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Posts Tagged ‘balsamic vinegar’

Ever been to one of those olive oil/vinegar bars? I know they are popping up all over the place – even the local mall. When I was in Door County, WI a few months ago, I finally visited one.

If you live in, say, the Chicago area, you should be quite familiar with Door County. It’s one of the 20-some destinations in Wisconsin that frazzled Chicagoans escape to on the weekends during the summer. And as such, yes, there is a bit of Chicago-Wisconsin animosity. I know – I used to live there. I readily used the term FIB* and yet…now I am one.

Anyhow, Door County is filled with little shops and restaurants. I am a bit nostalgic about the place – having gone there almost yearly since birth (in my pre-FIB days). As I said previously, on my most recent trip, I came across a little olive oil/vinegar bar called Fish Creek Oilerie. They had all kinds of oils and vinegars to sample. I came across their aged balsamic – did a shot and…swoon! This is some of the best balsamic vinegar I’ve ever had. Especially for the price. So I scarfed up a bottle.

Now what to do with it? Tons of things. I’ve been meaning to glaze some chicken with it. But for today, we’re going to throw it on some berries.

I wish I could give a recipe for this, but I really don’t have one. I eyeballed everything.

More or less, this is what I did:

Ingredients:
Berries
Balsamic Vinegar
Sugar
Mascarpone
Vanilla Extract

Sliced some berries.

Poured a few tablespoons of balsamic into a bowl. Added a smidge of sugar. Tossed in the berries and stirred to coat.

Then I grabbed another bowl – threw in maybe half a cup of mascarpone cheese. Then maybe 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. And maybe some sugar. Stirred it up.

Then I put the berries in a serving dish and served them with a dollop of mascarpone.

Good stuff! Enjoy!

Ms. Pantry Raid

*For your education: FIB.

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A plethora of tomatoes from the Farmers Market: multi-colored heirloom cherry tomatoes, Green Zebras, yellow grape and bright red Early Girl tomatoes.

A plethora of tomatoes from the Farmers Market: multi-colored heirloom cherry tomatoes, Green Zebras, yellow grape and bright red Early Girl tomatoes.

Alright, so I was a little excitable at the Farmers Market recently. Tomatoes were in and I had to have every shape, size and color available. Each stall was better than the last. Needless to say, I came home with pounds of tomatoes. I mean, look at them. Could you resist?

One of my all-time favorite food memories is the first time I brought home a perfectly ripe tomato from the Farmer’s Market and bit into it like an apple, juices running down my arm and into my kitchen sink. It was like candy and I was in heaven.

Since then, one of the rights of passage of summer for me is a Tomato Sandwich with the best summer tomatoes I can find. Nothing simpler. Nothing better.

Does it warrant a recipe?

rench bread layered with garlic aioli, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzling of balsamic vinegar and parmesan shavings.

French bread layered with garlic aioli, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzling of balsamic vinegar and parmesan shavings.

No. Probably not.

What I do is slice a mess of tomatoes (remember my tip for slicing small tomatoes?) Different sizes and different colors are best cause it just looks so summery.

Then I grab some good, crusty bread.

Slather on a layer of (cheater’s) garlic aioli*.

Then load it up with tomatoes, a sprinkling of sea salt, some shavings of Parmigiano-reggiano, a drizzle of the best balsamic vinegar I’ve got on-hand and voila.

The best summer sandwich imaginable.

And an alternative on baguette rounds.

And an alternative on toasted baguette rounds for an easy appetizer.

*Cheater’s garlic aioli = store bought mayo + a clove of crushed garlic. Summer is for relaxing my friends.

Enjoy!

Ms. Pantry Raid

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