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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for April, 2009

Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Vinaigrette is any dressing made from oil and vinegar. French dressing implies vinaigrette and the many variations that were created. Britain and America made French dressing popular in the 1880’s. Because people realized how healthy salads were, many recipes have been created for the use of French dressing.

Vinaigrette is from the form of French vinaigre, which is commonly known as vinegar. It was first used in 1699 but it wasn’t until the late 19th century that Vinaigrette came onto the scene on its own. In French, vinaigrette was used to describe a carriage which resembled a vinegar seller’s cart. In Europe, Vinaigrette is also known as French dressing and it is the common salad dressing in the western world. Various flavorings to suit anyone’s taste is added to the mixture of oil and vinegar, using salt and pepper to taste. It is used on green salad and can be used to marinate various meat products, acting as a tenderizer.

By 1880, French dressing was becoming increasingly popular, mixing three parts oil to one part vinegar coupled with added seasonings like mustard or bleu cheeses. Presently, there are many new additions which has created Green Goddess, Thousand Island, Russian, Roquefort and ranch dressings. Dressings that were bottled had the greatest impact. In 1915, Hellmann’s deli style mayonnaise had the greatest impact. Kraft created the now popular Miracle Whip and the coral colored French dressing. Homemakers throughout the world enjoyed these convenience dressings. They seemed to taste even better than home cooked creations and of course cut the amount of time used in preparing these dressings. In the 1960’s, Julia Child, a master chef in her own right, instructed her viewers on how to make vinaigrette, using various herbs and spices to create a unique taste.

Using crisp mixed greens, or potato salad with the French flair, or the Mediterranean way of combining greens, vegetables, tuna, olives, eggs and anchovies, there is no doubt that vinaigrette is the dressing that compliments those dishes. The oil and the vinegar cannot be the “run of the mill” ingredients. For the authentic French dressing, you will need to use red or white wine vinegar; it cannot be very strong or pungent. Using this type of vinegar is a definite compliment to extra virgin olive oil, another classic with a very mellow taste.

Prior to 1880’s, French style dressings were simply known as dressings or salad dressing. Often this dressing contained egg, a carry over from the ancient Roman ways. The name French dressing did not show up in the American cookbook until after the 1880’s.

Whether you purchase a name brand bottled vinaigrette or choose to make your own unique signature dressing, always remember to use top quality extra virgin olive oil and either a red or white wine vinegar. With the added herbs and spices, you can create variations that are unique to your creative abilities. You just may have a winning creation that may taste better than Kraft’s and Hellman‘s dressings.

oil and vinegar, vinaigrette, salad dressing

 

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Olive Oil For Bread Dipping

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Olive oil used in bread dipping as a meal starter. The American Heart Association stated that using olive oil is good for the heart and a chef knows that using olive oil is good for bread dipping. Olive oil seems to contribute to lessening the risk for heart disease and heart attacks. Olive oil is used to fry food and as a salad dressing. Now you can use olive oil for bread dipping.

Bread dipping appetizer, all you need is fresh, sliced bread and dip the slices in extra virgin olive oil. Some people also use vegetables to dip into the heart healthy oil. Combine basil, pepper, dried tomato pesto and lemon juice to spice up the olive oil. Your personal preference will determine how you want to use the olive oil and which herbs and spices to add. In order for the flavor of your selected herbs to come forth, let the herbs and spices stand for 15 minutes in the olive oil.

You don’t have to use dipping sauces made from extra virgin olive oil exclusively for bread dipping. You can use the sauces on salad, pasta dressings or for marinating meat. You can also drizzle the oil over steamed or grilled vegetables for a different and new taste.

Whether for the various uses of olive oil or the use strictly for bread dipping, always make sure you use extra virgin olive oil. It may cost a bit more, but you cannot beat the flavor with a cheap substitute. When you combine bread that has been cubed or sliced, you’ve got a winning entrée to the main meal and it can be used for any occasion. And if you want to further your creative sauce, then drizzle come of the oil over vegetables, salad or use as a meat marinade.

When creating your personal olive oil dipping sauces, you can bottle the sauces and use at any moment that you desire. Bread dipping makes for a healthy snack between meals or as an appetizer to a main meal. When you have guests that drop in unexpectedly, all you need is fresh sliced bread and your special sauces for bread dipping.

Perhaps you choose not to be a creative chef. For bread dipping, you can use extra virgin olive oil in its natural state. The oil just needs to be poured into bread dipping dishes and can be used within minutes. But if you do choose to be a creative chef, than combine your herbs and spices and heat for 10 seconds in a microwave. The flavors will disperse through the oil and you don’t have to wait the customary 15 minutes for this to occur.

The latest trend in cooking is bread dipping and its humble beginnings was in the Mediterranean countries. Extra virgin olive oil is a heart healthy oil and what better way to keep your guests healthy than to use this oil in bread dipping dishes, using fresh, sliced bread and loads of conversation subjects. Your guests will thank you for thinking of them and no doubt will want you to share your secrets in making oil dipping such a success.

bread dipping, olive oil dipping

 

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Preparing Vinaigrette Dressing

Monday, April 20th, 2009

A vinaigrette and French dressing are one in the same and very easy to prepare. All you need is oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. The secret is to make sure the ingredients are top quality. Extra virgin olive oil with red wine vinegar or nut oils and balsamic or sherry vinegars. You can even use flavored vinegar with canola, corn or safflower oils. Before using this dressing, always whisk together the oil and vinegar as they do tend to separate almost immediately.

Combine these ingredients, using an oil and vinegar that complement one another and the foods that will be used…

• 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Fine sea salt and pepper freshly ground to taste

The olive oil should be whisked in the vinegar and seasonings combination. The finished dressing should be allowed to stand in place a few hours before using so that the numerous flavors can blend together. Before use, stir the dressing.

A variation to create Dijon vinaigrette is to add…

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons vinegar
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

If you prefer herbed vinaigrette, simply add 1 tablespoon fresh finely cut herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Herbs that can be used are basil, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, and/or chives to taste.

By using extra virgin olive oil, you will taste the rich flavor of the oil. If the ingredients are robust, than use an oil that doesn’t have much flavor, such as corn, canola and light olive oil. If a tomato salad is being served, serve it with basil or rosemary infused oil. When preparing a vinaigrette with walnut oil, a salad prepared with green beans will taste so much better.

An easily prepared salad includes…

• Washing the salad greens and drying them in a salad spinner. Wet greens will not allow the dressing to cling to them. Storing wet greens will make them spoil faster.
• Red and white wine vinegars can be used on almost any salad. For milder flavors, use rice or champagne vinegar.

Before serving your salad creation, toss the salad with the applied dressing just before serving. The dressing flavors will evenly distribute throughout the salad. It is a good idea not to toss a salad with the dressing applied, since the greens will wilt in a matter of minutes.

It is so simple to grow your own greens to use in your salad and makes sense given how expensive vegetables have become. You also are guaranteed a healthy meal when picked fresh from the garden and prepared almost immediately. Also, you will be able to taste test your personal combinations and prepare your dressing accordingly.

An entire meal can be prepared around the tossed salad you will be serving. Depending on your preference, you can readily create a French dressing or vinaigrette that is either mild or robust in flavor. This dressing will definitely be a compliment to the various greens that has been mixed together in your salad bowl, allowing a colorful display that is lightly bathed in a delightful tasting combination of your chosen oil and vinegar.

vinaigrette dressing, oil and vinegar, olive oil 

 

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Bruschetta an Italian Bread Dish

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Bruschetta originated in Italy’s Tuscany region, as it is known presently, is an Italian bread appetizer that is made with drizzled olive oil, rubbed with roasted garlic and topped with tomatoes. It became popular in American restaurants in the 1990’s and has sense retained its popularity.

Bruschetta is toasted brown on each side and then olive oil is generously poured over the bread. Garlic can be used but it is optional. The original cooking method was taken from the Italian verb, bruscare which means “roasted over coals.” Bread was not to be wasted and now you know what to do with bread that has gone stale and seemingly not to be used for anything else. Just add extra virgin olive oil and your prepared seasonings, or you can even dip the entire bread in a plate of olive oil. Further toppings, like chopped onions and tomatoes, have become increasingly popular in many restaurants depending on the clientele‘s particular taste. You can decide on any topping to “dress up” your bruschetta. The sky is the limit and of course whatever is available throughout the seasons.

Perhaps a little trivia will be appreciated by you. Bruschetta is the poor man’s original method of preparing stale bread. In reality, it is charred, oil soaked bread rubbed with garlic. Garlic bread is the overstated  “pretender.” Democracy in Britain confused the two garlic bread and bruschetta. Garlic bread was sold in the freezers but the elite citizens drooled over bruschetta, paying a small fortune at the River Café. Garlic bread became the “people’s food” and bruschetta became the snack for the People’s Party. What a reverse in just preparing bread with the use of olive oil.

Did you know that olive oil is the most important ingredient of bruschetta, not garlic? The garlic used on bruschetta is rubbed on so that the fresh garlic is inhaled and is the background for the use of olive oil. Garlic lumps are not eaten. Perhaps the very beginning of bruschetta was found in the ancient Roman practice of tasting newly pressed olive oil on a piece of bread as olive oil had to be prepared literally within hours of harvesting the olives. Garlic may or may not have been used; there really is no way of knowing. This practice of preparing bruschetta continues in the oil producing areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to this date.

Bruschetta can be prepared many ways but some versions involve frying country bread in lots of oil until the bread is literally permeated with extra virgin olive oil. Other cooks choose to bake slices of white bread in the oven and then coat the bread with olive oil.

If there is a loaf of stale bread not being use, than think of bruschetta. Toast the bread and soak the browned bread in extra virgin olive oil, rubbed with garlic and to be enjoyed as an entrée, fit for the elite, though bruschetta at one time being the food for ordinary people. 

bruschetta, bread dipping, olive oil

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Bread Dipping Simplicity

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Bread Dipping Simplicity

The Mediterranean region introduced bread dipping. It is very popular due to its simplicity and delightful taste. Bread dipping paves the way for the main course and of course lively conversations are prompted in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Usually, the typical appetizer served for a get-together are crackers and cheese or celery sticks and cream cheese. It has become a boring ritual and definitely does not invite a robust conversation. But…when you serve fresh sliced, toasted, freshly baked Italian bread with herbs and spices which are bathed in extra virgin olive oil, now that is a wake up call for a tasty before-the-main meal course. A good bread dipping seasoning has multiple uses. It can be used on salads as well as pasta dressings. Or steamed vegetables, roasts and chicken can also benefit from various herbs and spices which are also used for bread dipping.

By using flavored oils, added herbs and spices, extra quality oil, and vinegar, bread dipping can actually be made from scratch. Initially, you will have to re-hydrate, in water, the spices and herbs, that will be used, in a shallow dish for at least 15 minutes. The excess water is than drained and extra virgin olive oil is added. The various flavors of the mixed herbs and spices will have their aroma brought out as if the herbs were freshly picked from a garden. Depending on taste of your guests, you can add lemon juice, cracked pepper and grated parmesan cheese for an additional zestful dish.

A bread dipping entrée is only as good as the olive oil purchased and being dipped into. You should buy the best quality extra virgin olive oil that is on the market; it should be stored in a dark bottle to preserve the flavoring. As a variation, balsamic vinegar can be added. When using freshly baked foccacia, baguette, or sourdough bread, you can use the gourmet olive oil which will add extra flavoring.

When your guests arrive, on the table will be freshly sliced bread, bread dipping dishes and extra virgin olive oil and vinegar as an invitation to a delightful prelude to the main course. When balsamic vinegar is added, the vinegar will pool in the olive oil, adding an artistic design to the combined olive oil and vinegar. This is especially noted when bread dipping dishes are used as the shallow dish is conducive to the designs. The bread is sliced at an angle along the loaf and the slices can be halved, serving on an extra platter alongside bread dipping dishes.

For a quick and extra healthy mini-meal, bread dipping recipes are quick and can be prepared rather easily. For a planned party, the preparation can save time and energy for the hostess. Bread dipping is good for your health and the unique taste contributes to the finer aspects of old world cuisine. If you want to deviate from the run-of-the-mill appetizers, think about bread dipping and create an amazing entree that will be most welcomed by your guests.

bread dipping, oil and vinegar, olive oil

 

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A Bread Dipping Gift Set

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Bread dipping gift set includes gourmet olive oil dipping dishes that display a spiral accent in which a gradual color variation of the olive oil is displayed. A bread dipping gift features four dripping dish set which comes with Italian bread dipping herbs and spice and extra virgin olive oil. This special starter can be enjoyed before the main course of any meal. Usually they are of stoneware and when they are filled with the highest quality olive oil, a delicate floral rosette appears inside the dish. A dipping dish is most definitely a compliment to glass drizzle cruets.

An American dipping dish set usually comes with a limited warranty and each spiral design dish is 4.25 inches wide. They are made of kitchen stoneware, chip resistant and dishwasher and microwave safe. As a bread dipping snack to start any meal, a Cruets Gourmet Bread Dipping Herbs and Spices is ideal. These dipping dishes are ideal when used as a housewarming gift, or a personalized hostess gift during holidays. The spices used are all natural, using basil, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and parsley. There is no MSG and no trans fats included.

French bread of any favorite bread warmed can be used to bring out the flavors of any favorite recipe. If you prefer extra flavor, soak one tablespoon of spices in two tablespoons of water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and add extra virgin olive oil.

An Italian meal with quality stoneware bread dipping dishes in which fine imported extra virgin olive oil will highlight any evening. For entertaining, each stoneware piece features creative spiral lines that can be seen every day.

Eating healthy seems to be the number one dietary eating habit. Extra virgin olive oil is a heart healthy addition and when used in drizzle cruets and with dipping dishes, a boring meal all of a sudden becomes a fashionable dining in choice. A bread dipping set is relatively inexpensive. It is a thoughtful gift for cooks and non-cooks alike. Or…you can buy the seasonings separately if you already have a cruet and dipping dishes.

As an entrée, a loaf of warmed French bread, a drizzle cruet and dipping dishes will pave the way to a meal consisting of pasta and tossed salad. With a room full of friends, and loads of conversation, the evening will slip away before you even know it.

Do your favorite chef a favor. Purchase a white Stoneware dipping set a premium extra virgin olive oil in a dark bottle. Find a new recipe for the evening and invite yourself over to include a bottle of wine. Italian flavor and you didn’t have to fly to Italy to enjoy this cuisine. You will wonder why you didn’t your exclusive chef years earlier.

olive oil dipping dishes, bread dipping set, oil and vinegar gift

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Bread Dipping Dish

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Bread Dipping Dish the Unique Gift

Bread dipping using a bread dipping dish has been around for many years. At one time, you only saw it being done in Italian restaurants since the traditional meal includes bread dipping. Now private homes enjoy this wonderful entrée to a meal. Dipping freshly baked bread into extra virgin olive oil that has been mixed with herbs and spices is a perfect excuse to invite friends to a social gathering.

Bread dips have many uses. Your dipping sauce can be added to pastas, salads and different meats. Extra virgin olive is the base ingredient and with vinegar, the mixture will be reflected in taste and appearance. You will want to use bread that is suitable. Italian Foccacia, Ciabatta, French baguette or sourdough work very well, dipping into a bread dipping dish.

Before your guests arrive, arrange the sliced bread in an attractive manner. When everyone has seated themselves at the table, provide your guests with flavored dipping sauce. Adding oil dressed with swirls of balsamic vinegar is eye catching and will add to this unique evening.

Bread dipping dishes make unique gifts for any occasion. This gift easily blends into any kitchen décor. Because the bread dipping dish is made of chip resistant porcelain, it is dish washer safe as well as microwave safe. A visual display of color funnels into the dish when filled with extra virgin olive oil. Olive green tints appear, providing a work of art that captivates the eye, when the olive oil is added. A lovely floral rose appears within the dipping dish. When Italian balsamic vinegar is added, the oil and vinegar separate and the vinegar settles to the bottom of the olive oil in the dipping dish.

The next time you are at a loss as to what to prepare for your guests, think Italian. Fresh, warm bread is all you will need to begin a meal. As an entrée, it is quite easy to carry on delightful conversation as your guests enjoy something totally new to them. You can be the first on the block to start a new fad and it hardly costs you anything.

Bread dipping is very common in Italy and at one time, only restaurants offered this entree to their customers. It is a very healthy way to enjoy a meal and now many homes have savvy hostesses who display their prized extra virgin olive oil in bread dipping dishes with the aroma of freshly baked bread permeating throughout the house. Coupled with a pasta dish and tossed salad, this meal time definitely will be remembered for a very long time. There is no reason to stand over a stove for hours on end when all it takes is a dipping dish, extra virgin olive oil and different breads.

Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat and can be enjoyed without feeling any guilt. Even the American Heart Association states that fat is not the cause of serious illnesses, only saturated fat. Now you have no reason not to dip your favorite bread in warmed extra virgin olive oil served in an attractive bread dipping dish.

bread dipping dish, olive oil

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Bread Dipping an Ideal Appetizer

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Bread Dipping the Italian Cuisine Appetizer

Is there such a thing as a perfect appetizer just by dipping bread? Yes, and it is the perfect addition to any Italian meal that has pasta as the main ingredient.

For oil dipping, using extra virgin olive oil, soft bread is most ideal. There are some dipping variations that allow for the toasting of bread before serving it. If tomatoes are in season, you can dry them and add to your oil dipping appetizer. Basil leaves chopped can also be added.

Try this oil dipping alternative and see if your guests won’t compliment your cooking abilities.

1 tablespoon garlic clove, peeled and pressed
1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1 ½ tablespoon dried parsley
A dash of fresh ground black and red pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients, whisking together. Place a teaspoon on a dipping dish and drizzle with gourmet extra virgin olive oil. Dip soft Italian bread and of course, adjust the seasoning to suit your guests taste. Add additional oil until the herbs on the plate are gone.

Bread dipping is used as an appetizer and when preparing a party, your guests will enjoy dipping a variety of breads and fresh vegetables into the dipping sauce. If meat is served, you can prepare ahead of time a dipping sauce marinade exclusively for dipping meat. A number of dipping sauces can be set out for your guests to try. Why not have each of your guest prepare a dipping sauce which they can bring to your party. Then everyone has an opportunity to try a different sauce.

A good quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil on hand will allow you to create dipping sauces that you particularly like. It may cost a bit more but it is well worth the money spent when purchasing superior olive oil. Always have a bottle in your kitchen cupboard for those special occasions. A fast appetizer can be created when unexpected guests knock on your door. Bread dipping dishes can be recreated over and over and you will never tire of the various ways that herbs can be blended, coupled with herbal seasoning.

Superior extra virgin quality oil will need to be purchased in dark bottles. Light will destroy the fragile taste and your money is wasted. Do not store your precious oil in plastic containers as a plastic taste or flavor will permeate into the olive oil. You can store the olive oil in a glass drizzle cruet if it is placed in the cupboard when not in use. Olive oil will need to be stored in a cool dark place. Any olive oil that has been affected by heat or intensive light will have a copper hue; this is characteristic of oxidization. When stored properly, extra virgin olive oil can be kept for up to two years. Olive oil is most flavorable the first two months after pressing. Olive oil should not be stored in the refrigerator; this will block its full delicate flavor.

For a pleasant dinner among friends, bread dipping adds to any exquisite Italian entrée. bread dipping, oil dipping, olive oil, Italian bread appetizer

 

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Oil and Vinegar Cruet Glass

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

oil and vinegar cruet glass

Oil and Vinegar Cruet Grape

Now that you have discovered the health benefits of olive oil, why not buy a unique gift to showcase this healthy oil, such as the oil and vinegar cruet? Olive oil is used to add flavoring to favorite dishes. Combined with vinegar, a meal seems to taste much better. The answer for a perfect gift is no other than an oil and vinegar cruet.

Olive oil and vinegar cruets doles out the right amount of flavoring when used on salads or favorite pasta dishes. It is very important not to drown your meals with olive oil and vinegar, especially as meticulous chefs realize the need for the exact measure.

Oil And Vinegar Cruet Sets

The grape shaped oil and vinegar cruets are made of durable borosilicate glass and holds six ounces. They can also be purchased in sets. They will not corrode when vinegar is stored in them and they are safe to clean in a dishwasher. Glass spouts fit into the flared neck, thereby eliminating messy drips that happens along the side of a regular olive oil cruet found elsewhere than on cruets.com.

An attractive oil and vinegar cruet set can be left on the table as a unique centerpiece. It is readily handy to use with any meal. It is also a wonderful gift used to dispense olive oil, vinegar or flavored syrups. It can also help make it easier by storing any cooking oil you use frequently, even vinaigrette dressings and salad dressings on the table.

Euro designed oil and vinegar cruets are are professional hand blown glass. Because it is made of Simax glass, the oil and vinegar cruets are durable and practical and can be compared to Pyrex. It is made of glass, therefore no metallic corrosion is noted when vinegar is stored in them. Due to the flared neck in which a pour spout is inserted, no oil drips along the side of the cruet. The flared neck also can be used as a funnel to pour olive oil and vinegar into the glass cruets.

Chefs prefer glass oil and vinegar cruets because the content of the bottle is easily seen and it is much easier to handle being lightweight. A high class oil and vinegar cruet will store extra virgin olive oil in a dependable and attractive container that can be used by your guests during many entertaining meals.

Oil And Vinegar Cruet Glass

Another unique gift idea is a grape cruet which is a glass within a glass cruet. The design is of a grape cluster on the inside of the main cruet. Each grape cruet is hand blown by A European glass craftsman. It is easy for pouring, serving and storing and is made of Simax glass. A grape drizzle cruet is ideal for a housewarming gift or any special occasion.

 Need a unique gift for a friend who has invited you over for a special evening meal? Then think of purchasing an oil and vinegar cruet. Your friend will be pleased and the mellow taste of extra virgin olive oil with a spray of vinegar drizzled on your salad will compliment any main course that has been planned. Your hostess will appreciate your practical gift that will last for many years and no doubt will create fond memories. 

 

 

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