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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for May, 2008

Olive Oil its good for you

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

If you or any member of your family is prone to cardio vascular disease, you should make sure that you always have olive oil in your kitchen.

Olive oil, after all, is highly known as a healthy oil, among the many different kinds of oils available in the market. It is very rich in mono-unsaturated fat. In addition, olive oil also brings a lot of flavor into your food. A lot of Mediterranean dishes make use of olive oil.

It is useful to have two kinds of olive oil in your kitchen at all times. Extra virgin olive oil is for making salad dressings, as well as times when the oil does not have to undergo cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive kind and it will be a waste to use it to cook. The process of cooking burns the olive oil particles and as a result, the food tastes off.

Another type of oil you should have in your kitchen is for sautéing and other cooking purposes. We suggest that you have light olive oil or pure olive oil on hand. Take note that when you say “light” it does not mean it is lighter in calories. It does not also possess fewer mono-unsaturated fats. “Light” means that it has less flavor and lighter in color.

Here is a recipe that will surely make you feel as if you’re out dining in your favorite restaurant. Get a piece of crusty loaf of bread and make a dipping sauce such as the one stated below. Dipping sauces can be made with just plain olive oil. You can also make a combination using cheese and herbs. However, we give you the recipe below to provide you with guidance if you are not that confident experimenting with the cheese and herbs.

Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Dipping Sauce

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp pepper, freshly ground
¼ cup olive oil, the extra-virgin kind
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 16-ounce loaf of multi-grain bread, unsliced

1. In a shallow bowl, mix the first five ingredients together. Slowly pour the oil and vinegar so that it is evenly placed over the cheese mixture. Stir while drizzling.
2. Heat the bread in the oven 350 degrees. Make sure to place it on the lower oven rack. Heat it for 15 minutes or until the bread is thoroughly heated. Cut the bread into slices 1 inch thick. Dip the bread into the mixture.

The sauce is good for 6 servings.

olive oil, olive oil health 


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Salad Dressing Taste

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Salad dressing taste sometimes receives the least of any attention paid to a meal. You may have had the misfortune to have tasted green salads that were doused in burning dressings that were mostly vinegar; tasteless blends of olive oil and little else; or worse yet, store-bought dressings loaded with sugar and cloying to the palate.

Many people eventually acquire a taste for these less-than-satisfactory dressings and never discover the truly wonderful dressings that they are missing out on. It is a simple task, however, to prepare great tasting salad dressings in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The best place to start is with the font of all salad dressings – the classic French vinaigrette. The challenge in making this dressing is being able to balance the various tastes – vinegar or lemon juice for the sour acid taste, olive oil and other ingredients for sweetness, and black or hot peppers or mustard for heat. As most experienced cooks will understand, the higher the quality of your ingredients, the better the flavour of your final product.

The dressing for a basic green salad to serve four should consist of approximately 1 ½ teaspoons of mustard, a tablespoon of vinegar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and whisk them together until you obtain a smooth texture. Then, while continuing to whisk the mixture, drizzle in the olive oil. You should also remember that salad dressings almost never come out the same way twice, and you should taste your dressing frequently as you make it so you can perform the necessary adjustments.

Mastering the art of making vinaigrette opens a whole world of possibilities to you, especially when fresh herbs become available in the summer. You should not be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, and any mistakes that you make can be remedied through the addition of more vinegar and olive oil. When fresh herbs are not available, you may find yourself using dried herbs, which is perfectly acceptable. You should remember, however, that the taste in dried herbs is twice that of fresh herbs, because the water within them has evaporated, concentrating the taste. A mixture of dried herbs known as Herbes de Provence is widely available in gourmet stores and tastes excellent.

There are many herbs that you could use to flavour your dressing with such as tarragon, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro, chervil, parsley, and dill. You can use any combination of herbs too. France, Italy, and California also produce some excellent herbed olive oils, but these tend to be rather expensive.

If you prefer a milder, less-acidic vinaigrette, consider using rice vinegar or cider vinegar. If you have a fondness for sweet dressings, then the balsamic vinegars found in supermarkets, while not truly authentic, help you create a pleasantly sweet dressing. Authentic balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy, cost $160 or more for a bottle of only 3.5 oz.

oil and vinegar, salad dressing, balsamic vinaigrette



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