AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR RECIPES
In our June 2015 blog edition we looked at the ageing process and how our Elisir Balsamico di Refosco balsamic vinegar is made. In this blog will be looking at some easy recipes which incorporates the wonderful product. We have had a lot of enquiries from customers on what our balsamic can be used on many think it can only be used for dipping with olive oil and that’s it, but you can also cook with it, so we have put together aged balsamic vinegar recipes for you to re-create.
Even though our aged balsamic have gone through a lengthy and labour intensive affair which is why the price reflects this you mustn’t be put off by using the product generously, it will add a whole dimension to your dishes and impress your guests too.
Did you know? that balsamic vinegar in the 1770’s was used for medicinal purposes and as a cure for the plague before it was used for cooking? (http://www.federvini.it/index.php/en/mediterranean-style/product-history/338-history-of-balsamic-vinegar-of-modena) it also acts as a good disinfectant, so you see, it’s not only used for eating.
Aged balsamic vinegar a good quality one is naturally sweet, no sugar or preservatives is added, so this is why it can be used on ice cream, strawberries and even in cakes. Remember because it is such an intense flavour only a little drizzle can go a long way.
Two years ago at the Shrewsbury Flower Festival, Chef Tom Kerridge was demoing on the cookery stage, we were lucky enough for him to use our 6 year old balsamic for his strawberry tart with a balsamic crème patisserie topped with strawberry ice cream.
At Brompton Cookery School for a taste of Italy course Chef Marcus Bean created an amazing panna cotta with our 6 year old balsamic vinegar topped with strawberries.
AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR RECIPES: sweet
We also created a lemon and peach cake drizzled with 6 year old balsamic vinegar and it tasted amazing, you can replace the peaches with pears if you like or even figs. The recipe is easy to do, it is a simple vanilla sponge: 120ml milk
120g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
40g unsalted butter room temp.
2tsp lemon essence ,1 lemon, 1egg , 1 whole peach, a pinch of salt and 6 or 12 year old balsamic.
Pre-heat the oven to 170c (325F) or gas 3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and whisk on a slow speed until you get sandy consistency. Pour in the milk and lemon essence and whisk on medium speed until all the ingredients are well combined, gate some lemon zest in the mixture. Place in a 15cm tin lined with parchment paper, bake for 30-35mins or until the cake is golden brown. Once baked allow to cool for 5mins before removing the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely. In the mean time chop the peach into slices enough to cover the cake around the edges and grate the zest of a lemon for decorating the middle of the cake. Drizzle some 6 year old balsamic over the peaches and enjoy, you can add some more balsamic once you cut the slices if you wish.
AGES BALSAMIC VINEGAR RECIPES: savoury
We have looked at sweets now lets look at savoury.Use on your meats, if you are having steak, grill them, place on a bed of rocket, tomatoes and grill some polenta (homemade chips will do just fine) and drizzle 12 year aged balsamic to your dish as it is thicker in consistency.
Did you know that you can use aged balsamic vinegar in your risotto as a dish? It is an acquired taste but if you love the stuff then you will love this recipe, so simple to make. The key to a perfect risotto is the rice , you must use Arborio rice, it is a short rounded grain rice made in Italy, the characteristics of this grain is when cooked it is firm yet creamy due to the high starch content and that is what you want for a risotto.
Ingredients: Arborio rice approx. 90g per person
1 cube of chicken stock
2 tbs of grated parmesan or Montano cheese
Aged balsamic vinegar we used our 12 year old
Olive oil and 50g unsalted butter.
In a pan add 2litres of water and the chicken stock cube and leave to simmer on a low heat in a separate pan drizzle some olive oil add a knob of butter and a chopped onion, and cook on a low heat until the onions are soft. Then add the rice this process is called “tostare” which means you are slightly toasting the rice this is to preserve the grain through the whole cooking process, mix with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 mins until the rice will look translucent. Now add 2 ladles of chicken stock in the pan with the rice and simmer you must keep on mixing so the rice won’t stick to the pan.
After a while of stirring the stock with the rice you will see that the liquid will absorb, you then repeat the process again and again a ladle of stock to the rice for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. You then take the pan off the stove and drizzle a vast amount of 12 year old balsamic vinegar to the rice, you then add the parmesan and the butter and stir, leave to rest for a minute this process is called “mantecare” which means the rice is releasing its starch and making the dish more creamier and full of flavour. Your risotto is ready, place in a bowl and drizzle some more balsamic I added some shavings of our Montano cheese for more flavour but you can sprinkle some parmesan. Enjoy.