Cooking is an art. It is however understanding the basics that un-complicates the process and accentuates the nuances that go into a wonderful meal. Like bow upon string, oil and vinegar bring to the table different levels of flavor that takes a bland meal into the realm of the sublime.
It is the marriage of different flavored oils with unique vinegars that enhances the experience and makes your taste buds dance. The vibrant acidity from the vinegar tempered with oils infused with garlic, lemon, Tuscan herb, wild anithos dill, or sesame creates a new dimension, a very special flavor profile. The interesting variety of dressings or sauces gives new piquancy to any fruit, vegetable, seafood, chicken, or even steak creation.
Usually one part vinegar to two parts oil is the simple but universal recipe. The three companies that I like to use to procure the finest oils and vinegars are as follows:
Trio Carmel - www.triocarmel.com
Solvang Olive Press - www. solvangolivepress.com
Sedona Divine - www.divineoliveoils.com
The vinegars I like to use are as follows:
Cranberry/Pear (White Balsamic)
Black Mission Fig
Aged Alfoos Mango (White Balsamic)
Premium Serrano Honey
Aged Gravenstein Apple (White Balsamic)
Aged Golden Pineapple with Baklouti Green Chili (White Balsamic)
The Oils I like to use are as follows:
Cilantro and Roasted Onion
Wild Anithos Dill
The difference regarding oils is in the taste. Ultra premium extra virgin olive oil is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world. Infused means that in the case of the Solvang Olive Oil Company the product is organic and botanically derived from essential oils that are added after the oil is made. Extra virgin olive oils are free from defects, retain original flavor, produced entirely by mechanical means, without solvents or additives, under temperatures that will not degrade the oil. Less than 10% of the olive oils produced qualify as extra virgin.
Modena Italy is the undisputed capital of vinegar. Modena balsamic from Modena Italy are crafted balsamic vinegars in which the recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. The famous "Modenese Medical Vinegar" dates back to 1046 with written imperial documentation. "Balsum" is Latin for something healthy for your body. Obtained by grape juice (must) instead of wine, the must is reduced by cooking to obtain a very dense syrupy liquid. Cooked must is placed in small barrels where it ferments slowly in winter and quickly in summer causing a natural concentration. Probiotic wild yeast and acetic bacteria naturally colonize, raising the acidity. Over time the mixture turns into vinegar.
To create a recipe that will dazzle even the most contentious meat eater simply follow this recipe:
The Organic Crab Loui Beet Down
1. Par boil Red Beets and Golden Beets (separate receptacles) then place in separate bowls. The Red Beets should marinate in the Black-Berry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar (cover bowl and place in refrigerator). The Golden Beets should marinate in the Cranberry/Pear While Balsamic Vinegar (cover bowl and place in refrigerator).
2. Peal raw multi-colored Carrots and place in Aged Golden Pineapple to marinate (cover bowl and place in refrigerator).
3. Wash Organic Butter Lettuce, dry and cut. Then place in large bowl for final mixture.
4. Slice Beets into thin rounds and place in Salad bowl with Lettuce. Mix with Peach Vinegar and add shaved Parmesan.
5. Place Beets and Lettuce into mold to shape
6. Add Alaskan King Crab formed on top of Salad mixture after boiling for 3 minutes and cooling. Add dollop of home made Thousand Island on top of Crab.
7. Finish with pealed Carrots around perimeter for color and texture.
Oil and Vinegar recipes can spin off into a thousand different combinations. Enjoy creating your very own special combination of sauces and dressings from oil and vinegar, and just remember one thing... The Journey is the Reward.
This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ "The Magic of Cooking" Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to www.pazazshop.com to purchase these AMAZING Kitchen Tools.