Drizzle Oil and Vinegar

Drizzle Oil and Vinegar

Vinaigrette Dressing homestyle

People are becoming more and more health conscious, dressings for their salads are reflecting this. Going back only a few years, they were almost treated as a candy as they were rich and sweet. This defeated the whole purpose of eating a ‘healthy’ salad. While the obvious use of vinaigrette is as a dressing for your salad, they are also very flexible and can be used sauces for all courses, including your main entrée. Chefs are making up all sort of variations of this dressing and using it for just about everything. The beauty of vinaigrette is the fact that it can be served either at room temperature or warm. While these dressings are usually always called vinaigrette, they may not actually have vinegar as their base. Today, other acids such as lemon juice, are used as a substitute for vinegar. If you are using vinegar, you have plenty of options to explore different flavors. Using varieties such as champagne vinegar or cider vinegar will create a new twist. While the oil part of the dressing is usually a high quality olive oil, people now sometimes substitute things like herb infused oil, ginger flavored oil, sesame oil or oils that have been infused with nut flavors. While it may not seem typical, you can also make a vinaigrette using natural juices. For instance, you can use bacon fat to sauté your meat or fish and then add vinegar to the pan juices creating a vinaigrette that you would use as a sauce for the dish.

You could also sauté small pieces of bacon and then add the vinegar giving yourself a wonderful warm bacon dressing for a spinach salad. While people are making their own twist, it should only truly be called a vinaigrette if the flavors are combined equally. No one entity should dominate the dressing. The usual ratio for a proper vinaigrette 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. You will find that when using substitutes for the vinegar, such as orange juice, you can lessen the oil ratio to 2:1 to equal out the flavors. Vinaigrettes are much more than just dressing though. They are ideal for marinades for any type of meat, poultry or fish. The acid allows the flavors to penetrate leading to a wonderful flavor upon cooking. One thing you do want to remember though is that if you do choose to use your vinaigrette as a marinade, you should never remove the meat and then use it as a dressing. It will be loaded with harmful bacteria so you should just make up a fresh batch if being used as a dressing or heat it to a boil if you are going to use it as a sauce so you can kill of the raw bacteria that may have transferred from your meat dish.

Making a vinaigrette is extremely easy and modifiable. You can taste it as you go and continue to adjust the ratio’s to get the desired flavor. As you are adding components, you may find that you now have too much on your hands. Not to worry, this dressing will keep for a week or so in a sealed container. Something that frustrates a lot of people when they are making a vinaigrette for the first time is the fact that is separates so easily. To avoid this, it will have to be whisked or shaken briskly before serving. The natural components keep them separate unless this is done. Something you can do to combat this is adding a little Dijon mustard, it will act as an emulsifying agent. To add a new twist to your vinaigrette, try adding things like fresh fruit, herbs cheeses and other spices. You will be pleasantly surprised.


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