla ice cream.
There are three types of Italian balsamic vinegar. Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena has a heritage dating back over a thousand years. Trebbiano grapes are locally grown and processed through the acetificio process over a very lengthy time. After the initial cooking and concentration of the Trebbiano grapes, the thick syrup is placed in special wooden vinegar casks for the aging process to begin. The family estate vinegar master oversees the yearly tending and transferal of this precious commodity from one barrel to another. Traditional balsamic vinegar is required by stringent consortium rules to be aged no less than 12 years.

The commercial or industrial version of balsamic vinegar is produced as an inexpensive alternative to the traditional balsamico. This second grade of balsamic vinegar is often called an imitation balsamic vinegar because it is produced by adding sugar and flavorings along with a very small portion of authentic balsamico. This grade of balsamic vinegar is often used in day-to-day cooking purposes and recipes. Many restaurants would use this type of balsamic vinegar in preparing balsamic vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces.

There is a third type of balsamic vinegar that is produced by the traditional balsamico producers. It is a blend of traditional balsamic vinegar along with commercial balsamico. This product has become popular due to its taste and affordable price. Even though the content may only have 5 to 10% authentic balsamic vinegar, the producers have made this blend into a very palatable gourmet product. Italian balsamic vinegar follows centuries of Italian tradition. The rich flavored vinegar will be thick and rich and have intense woody aromas with a delicate balance between sweet and sour flavor. A quick tip of identifying quality balsamico is; If you turn a unopened bottle of balsamic vinegar on its side and the vinegar splashes very easily like a wine, it is not an authentic balsamico. If you tip the bottle to one side, and the contents is similar to the syrupy consistency of maple syrup, then you can tell it is a much better quality balsamic vinegar. The price will reflect it as well.

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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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