Friday, July 17, 2015

Seven Uses of Balsamic Glazes You’ve Never Thought of Before

STAR Creamy Balsamic GlazeDo you use balsamic glazes while cooking?  Great!  You are probably using it as a garnish, to give dishes a bittersweet touch or making salad dressing.   Are you ready to try something new and exciting?  Here are 7 new ideas that will have you see balsamic glazes in a whole new light.

First, turn the glaze into a gelatine to give your dishes a rich texture. All you will need are gelatine sheets, water and your favorite balsamic glaze.  You might want to try some mint as well, though remember to strain the leaves first.  You can also add in some honey.

Second, make a reduction sauce.  Pour a bottle of STAR balsamic vinegar into a pan and heat it, slowly reducing it into a sauce.  Pour the reduction sauce over a breast of duck and you are good to go.

Third, liven up your barbeque.  Pau Corderas, the chef at Pepa Tomate in Barcelona, Spain recommends mixing 900ml of olive oil with a 250ml bottle of balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, a clove of chopped garlic and a pinch of salt and black pepper.  Use the mixture to marinate a half-pound pork tenderloin and place it in the refrigerator for three hours then put it on the barbeque.  Remember that marinated meat will smoke so cook the meat slowly over the hot coals and watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Fourth, create a new appetizer.  Pau Corderas makes an avocado mousse with peanut nougat and balsamic glaze.  Start with a smooth paste made from the avocado and a little sugar.  Then whip some cream and add the avocado paste, mixing it up and letting it cool in a mug.  Caramelize some sugar in a frying pan.  While that is working, add some lightly chopped peanuts and a few drops of the balsamic glaze.  Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken without changing color.  When it starts to turn, pour the mixture on to a baking sheet.  When it cools break it up with a pestle and sprinkle it over the mousse.

Fifth, make a marinade. Quim Marqués, the chef and owner of the Suquet de L’Almirall restaurant in Barcelona offers his diners an appetizer of cubes of tuna marinated in an emulsion of balsamic glaze, soy sauce, sake and olive oil which is cooled in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Just before serving, Chef Marqués would add carrot, grated with a standard grater, taking care to handle it as little as possible so that it would puff out to form a small cloud over the tuna.

Sixth, bring out the flavor of strawberries.  The Pepa Tomate restaurant in Barcelona serves some very special strawberries and cream.  Chef Pau Corderas marinates a handful of fresh strawberries with balsamic glaze, sugar and lime zest topped off with strawberry yogurt foam.  Give it a try!

Seventh, drizzle some balsamic glaze over vanilla ice cream!  It is as simple as that!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Ice Cream with Modena Balsamic Glaze

This recipe will provide you with a mild, creamy ice cream that goes perfectly with the intense, aromatic bursts of balsamic flavor.

Makes: 1 ½ Quarts               Time: 30 minutes                    Difficulty Level: Easy

·      2/3 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Ice Cream
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Ice Cream
·      3 cups whole milk
·      6 egg yolks
·      1 cup sugar
·      2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·      1 cup heavy cream
·      1 teaspoon kosher salt
·      4 teaspoons STAR Modena Balsamic Glaze

1.     Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until it dissolves to form a smooth mixture.

2.     Heat the milk to 115 ºF and add the above mixture. Stir well over the heat until it thickens.

3.     When you’ve got a smooth mixture, take it off the heat and add the olive oil slowly. Mix until it dissolves. Add vanilla, salt, and cream and beat until combined.

4.     Place in a bowl and leave to cool.

5.     Once it’s cold, freeze for at least 5 hours. You need to stir it every hour to stop any ice crystals forming if you want creamy ice cream.

6.     Take out of the freezer to soften a while before serving and drizzle with the balsamic glaze and some sugar to decorate and add some contrast.
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Red, White, and Blue Cookies

With 4th of July coming up and those summer time BBQ's, the delicious burgers and ribs need a dessert bursting with patriotic spirit. Try out this recipe for Red, White and Blue Cookies that are bound to impress and taste delicious!

Red, White, and Blue Cookies
Red, White, and Blue Cookies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 cup STAR Extra Light Olive Oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. With a mixer, beat the STAR Extra Light Olive Oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition and then add the vanilla.
  3. Turn the mixer off. Add flour mixture and then beat just until combined. Remove the dough and separate it into three equal pieces. Shape one piece of the dough into a 4x4 inch square. wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the white portion of the cookies.)
  4. Return one of the remaining pieces of dough to the mixer bowl, and with the mixer on "low," add in the red food coloring until it reaches your desired color. Remove the red dough, shape it into 4x4 inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the red portion of the cookies.) Clean out the bowl to remove any red food coloring residue.
  5. Add the final piece of dough to the mixer bowl, and with the mixer on "low," add in the blue food coloring until it reaches your desired color. Remove the blue dough, shape it into a 4x4 inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the blue portion of the cookies.)
  6. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half to form two rectangles. Wrap half of each color of dough in plastic wrap and return it to the fridge so it can stay chilled while working with the first half of the dough. Place the red dough in between two pieces of waxed paper and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick with a rolling pin. Repeat separately with the blue and white dough.
  8. Peel the top layer of wax paper off of the red dough and then peel the wax paper off one side of the white dough and use the other side to transfer the white dough on top of the red dough. Peel off the wax paper from one side of the blue dough and use the other side to transfer it atop the white dough. Very lightly roll the three layers together. 
  9. Starting at the shorter end of the rectangle, roll the dough as tightly as possible into a log. Repeat the rolling and stacking process with the remaining dough in the fridge. Wrap the logs in the wax paper and then plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour.
  10. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, roll them on the counter several times so they don't have a flat side. Then, slice each log into 1/4 inch rounds. Place the rounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, as the cookies will expand when baked. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until pale golden, and then transfer them to a rack to completely cool.
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