Quick Recipes and Easy

Balsamic Vinegar, a Vinaigrette or a Marinade?

Many folks are looking for healthy alternatives to flavor their cooking prepared at home. With a health conscious diet, the marks of prepared foods and seasonings are getting scrutinized closely. We already know the importance of staying away from trans fats, high-carb and high calorie ingredients. The FDA is even getting into the mix of things with recent directives on what food manufacturers can specify as “low-cal” and “low-carb” on product marks. They promise a definition of sorts for these health related food ingredient terms.

Sometimes a healthy alternative is as simple as looking into the Ancient Country Cookbook.

If you are willing to place aside your Shopping Club size of “Original Ranch” creamy dressing, consider a healthy recommendation. For fresh garden salads you do not need to sacrifice gourmet taste and flavor. The same goes for preparing meats such as chicken and beef. A novel solution is preparing your own balsamic flavoring for both culinary uses. A home made balsamic vinaigrette for green salads can also double as a fine balsamic marinade for meats.

The ingredients are few, the prep time is very small, and the method is relatively simple. But what a difference in flavor and seasoning! The health benefits are also most welcome to any diet. Aged Balsamic vinegar is becoming well loved among many cooking celebrities and experts, and it is agreed it is not just for an occasional drizzle over salads. Try it as a marinade as well.

Lastly, once you taste the joys of Balsamico, you will want to share it with your family and friends. A quality bottle of Balsamic Vinegar has now become in vogue as a gift substitute for that obligatory bottle of wine you used to feel compelled to give.

Balsamic Dijon Marinade or Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
2 Tablespoons. finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon. Dijon-style mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon brown cane sugar

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl.
Place meat in sealable plastic bag.
Pour marinade mixture over meat and turn to coat.
Marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours for tender cuts, or up to 24 hours for less tender. Turn at least once while marinating.
Dispose of marinade after use.

Prep time: about 5 minutes

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette or Marinade

This vinaigrette has a tangy flavor and works well over mixed greens, fresh sliced tomato, onion and cucumber salads. It can also be drizzled sparingly over steamed vegetables. You can use traditional aged balsamic vinegar, but with this white balsamic recipe, the appearance of the vinaigrette will not be dark and should be a slightly sweeter balsamic vinaigrette.
Makes 1 cup.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (aged traditional balsamic if desired)
1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 pinch sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method:
In a small bowl, combine together olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, and mustard powder, whisk evenly. Season to your own personal taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can add fresh minced herbs if desired.

Prep time: about 5 minutes

You can see more free balsamic recipes at www.cruets.com

James Zeller writes for gourmet gift related websites and blogs. Here is a selection of oilandvinegar.cruets.com oil and vinegar recipes that he found, and a creative collection of cruets.com culinary gourmet gifts.

Tags: source online, Health Benefits, everyday food recipes, food what, simple recipes, dairy free recipes, cookbook, gourmet, low stout recipes, recipes snacks



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