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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Essence of Balsamic Vinegar

 This recipe or rather technique was invented by Michael Chiarello,What is this Essence of Balsamic Vinegar you ask? Well it  is a way to get a moderately priced balsamic--still look for the Modena label as other cheaper varieties use coloring and artificial junk to darken and sweeten--to thicken and sweeten up  much like the more expensive Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. You will only need about a half a teaspoon of this sweet glorious nectar to add a real, "Wow, what's in that!?", to your otherwise simple everyday dishes.

~Basic Balsamic Essence Recipe~
The basic rule of thumb for making essence of vinegar is that 1 part vinegar will cook down to 1/4 part essence. So 1 cup of vinegar will make 1/4 cup of essence. Simply simmer uncovered until reduced to 1/4 of starting amount, use your pot side as a marker. Remove from heat and cool, it will thicken even more as it cools, and store in a jar with a non-reactive lid or a bottle with squeeze top lid. Just bring to room temp before using. In the refrigerator this will keep literally for months! This Essence is used as a drizzle for cheese, raw veggies, meats, polenta, cooked veggies etc..... I really like to place a dot of this in the middle of a small puddle of olive oil ,this makes a nice dressing for breads and veggies. But my favorite is to drizzle it on a nice tender piece of pork loin which is sitting a top  a pile of tender fluffy polenta which of course catches the thick, sweet, & savory vinegar essence as it mixes with the pork juices.........
Use the pot side as a marker for how far it has cooked down.
I use a strainer over a funnel as I pour it into my glass or plastic.


Gloria said...

Ya la he puesto en básicos. Gracias anne.
Un beso

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Hooray! I've been wondering how I can get a nice thick balsamic syrup w/o spending $50+ for a tiny bottle of the good stuff! Can't wait to make this & try it with pork as you suggested (YUM!!!) or fresh strawberries. Delightful!