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Vinaigrette Dressing homestyle

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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.


Vinaigrette Uses

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Using a vinaigrette other than as a salad dressing. Fresh vinaigrette is the ideal accompaniment for fresh salad produce and can be created perfectly by blending some seasonings with olive oil and vinegar. However, there are many ways to incorporate this versatile salad dressing into your cuisine. Sauces and marinades are just two ways that vinaigrette can be used to produce delicious results.

The green goddess vinaigrette is a modern version of a classic vinaigrette and was created by replacing mayonnaise by egg yolks and using white vinegar.

To create any vinaigrette the basic ingredient ratio should be strictly adhered to and will guarantee success. The traditional proportions are three parts oil to one part vinegar and seasoning. If you have these basic elements correct then you can start to be creative with your ingredients and create vinaigrettes to suit your personal taste by adding your favorite ingredients.

To create a vinaigrette you need to start with the right basic ingredients and these are oil and vinegar. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred by most, however, there are a variety oils flavored with nuts which can be substituted and if the flavor of extra virgin olive oil is too strong for your palate some lighter oils such as canola, grape seed oil and you could try toasted sesame oil can be used to complement ingredients that are used to create a dish that is redolent of the Far East.

The choice of vinegar can be viewed in much the same way. Balsamic vinegar is an extremely popular choice because of its rich flavor, however white or red wine vinegar can be used to achieve excellent results as long as you choose the best quality possible. As in your choice of oil you will similarly find a wide range of vinegars to suit your individual taste, for example there are many made from citrus fruits, rice vinegars or even a squeeze of pure lemon or acidic fruit juice will work well.

Citrus or fruit flavored vinaigrettes are extremely popular. Lemon and raspberry are two types of vinaigrette that have a wide appeal. Other flavors that can be added to create a really delicious dressing are garlic, olives, anchovies, the grated zest of citrus fruits, both fresh and sun dried tomatoes to name but a few.

Some of the ingredients used to create a vinaigrette may not be compatible and will not create an emulsion unless an emulsifier such as egg, mayonnaise or Dijon mustard is included. The ingredients will then blend together for a limited period of time without separating. However, if the mixture does separate this can be easily remedied by transferring to a food processor or blender and briefly whisking until the composition is once again emulsified.

By putting together your own preferred ingredients to create this vinaigrette means that you can use the end product not only to dress salads but as a marinades or a sauce to accompany meat, fish or poultry. If you have ever tried an Argentinean chimichurri you will understand this concept.

[tag] vinaigrette uses, vinaigrette dressing [/tag]


Vinaigrette Recipe

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Luscious strawberry vinaigrette with yogurt This recipe will give you about 1 ½ cups or 375 mls of dressing

1 cup or 250 ml of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup or 75 ml of vinegar (aged balsamic)

½ teaspoon or 2ml of kosher salt

½ teaspoon or 2ml of black pepper, freshly ground

1/3 cup or 75 ml of preferably plain Greek yogurt, or plain fat-free yogurt if Greek style is not available

3 tablespoons or 45 ml of strawberry jam (all fruit type)


This dressing is made by combining all the ingredients and transferring to a blender. Blend until perfectly smooth and serve. If the dressing has stood for some time you will need to quickly pulse the ingredients before use.

Vinaigrette Mexican Style

This recipe will give you 1 ½ cups or 375 ml

1 cup or 250 ml olive oil

1/3 cup or 75 ml cider vinegar

Half of a peeled and destined avocado

1/3 cup or 75 ml of cilantro that is fresh and has been chopped

½ teaspoon of both: kosher salt, black pepper freshly ground

1 tablespoon or 15 ml (amount can be adjusted according to preference) jalapeno pepper, chopped

This dressing is made by combining all the ingredients and transferring to a blender. Blend until perfectly smooth and serve. If the dressing has stood for some time you will need to quickly pulse the ingredients before use.

[tag] vinaigrette dressing, vinaigrette recipe [/tag]



Simple Vinaigrette And Your Salad Using Olive Oil And Vinegar

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Simple vinaigrette: the components required to make a vinaigrette – olive oil, vinegar, some sea salt, and a pepper grinder – not complicated at all.

The French, however, know it as “la sauce vinaigrette”, and they recognize it as something that can turn the most ordinary salad into something extraordinary. It can also be used for more than just salads. A sprinkle of vinaigrette can be used to add flavour to other dishes such as grilled fish, roasted chicken, pan-seared steak, or wilted vegetables.

People dining in hot weather prefer simple foods, grilled outdoors or fresh from the market, and vinaigrette serves this need very well indeed.

A vinaigrette is incredibly simple to make, and all you need to know is the proportion of 3:1, which indicates three parts of oil to every one part of vinegar. Because a vinaigrette is made from so few ingredients, the quality of each individual ingredient is very important, and you should try to obtain the very best of each. Make sure the vinegar oil, and sea salt are of good quality, and that the black pepper is freshly cracked.

All you need is a whisk and a bowl. Start by placing the vinegar along with the salt and pepper in the bowl, then whisking them together. While salt does not dissolve in oil, it does in vinegar. Once all the salt and pepper has dissolved, whisk in the oil. You now have your basic vinaigrette sauce.

Classic vinaigrettes are made from red wine vinegar and olive oil, with some mustard, shallots, spices, or herbs for additional flavour. You can also use different types of vinegar and oil to vary flavour, such as using walnut or hazelnut oil and balsamic, white wine, or sherry vinegar.

The oil should be drizzled slowly into the bowl as you whisk the mixture continuously, so that you eventually obtain a smooth, creamy sauce. In order to make it easier for the mixture to emulsify, you can add a little Dijon mustard to the vinegar before you add the oil. If, however, you are using olive oil of very high quality, then you should not add any mustard as this will affect the taste of the oil.

It is not absolutely necessary to emulsify the mixture, however, as it will all become mixed when you toss the salad with the dressing. Or, if your vinaigrette is to be used to sauce a plate of Petrale sole, then you may wish to have the olive oil beading in the rosy vinegar for presentation.

Depending on your preference in tastes, you may wish to depart from the traditional 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. Vinegar makes up the acid component of the sauce, and its acidity can fall anywhere within the range of 4 percent to 8 percent or more.

If the vinegar you are using has a high acid content, then you should use four parts of oil for every part of vinegar. The same rule should be applied if you are substituting lemon juice for some or all of the vinegar, or if you wish to highlight the taste of an excellent olive oil.

If you have some extra-virgin olive oil that is especially floral, then you can create a much softer vinaigrette by using a larger percentage of olive oil. This vinaigrette will perfectly complement a delicate salad of butter lettuce and fresh herbs.

A sharper vinaigrette can be made using a larger proportion of aged balsamic vinegar, that will complement dishes that will benefit from, or even require, a more pronounced flavour, such as grilled steak or a salad of wilted bitter greens.

A vinaigrette with the tang of Dijon mustard to its taste goes very well with wild salmon or seared flank steak.

You can experiment with the taste of your vinaigrettes by combining various ingredients. Add a little toasted sesame oil to olive oil and mild rice wine vinegar, or mellow sherry vinegar to walnut oil. Vary the texture of your sauces by adding chopped basil, finely diced shallots, or mashed roasted garlic. This not only changes the taste of your sauce, but gives it more body as well. You can even whisk grated ginger or stone-ground mustard and wild honey into your sauces.

You can also alter the temperature of your sauces. Heat the vinegar you use to make your sauce, or replace some of the oil with pan juices left over from cooking. The resulting sauce complements roast chicken or pan-seared steak well.

Alternatively, you can choose to keep your sauce simple. Simple vinaigrettes often taste the best – proof that sometimes simplicity creates the best tastes.

[tag] simple vinaigrette[/tag]


Vinaigrette: the details

Monday, April 07th, 2008

Vinaigrette the how to:

Its not always important to emulsify the vinaigrette before using it, especially if you are drizzling it over a salad. You will find that the oil and vinegar will combine when you toss the ingredients. Also, if you are thinking of using it to sauce a plate, it might be good to also have some clumps of olive oil eddying in the vinegar, particularly if it will be used with a fillet of sole.

How you make a vinaigrette really depends on your preference. You can also shift away from the 3 is to 1 ratio. After all, the vinegar that you use may also vary in acidity (the range is usually 4 to 8 percent or even more):

For vinegar that is highly acidic, you can add up to 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. The same is the case if you want to use a bit of lemon juice with the vinegar or if you want to substitute lemon juice for vinegar altogether. If you are using an excellent kind of olive oil, you can also use more of it to emphasize its taste. 

For delicate salads composed of fresh herbs and butter lettuce, you can use a higher amount of extra-virgin oil that is especially floral in taste. This makes for softer vinaigrette.

For sharper tasting vinaigrette, use a bigger percentage of aged balsamic vinegar. This will complement dishes that need a more prominent flavor, such as a wilted bitter green salad or a grilled steak.

For use with wild salmon or seared flank, vinaigrette with a pronounced mustardy taste will also be great.

You can also play around with the flavors. For example, you can combine mellow sherry vinegar with walnut oil, or add some toasted sesame oil to olive oil and mild rice wine vinegar.

Experiment with the texture of your vinaigrette. You may add ingredients that enrich the texture. Examples are grated ginger, stone-ground mustard, finely diced shallots, honey or some mashed roasted garlic and chopped basil. This not only adds texture but body as well.

Another aspect to experiment on is the temperature. You can make a hot vinaigrette buy using pan juices as substitute for some of the oil. You can also heat the vinegar. This will perfectly set off a plate of pan-seared hanger steak or some roast chicken.

At the end of it all, however, you may choose to keep it simple. After all, a vinaigrette at its most basic form is often the one that tastes best. 

[tag] vinaigrette and how to make[/tag] 


Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette

Monday, April 07th, 2008

Vinaigrette and the Salad Bar

Yearning for some vinaigrette? All you need is vinegar, olive oil, some salt and your trusty pepper grinder. This is the quick and easy list of ingredients to make vinaigrette, which is a sauce that does not look or feel like sauce but tastes oh, so great. “La sauce vinaigrette” as it is called in French has the magic to change a bowl of salad greens into a great-tasting treat.

Yes, you can pour vinaigrette over a pan-seared steak, some greens, roasted chicken or grilled fish. So you see, vinaigrettes are not just for salads but for other food as well.

Vinaigrette surely comes in handy, when you have a lot of visitors. You can use it as a sauce to transform simple fare, especially sea food fresh from the market.

When making vinaigrette, keep in mind that the best proportion is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  As simple as this is, the few ingredients must be of high quality in order for you to make great-tasting dressings or sauces. As much as possible, try to use the best ingredients you can find, which includes vinegar, oil, some salt and black pepper.

In a medium bowl and a whisk and combine salt and pepper into the vinegar. After this, add in the oil. Voila! You have your basic vinaigrette that you can use as a sauce. Remember, the order is important as salt does not dissolve in oil, only in vinegar.

Other variations include adding with olive oil and red wine vinegar. You can also include spices, herbs, mustard or some shallots. You can also change the oils. There is white wine vinegar, walnut or hazelnut oil, and balsamic vinegar.

To make sure that the oil is properly blended, slowly pour oil into the mixture while whisking continuously. A bit of Dijon mustard added to the vinegar before adding the olive oil will also help in emulsifying the mixture. (However, if you are using an excellent kind of olive oil, avoid the mustard, as this will mask the fine distinction offered by the oil).

[tag] oil and vinegar vinaigrette[/tag]


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