Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to the Basics: Balsamic Vinaigrette

I post a multitude of recipes on my blog; sweet, savory, vegetarian, and so many more.  I often get so wrapped up in my quest to share all of these new and wonderful recipes with you that I often forget about the basics that I make from day to day.  For some reason or another I never feel like these basic recipes are worthy enough to share to you all.  I mean everyone has their "go to" chocolate chip cookie recipe, basic bread recipe, pizza dough and so on, right?  Well, that may or may not be the case in your situation.  Or maybe you do have your "go to" recipe but you're curious what mine is or you're just looking to try out a new recipe.  Whatever the case may be, I would like to start a new series to share with you.  A series, that while simple, will highlight recipes that I think of as Basic.  While some of the recipes may be staples to you, others may not, but all the recipes in this series are staples in my kitchen.

I realize that there are endless options for recipes I could use to start this series, but I'm going to start with one of my favorite vinaigrettes.  Balsamic vinaigrette has to be one of my all time favorite dressings.  Aside from Ranch, it's my "go to" dressing.  It's light, tart, sweet and tangy.  It truly does hit all the right notes and compliments so many dishes.  It's most obvious use is a dressing for salad; but it can also be used to drizzle over chicken or pork or it can even be used as a marinade. 

As much as I love the convenience of using store bought items, one thing I love even more is making foods and sauces at home from scratch.  I'm a big fan of this for many reasons.  First, you can control the quality of ingredients.  Second, since you are making it at home you control the taste and the end result is a product that suites the taste of you and your family.  Also, since you're making the product at home there are no preservatives.  Another perk to this homemade dressing is you can have it any time you desire.  No matter if the stores are open, or sold out because you can make it in the convenience of your own home.  How great is that? 

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients:

1/4 Cup aged Balsamic vinegar (I used this from Devo)
1 1/2 Tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 Cup Olive Oil

Directions:

Combine the balsamic vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir vigorously until sugar and salt begin to dissolve.  Add the garlic, shallots, pepper and dijon mustard and stir to combine.  Once ingredients are incorporated, slowly stream in the olive oil until mixture is combined.  Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

Recipe source: adapted from Emeril Lagasse, The Essence of Emeril
  

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