Coat food in a mixture of Fustini’s olive oil and balsamic and let it rest for a certain amount of time. The purpose of marinating is for the food to absorb the flavors of the marinade or, as in the case of a tough cut of meat, to tenderize it. Because most marinades contain acidic ingredients (4 percent in a dark balsamic and 6 percent in a white balsamic), the marinating should be done in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel container or in a ziplock bag — never in aluminum. For each pound of food to be marinated (meat, poultry, fish, vegetables), use 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic. Mix contents well and distribute evenly over food. Cover container. For best results, marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 6-8 hours, in the refrigerator. Turn food halfway through marinating time. Remove food from the refrigerator at least 30–45 minutes before cooking and allow it to come to room temperature. Remove from marinade. Brush on any residual marinade during cooking. (Note: When fruits are similarly prepared, the term used is macerate.)
Slowly add Fustini’s olive oil to a Fustini’s balsamic while whisking vigorously. This disperses and suspends minute droplets of one liquid throughout the other. Emulsified mixtures are usually thick and satiny in texture. Emulsifying will allow you to evenly disperse a vinaigrette flavor over salads and fruit. For a vinaigrette, the usual ratio is 1:3 (e.g., 1 tablespoon balsamic to 3 tablespoons olive oil). You will notice that Fustini’s olive oils and balsamics hold together much better and longer in an emulsion than other oils and distilled vinegars.
Brush or drizzle any Fustini’s balsamic on meat, fish, fruit or vegetables. Cook over medium heat in a pan coated with 1–2 tablespoons of Fustini’s olive oil until the naturally occurring sugars in the balsamic become thicker and sticky, helping to brown (caramelize) the surface of the food.
Cook food quickly in 1–2 tablespoons of Fustini’s olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Authentic olive oils will withstand heat of up to 300–325 degrees.
After meat, poultry or fish has been sautéed in Fustini’s olive oil and the food and any excess oil has been removed from the pan, deglazing is done by adding a small amount of Fustini’s balsamic to the pan and stirring to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. The mixture often becomes a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan.
Bring Fustini’s balsamic to a boil. Whisk constantly while maintaining a slow boil, until 50 percent of the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor. Such a mixture is sometimes referred to as a reduction or a glaze and is used to finish both sweet and savory dishes.
Combine 2 cups water with 1 cup sugar in a medium-size saucepan and place over medium heat. In a large bowl, place 1 cup of ice cubes. Once the sugar has melted, pour syrup over ice cubes and refrigerate until cold. To add some flavor, add a few tablespoons of your favorite Fustini’s balsamic to the syrup.
Place 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks) in a small saucepan and melt over low heat until the milk solids, water and butterfat separate and foam rises to the top. Remove pan from heat and carefully remove the foam on top with a spoon, pour off the clarified butter, and discard any milk solids and water on the bottom of the pan. Will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for about a month.
Place whole washed and dried peppers directly on an outdoor grill or char griller — or, if you have good ventilation, place in the flame of a gas stove burner — and char all sides equally. The goal is to char all sides as quickly as possible. Place charred peppers into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Then carefully remove charred skin from peppers and discard. Do not wash peppers after removing the skin, as this will remove flavor and oils. To serve, drizzle a little of your favorite Fustini’s olive oil over peppers and enjoy, or use in a recipe calling for roasted peppers. Excellent for salsas, sauces, salads or dips.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Roast nuts according to the type. Pine nuts will toast in approximately 4 minutes, pecans and walnuts 6–8 minutes, and macadamias or whole nuts longer. Alternatively, toast nuts in a dry skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. Stirring the nuts frequently, cook until they are toasted and golden brown.
Stack leaves on top of each other on a cutting board and then roll against the grain of the leaf to make a tight, long solid tube. Using a rocking motion with your knife, slice the tube along the small end into very thin slices. Once the entire tube is sliced, fluff chiffonade with your hands by lifting and dropping onto the cutting board.
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