Posts Tagged ‘balsamic vinegar’
I am currently battling some sort of cold. I call in sick to work but yesterday was one of those days. I’ve slept over 12 hours the past two days and I’m still not feeling any better today. However, being sick is kind of boring, especially without the internet, so I actually did run into work quick to get some things to work on at home (and to post this).
Sometimes I don’t read ingredient lists properly. I either screw up writing down the correct amount needed or the ingredient itself. Take this recipe for example: I bought orzo instead of arborio rice. So viola I made orzo intead of risotto, and it still tasted great. The fried sage and balsamic drizzle are must haves for this dish. Never thought that fried sage would be so wonderful. They turn into crispy little flavor wonders.
One year ago: Chicken Pad Thai
BUTTERNUT SQUASH ORZO WITH PINE NUTS, BALSAMIC DRIZZLE, AND FRIED SAGE
1 small butternut squash (or about 2 cups peeled and cubed)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable for a vegetarian option)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
8-10 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Prick outside skin a few times with a fork. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender (20-25 minutes if used cubed). Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Scoop flesh out of skin and purée in a food processor until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of purée and set aside.
- Meanwhile, warm chicken stock in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cover and keep warm.
- To prepare garnishes, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a very small saucepan set over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pine nuts, stirring until coated with oil. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes or until nuts start to turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them, they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
- Remove nuts from pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, or enough to form a 1/4-thick layer in the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add sage leaves, 2 or 3 at a time (be careful, they will crackle). Cook for about 30 seconds then quickly remove from oil and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chopped sage and cook for another minute. Add orzo and stir until grains are coated.
- Add wine and stir the wine has completely absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock to the orzo, stirring until liquid is mostly absorbed before adding more. Continue to add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition. After about 10 minutes, when the orzo is almost done, stir in squash purée. Continue to cook until orzo is creamy and al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar combined with brown sugar until thick and syrupy. Set aside.
- Finish orzo with butter and 1/4 cup grated Asiago, stirring until fully incorporated. Divide among serving bowls and top with remaining cheese, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, pine nuts, and sage leaves.
Source: Spontaneously adapted slightly from Love & Olive Oil.
After the Secret Recipe Club took a break in December I was excited to get back into it this month! To start out the new year, I was assigned to Life on Food and I really wanted to make the Garlic Lover’s Pizza, but since it was made from another SRC member I decided to pick something that hasn’t been featured on a SRC reveal day yet.
Brussels are in season so I knew I had to make this recipe once I saw it. Side dishes are not things I regularly think about past heating up some frozen vegetables, so it was quite a treat to have these instead. I could have eaten an entire plate of these Brussels as the main course.
In case you were wondering about that chicken in the background, it’s Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken made with Meyer lemons.
Two years ago: Almond Crusted Chicken with Scallion Beurre Blanc
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH HONEY VINAIGRETTE
16 oz. Brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and halved
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put Brussels into a bowl and toss in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on cookie sheet.
- Roast for about 35 minutes. They should begin to turn brown.
- While cooking put ingredients for vinaigrette into a small bowl and whisk together until well combined. Set aside until Brussels sprouts are done roasting.
- Toss Brussels sprouts in vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Source: Life on Food
Tonight marks the end college football until fall. The BCS National Championship Game is my version of the Superbowl, since I don’t have a pro team that I am completely faithful to (I tend to lean towards the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys). Although both are great reasons to bust out a lot of great food, which I definitely am faithful to.
Unfortunately, my Ohio State Buckeyes were ineligible for any BCS bowl game this year. If this were not the case, the 12-0 season would’ve lined up Ohio State to battle for the title against Notre Dame instead of Alabama. Boo hiss. Hopefully they will continue to play well next season when the ban is lifted. Until then… down with the SEC tyranny!
For those of you looking for a less glutinous choice while watching football tonight, try these quesadillas. The whole wheat tortillas are packed with chicken, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella cheese. Then dip to your hearts content into the honey-balsamic sauce and be prepared to not want to share.
Two years ago: Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
CALIFORNIA QUESADILLAS WITH HONEY-BALSAMIC DIPPING SAUCE
Serves 2 (as a meal)
4 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (I omitted because I didn’t have any on hand)
1/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
- Prepare the honey-balsamic dipping sauce by combining balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or bowl. Shake or whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Place two tortillas on a flat surface and spread 1/4 cup shredded cheese on each one. Split cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, and remaining cheese between both tortillas, then top with remaining tortillas. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then spray with non-stick spray. Slide one quesadilla into the skillet then cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip then cook until the other side is golden brown. Slide onto a plate and repeat with remaining quesadilla. Cut into slices and serve with dipping sauce.
Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.
Exploring alternative pizza toppings is fun. Sometimes the toppings become so creative that the essence of pizza only remains in the crust upon which it all sits. This is one of those times, but you know what? I am perfectly okay with a completely unconventional pizza, especially after the revelation of kale and balsamic vinegar together. There’s just something about crispy kale and sweet & tangy balsamic that just get me.
Even went ahead and served it with a drizzle of balsamic reduction leftover from making a Caprese Pizza at the same time. Is there such a thing as too much balsamic? Of course, one cannot forget the presence of the seasonally appropriate sweet potato on this pizza. (I promise I have not forgotten about you, pumpkin.)
One year ago: “Don’t Judge Me” Mac & Cheese
SWEET POTATO KALE PIZZA WITH ROSEMARY & RED ONION
Your favorite pizza dough
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, sliced
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, for seasoning potato slices and onion
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups chopped kale
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp, freshly chopped rosemary
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potato slices and red onion slices in a bow and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender. Make sure you turn them once during the 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the pizza dough.
- Turn the oven to 500 degrees or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough, using a rolling pin. Roll it out to about 3/8 of an inch. Place the pizza dough on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal. Lightly brush the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the kale with balsamic vinegar. Top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, sweet potato slices, kale, red onion slices, and fresh rosemary.
- Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.
- While the pizza is baking, add the balsamic vinegar and stir in the brown sugar in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until the vinegar is reduced by half. Remove from the heat. Drizzle over the pizza as desired.
It’s official. Not only am I broke (after paying fees for grad school, car repairs, and new contacts), but I am also low on time. In a little over a week I will be packing up and moving to Knoxville for a month to work with a collaborating lab to do mouse studies for my research.The list of things I need to get done before then is ridiculous. And I don’t think the stress is allowing me to sleep properly at night still because I wake up exhausted even after 8 hours. So what does that mean for you? Hopefully nothing other than hearing me complain or freak out from time to time. I don’t plan on letting my blog suffer but just in case I don’t post one day, blame my stress.
Continuing on with quick dinners for my life-style as of late, enter this caprese-style chicken. This recipe is very similar to the Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto but instead of pesto you use fresh basil leaves and then add a tomato. Maybe next time I’ll mesh the two recipes together and use Mozzarella, pesto AND tomato – watch out for me I’m a risk taker (note sarcasm).
Speaking of fresh basil, I have started growing my own in pots on my porch! They are cute little things at the moment, but I still have to resist the urge to pluck off their tiny leaves to eat. Which reminds me I need to take those with me when I leave…
One year ago: Beef Negimaki with Broccolini and Rice
CAPRESE CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION
6 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp butter
6 slices fresh Mozzarella cheese
6 slices tomato
6 large basil leaves
- Prepare chicken on the grill. As chicken is cooking, pour balsamic vinegar into sauce pan or skillet and cook until reduced by half. Add in butter and stir with a flat whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
- Top chicken with mozzarella cheese, basil leaf, and then tomato slice.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve warm.
Source: Add a Pinch
The House of Mews Bake Sale is now complete = $890!
What a great turn out! To see who won each item refer to the original bake sale post. And if you happen to be one of the lucky winners, please check your e-mail box as I have already e-mailed all of the winners to request addresses and give payment details. You have 24 hours to provide this information, otherwise that goodie will go to the next highest bidder. As soon as I have all the information necessary, I will pass it along for the shipment of your winnings.
Thanks so much to the exciting bidders, the food bloggers who donated the baked goods! Because of you tons of furry kitty bellies will be very happy. And also thanks to HelloGiggles.com for their kitten cam and The House of Mews for being a superb organization!
Additionally, a few people have asked if there is a way to directly donate without bidding (since the bake sale is now over). And yes you certainly can! To donate, please refer to The House of Mews donation page where you will find their Paypal link.
Since finally discovering that I liked them, every brussels sprouts recipe I see, I want to try. So when deciding on the vegetable side dish to go along with ham this past Sunday, I decided that nothing goes better with ham than bacon… and brussels sprouts!
Oh and these brussels sprouts arn’t just mixed up with bacon, but I also went ahead and caramelized them in the bacon grease as well instead of dumping it out and using olive oil. It seemed like such a shame to waste.
One year ago: Garlic Rolls
CARAMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON, BALSAMIC & BROWN SUGAR
Makes 4-6 side servings
1 lb brussels sprouts
4 slices bacon
2 Tbsp brown sugar, not packed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
- Cut off the bottom of each sprout, then slice in half vertically. Rinse.
- Dice bacon. Saute bacon in large skillet over medium heat until just crisp. Remove bacon, and keep remaining oil heated.
- Place sprouts in skillet, cut sides down. Sprinkle with sugar. Saute over medium low heat for about 3 minutes or until bottoms start to caramelize and tops start turning bright green.
- Pour vinegar over sprouts and shake pan to distribute. Cook for 30 seconds. Turn all sprouts over and cook for another minute.
- Add reserved bacon to sprouts. Toss and cook for 30 seconds. Salt to taste if necessary. Serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Miss Make.
Yesterday morning I ventured to the DMV exactly when they opened, and sure enough there was already a line of 30-some people. It took me an hour and a half to get out of there but for the DMV that’s like speed dating. Afterwards, I was very tempted to play hookey because it was a gorgeously sunny mid-70 degree day. Somehow I managed to drive into lab anyway, only to convince the rest of my lab members to go somewhere we could sit outside for lunch. It felt good to check the DMV off my to-do list and then unwind outside for a bit. Don’t you wish you could pause life sometimes?
Unfortunately this story has zero to do with the chicken dish I am sharing with you today, I just felt the need to share.
Planning meals ahead of time is not a skill I have mastered. Which is why I was so excited to discover that not only does this chicken only have to marinate for an hour, but it actually cannot be marinated longer/overnight because the balsamic vinegar will start to break down the chicken. Perfect for the poor-planner like me! And to make things even better, with the addition of two other simple ingredients you end up with a pretty fancy looking plate of chicken. Fast, easy, flavorful AND pretty – I love it all.
Also, the brussels sprouts couscous posted yesterday was a perfect match for this chicken.
One year ago: Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Quesadillas
GRILLED BALSAMIC CHICKEN WITH MOZZARELLA AND PESTO
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 large ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into four thick slices
Pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- Place chicken and one cup of balsamic vinegar in a large plastic bag. Seal bag tightly and place in fridge to marinate for one hour. (Don’t marinate this recipe overnight because over a long period of time, the acid in the vinegar may break down the chicken breast, forming a mushy texture.)
- Place the other cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot on the stove and bring to simmer. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes, until vinegar has reduced and is thick like syrup. Take off stove and let cool while you cook the chicken breasts.
- After chicken breasts have finished marinating, preheat grill (or prepare grill pan on the stove). Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, about eight minutes per side. Remove chicken and place on a plate.
- Turn broiler on high and place one slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast. Place chicken breasts on a foil-covered sheet tray and broil for three-four minutes until cheese melts.
- Top each chicken breast with a dollop of pesto and drizzle balsamic reduction over top.
Day three of recipes that incorporate basil! It may be safe to proclaim this as “Basil Week”. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a big bundle! But for this recipe the pre-made fresh basil pesto was used, so no extra basil was used.
Recently I have noticed several Caprese salad recipes popping up in my Google reader. I thought to make one myself with the influx of basil but after asking my followers what they thought I should make, two suggested a sandwich and that stuck with me. How about a Caprese salad all melty and sandwiched between two wonderful pieces of multigrain bread? Mmmm what a comforting first bite.
Please, please, please use fresh Mozzarella for this sandwich. Not only is it softer and melts easier, but it’s soo much better!
4 slices thick-cut multigrain bread
1/2 cup fresh pesto
2 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 ball (1/2 pound) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- If you have a panini press, turn it on to warm up; otherwise, set a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar. Place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich.
- Drizzle olive oil over skillet’s surface and place sandwiches on the hot skillet or panini press. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a “press”. Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.
Source: Adapted slightly from Tyler Florence on Food Network
Quick update from tornado land: On the way downtown last night for dinner, I noticed two cloud formations that, although not spinning, were certainly the right shape to be one. I told Brent I thought it may be the remnants of a tornado, but then we both thought that at tornado at its end simply disappears. However apparently before crossing the Mississippi, it was infact a tornado in West Memphis, AK which is right across the river. Yikes. On to happier thoughts…
Burgers and fries are the perfect pair. But sometimes I need a little more vegetable in my life which a potato cannot provide (sorry potato, I still love you). When I saw the words ‘zucchini fries’ I knew that was the solution. Especially if they are coated in Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs, then baked instead of fried. Because no matter how much we try to deny it, just because the fried thing you are eating is a vegetable, does not make it a healthy snack.
To go along with the goat-cheese stuffed tomato basil chicken burgers, which were drizzled with balsamic vinegar, I whipped up a balsamic aioli to dip the zucchini in. Pure yum!
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove minced garlic
- In a small bowl combine the aioli ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2 medium zucchinis
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup crumbly Parmesan cheese (crumbly, not shreds)
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a large plastic bag. Set aside.
- Whisk 2 eggs together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Trim zucchini. Cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch matchlike sticks; blot with a paper towel.
- Add zucchini to the bowl with eggs; toss to coat. Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.
I am still hung up on how delicious basil-goat cheese stuff pizza crust is. So much so that I decided to take that same stuffing and put it inside of a burger. And then what goes better with basil than tomato? Enter this fantastic creation, if I may say so myself . It’s the same idea as a chicken Parmesan burger, but with some flair. Or maybe it’s like that stuffed crust pizza, but in burger form. It doesn’t matter what it’s like because it’s delicious all on it’s own.
(One of these days I’ll make my own burger buns to go along with such fabulous creations. For now I try to snag the next-day bakery items for $0.99.)
Would you like zucchini fries with that? Check back tomorrow!
8 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 lb ground chicken breasts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
4 slices fresh Mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar, for garnish (optional)
4 buns, toasted
- Blend together the goat cheese and basil in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, lightly mix together the chicken, Parmesan, bread crumbs, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Let sit for 30-40 minutes then form into 4 rounds.
- In the palm of your hand, make a hole in the middle of one round of meat, stuff with goat cheese mixture and pinch closed before flattening into a patty. Repeat for remaining rounds of meat.
- Preheat a George Foreman grill (or outdoor grill, lightly greased). Grill the burgers for about 4 minutes, rotate then cook for another 3 minutes or until the juices run clear. Top each chicken burger with a slice of Mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is desired. Place on toasted buns with some lettuce.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original