Grape Cruet for Oil and Vinegar

Grape Cruet for Oil and Vinegar

Archive for October, 2008

Vinaigrette Dressing easy to make

Sunday, October 05th, 2008

The Basics of Vinaigrette Making

Vinaigrette is a classic, versatile, and simple dressing that can easily be made at home. It is generally an emulsion, meaning a mixture of two liquids that ordinarily do not mix well. In this case, the mixture of oil and vinegar. One cannot expect that the oil and vinaigrette in an emulsion will mix together; these two liquids will eventually separate. This will be obvious, as the oil goes to the top and the vinegar settles to the bottom.

Making your own vinaigrette at home is an incredibly simple procedure. It is all a matter of blending or whisking together a few ingredients together with your major ingredients – the oil and vinegar. The ratio of oil to vinegar is usually three parts oil to one part vinegar, but it is all a matter of preference. Some prefer to have more vinegar, while others prefer more olive oil. This also depends upon the type of vinegar you use; others are more acidic and some are sweet tasting, so your proportions are really adjusted. Some of the usual items that are incorporated into vinaigrette mixture would be salt and pepper, lemon juice, herbs, and some spices. The possibilities for innovation in your dressing are endless, as you can experiment with countless numbers of ingredients that you would like to incorporate in the mixture.

In order to achieve the fullest flavor, allow your vinaigrette to stand for several hours before finally serving it. This will allow the flavors of your dressing to be fully realized and each bite will be bursting with varying sensations. Others even heat their dressing for a few seconds in a microwave to give it a bit of warmth and to allow the flavors to be extracted a bit more.

Vinaigrette is a dressing that keeps very well, so storing it is something you don’t have to fret about. Leftover vinaigrette can be easily stored in an airtight jar and placed in the fridge until you are ready to use it again. This can keep for several days and even weeks. Don’t be surprised to see how your oil and vinegar have separated the next time you take a look at your dressing. Simple give your jar a good shake to allow the two liquids to mesh together again.

Who would have thought the mustard would go so well with oil and vinegar? One ingredient that is popularly added to vinaigrette is Dijon mustard. This helps to emulsify the mixture and make it easier for the oil and vinegar to mix together. Furthermore, Dijon mustard has a very delicious and potent taste, adding to the kick of your dressing.

Finally, don’t be afraid to add fresh or dried herbs to your home made vinaigrette. Try adding minced shallots, diced onions, crushed garlic, fresh basil and parsley, or grated ginger to the mix. It’s all a matter of experimentation and you can come up with great flavors if you are willing to go the extra mile with your dressing.
[tag] vinaigrette dressing, easy vinaigrette[/tag]

Light and Tasty Oil and Vinegar Recipes

Friday, October 03rd, 2008

It’s well-known that light and wholesome salad dressings are so much better for us than dressings oozing in fat and calories, losing nothing in taste but gaining in health benefits. A basic oil and vinegar mixture yields tasty and healthy dressings for all salads.

The benefits of Spanish, Greek and Italian, collectively considered the Mediterranean diet, are widely-touted. Although even experts don’t know why, olive oil seems to help reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure. Extra virgin olive oil is much better for you than oils such as animal fats, although it is still quite high in calories. Because it doesn’t require chemical processing, it retains more of its natural minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

When choosing an oil, choose light ones such as light olive oil or sunflower oil. You run the risk of overpowering lettuce leaves and other salad flavors with extra virgin olive oil. Other oils to try are corn, safflower, grape seed, groundnut and rapeseed oil. Or search your local gourmet food store or larger grocery store for such exotica as almond, pumpkin seed, walnut, hazelnut or even macadamia nut oil. Because these are strong and highly scented, they are best used in moderation for specific purposes.

Have you ever tried flavored oils or made them yourself? Gently heat olive oil and add chopped chives or basil for a delightful herb oil. After removing from the heat, let cool in the covered pan. Next use a regular or hand blender and strain through a fine mesh sieve. You may store the oil for three to four days in a corked bottle as the flavors deepen. Or try fresh chillies, finely chopped, a bay leaf and a garlic clove, unpeeled, add to olive oil and heat gently to produce a spicy chilli oil. Again, let cool, strain and store in a bottle.

A KEY INGREDIENT
Lemon juice or vinegar provides the acid necessary in a basic salad dressing. French dressing or vinaigrette is simply one part vinegar to three parts oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, drizzle vinaigrette over sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, or toss it with lettuce leaves. For even more distinctive flavors, you may choose to experiment with different oils and vinegars including red or white wine, sherry, balsamic, tarragon or raspberry vinegars. It’s also quite easy to make your own specialty vinegars using tarragon, by simply adding sprigs to white wine and leaving them to infuse. Fruit vinegar is as simple: crushed fruit and wine vinegar are left to infuse for a few days, then strained and boiled. Just remember not to toss your salad too early, or the leaves may go limp.
[tag] oil and vinegar recipes[/tag]

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