Thursday, May 3

MAKE IT: Balsamic Glaze

Something magical happens when you reduce down balsamic vinegar. It becomes sweet, silky, and luxurious. Many restaurants use it as a sauce over chicken, fish, or even desserts. You will also see balsamic glazes used in small amounts to accompany dishes on several chef shows. I like to use it to jazz up dinners, desserts, and salads. One of the best things to do with a balsamic glaze is drizzle it over fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. If your looking for something a little more filling and meal-like try drizzling it over pan seared vegetables.

This make 1/2 cup glaze
Full time: 50-60 minutes
You will need:

For balsamic reduction:

1/2 fresh lemon
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar, the better the quality the sweeter the end glaze
3 tbsp sugar

Let us begin:
In a small saucepan whisk together balsamic vinegar and sugar over high heat
Place the half a lemon into the vinegar and bring it to a slow boil, whisk to prevent scorching

Reduce heat to low and whisk, allow to continue cooking until it reduces by a little more then half (roughly 2/3). This could take up to 45 minutes-just whisk occasionally to keep from scorching

When fully reduced, it will coat a spoon much like a thick maple syrup or molasses

If your using it for a salad, dessert dressing or garnish sauce, I suggest moving into a squeeze bottle and put in a refrigerator

Here is a great pan seared vegetable dish to serve with balsamic:

Serves 4-6
Full time: 20-30 minutes
You will need:

2-4 Roma tomatoes, large diced
1 eggplant, cubed
1 pack button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Let us begin:

In a large saute pan, place half the olive oil and eggplant

Cook over medium-high heat until it begins to brown, approximately 5-8 minutes
Add in butter and mushrooms
Continue to cook for 5-8 minutes until butter melts
Add in tomatoes, salt, pepper, and remaining oil
Cook 10 minutes or until tomatoes are warmed through and mushrooms are softened. Try not to over cook because the vegetables will get squishy
Plate up and drizzle over balsamic glaze or mix in glaze and pasta, top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!