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.
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