Sunday, June 15, 2014

Golden Balsamic Vinegar - Peach Barbecue Sauce

Golden Balsamic Vinegar - Peach Barbecue Sauce
4 tbsp. butter
1 c. chopped yellow onion (1/2 large onion)
2 tsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 c. B.R. Cohn California Golden Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 c. brown sugar (packed into measuring cup)
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. tomato ketchup
1 ½ c. diced peaches (2 large peaches – leave skin on)
1 tsp. liquid smoke
½ c. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
In a heavy bottom pot add butter, onions and garlic and sweat until over low heat until the onions are translucent and lightly browned. Then add remaining ingredients and simmer 15 to 20 minutes over lower heat.
Cool and place in a blender. Pulse a few times to remove large chunks. Try not to puree – leave some chunks of peach showing.
Serve with barbecued chicken or pork chops or ribs.
Can be stored refrigerated for 2 weeks or more.
1 ¾ c.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Spinach and Grilled Pear Salad with Spiced Glazed Walnuts and Dried Cherries tossed in Golden Balsamic and Honey – Mustard Vinaigrette

Spinach and Grilled Pear Salad with Spiced Glazed Walnuts and Dried Cherries tossed in Golden Balsamic and Honey – Mustard Vinaigrette

Baby Spinach
Dried Cherries (dried cranberries can be substituted).
Golden Balsamic and Honey – Mustard Vinaigrette
1/4 c. (2 oz.)Golden Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 shallot, chopped fine (1 tbs.)
1 heaping tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 heaping tsp. honey
1 ¾ c. Olive Oil
In a blender mix vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey and salt on low speed for 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Resulting dressing should be nice and creamy.
Will last in your fridge for 4 to 6 days.
1 c.

Spiced Glazed Walnuts
2 c. raw walnuts (halves or broken pieces) 5 to 6 oz.
2 tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
4 c. boiling water for walnuts
Boil the walnuts for 2 minutes and drain. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Toss the still hot walnuts until coated with sugar, salt and spices. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven, on a non-stick cookie sheet sprayed with vegetable oil for 10 - 12 minutes. Do not let the walnuts brown too much, or they will become bitter. Cool before using. Will keep for several days in an air-tight container (if they don’t get consumed first).

Grilled Pears for 4 to 6 salads
2 firm pears (Anjou or Bosc) cored with string removed.
Vegie spray.
Heat BBQ to high. Slice pears length-wise at the last minute so they won’t brown (4 to 5 slices per half). Spray with vegie spray Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side to get nice grill marks. Cool
You can also broil them quickly in your oven for a few minutes to lightly brown both sides. Both methods keeps the pears from turning brown so you can do this step ahead.
16 to 20 slices

For Salad
Cleaned baby spinach (1 good handful per salad).
Sun Dried Cherries (about 1 tbs. per salad)
Toss salad in enough vinaigrette so leaves are coated but not soggy.
Arrange on plates and garnish with pears, walnuts and dried cherries.

Oysters on the Half Shell with BR Cohn 15 – Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Toasted Black Peppercorn Mignonette Sauce

Oysters on the Half Shell with BR Cohn 15 – Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Toasted Black Peppercorn Mignonette Sauce
Mignonette Sauce
1 tsp. black peppercorn, toasted
1 tbsp. finely minced shallot (1 large shallot)
1/3 c. BR Cohn 15 – Year Aged Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Water
½ tsp. Kosher salt

3 oysters per person as a first course. If you like, you can always have more. The sauce will top at least 2 dozen.
(Toasting the peppercorns reduced the heat and adds an amazing smoky flavor.)
Toast peppercorns in a sauté pan over medium heat until they begin to smoke – about 1 minute. Let cool. Crush peppercorns on a cutting board with the side of a large flat knife – try not to over do it – they don’t need to be superfine. In a bowl, mix peppercorns and remaining ingredients. Let set for one hour before use.
Open oysters and loosen them from their shells. Arrange on a plate with lemon wedges. Stir mignonette and spoon a little on each oyster.
1/3 c.
Will keep refrigerated for 1 week.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grilled Pork Roast with Cherry Chutney

Grilled Pork Roast with Cherry Chutney
1 c. apple juice
1 c. sugar
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1 diced small red onion
1 tblsp. finely chopped fresh or candied ginger
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lb. pitted cherries (2 1/2 c.)
In a non-reactive saucepan, add the onion, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and apple juice. Bring to a simmer. Reduce until syrupy. Add the cherries and simmer covered for 3 minutes. Uncover and reduce once more until syrupy about 10 minutes.
Yield 2 cups
This is a great topping for grilled or smoked pork, chicken and duck.
Yield 2 cups
Dry marinade for pork roast
1/2 c. brown sugar mixed with...
1 1/2 tblsp. kosher salt
3 lb. pork loin roast
Rub the pork roast with the salt and sugar mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Rub off excess marinade and moisture before roasting. Place in a small roasting pan or cast iron pan (not your favorite all clad pan) to put into the BBQ. Add ½ inch of water to keep the roast from burning on the bottom. Keep adding water as needed.
Add some moistened apple or cherry wood chips to the coals. If using a gas barbecue place the chips in a tin pie pan off to the side. When the chips start to smoke begin roasting with the cover closed. Use the indirect low-heat method so the roast won’t burn. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Internal temperature should be 150°F.
Serves 6

Grilled Apricot Crostini

Grilled Apricots with Chèvre, Pine Nuts, Arugula and Balsamic Syrup on Grilled Crostini
(this is a great summer appetizer)
½ c. Balsamic vinegar
½  to ¾ baguette – 18 slices
1 c. olive oil
9 Apricots
2 to 3 oz. Goat cheese
9 Arugula leaves
¼ c. Toasted Pine nuts
Heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over low heat. Reduce until syrupy.
Toast pine nuts in a 350°F oven until lightly browned.
Cut diagonal slices of bread and brush with olive oil.
Cut apricots in half, remove pit and brush with olive oil.
Grill bread on both sides to create hatch marks. Grill apricots on the cut side for just a few minutes being careful to not over cook. Cut each half into 3 slices. Spread crostinis with goat cheese, top with a few pine nuts, a leaf of arugula and three slices of grilled apricot. Drizzle a few drops of the balsamic syrup over the top to finish.
Serves 6

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 c. fresh lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
½ pint strawberries
3 to 4 cups cold water
ice, mint, strawberry slices
Wash, stem and chop strawberries. Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and reduce to ¾ cup. Add strawberries and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool then strain mashing strawberry pulp to extract as much of the juice as possible. Pour into a large pitcher. Squeeze lemons and add to the strawberry syrup. Dilute with cold water to taste. Add ice to a  glass pour in lemonade then garnish with fresh mint, a lemon slice and sliced strawberries. You could also add a little vodka for a refreshing adult beverage on a hot day.
Yield 4 to 6 glasses.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pizzetta with Roasted Roma Tomatoes, Organic Fennel, Garlic, Queso Fresco, Balsamic Syrup and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Pizzetta Dough
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water (between 95° and 115° F.)
2 T yeast (2 tablespoons, I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less)
2 T sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
Pour warm water into a bowl. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the sugar and salt. Mix until well blended. Add the yeast and mix. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended. Add the rest of the flour (and any other additions) and mix well. The dough should turn into a ball. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.
Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. Place the dough in a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.

After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Punch it down. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be rolled out.

Portion into 3 - ounce balls and roll out. Pizzetta should be about 5 inches across. Place on a sheet pan, and brush with olive oil. Let rise for 5 minutes then bake at 425°F until lightly browned.
Freeze any unused dough for the future.

Toppings for 4 pizzettas
4 Roma tomatoes
1 baby fennel bulb only sliced thinly
1 c. balsamic vinegar (not the expensive variety)
8 basil leaves julienned
4 oz. queso fresco or mozzarella shredded
4 cloves garlic chopped
Kosher salt
Queso fresco can be purchased at many Mexican food stores. Substitute fresh or regular mozzarella if necessary.
Quarter the tomatoes and lay cut side up on a cookie sheet with the sliced fennel and garlic. Sprinkle with kosher salt and olive oil. Roast the tomatoes, garlic and fennel in a 400°F oven until slightly browned and caramelized. Remove and keep at room temperature.
Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over low heat by 3/4s or until it seems to thicken.

Arrange pizzettas on a cookie sheet and top with roasted tomatoes – 4 quarters per pizzetta and divide the fennel and garlic over the pizzettas. Sprinkle with basil, top with cheese and bake at 400°F until cheese melts. Drizzle balsamic syrup over the top of each pizza and brush with olive oil. Cut into quarters and serve.