Bread Dipping Appetizer

Bread Dipping Appetizer

Archive for March, 2009

Olive Oil Benefits Your Health

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Benefits Of Olive Oil

If you have a genetic history of heart disease within your family, than olive oil will need to be an important staple in your kitchen. Olive oil has a high percentage of mono-unsaturated fat, has a great flavor and is used in many Mediterranean dishes.

There are two kinds of olive oil to keep on hand. Extra virgin olive oil and pure olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is used in salad dressings and other areas where cooking is not involved since cooking burns the olive particles and gives the food an off color taste. Extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive oil, but also the most useful for flavor and gourmet preparation. 

For cooking, use pure olive oil or light olive oil. Light olive oil is lighter in color and flavor though retaining the same number of calories as other monounsaturated fats.

If you feel like having something unique to eat, try creating an olive oil balsamic dipping sauce.

Balsamic olive oil dipping sauce

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 garlic clove minced in tiny pieces
• ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 (16 ounce) un-cut french bread loaf

In a shallow bowl, stir together grated Parmesan cheese, the minced garlic clove, the Italian seasoning, the salt and the ground pepper. Sprinkle the olive oil and the vinegar evenly over the cheese mixture and stir. Place the loaf of bread on the lower oven rack and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until the bread is warm. Cut the bread into 1 inch slices and dip into the sauce. Voila! A heart healthy snack to be enjoyed at any time. 

Olive oil is a heart friendly oil that has become most popular world wide. Merely eating at least two teaspoons a day will keep your arteries supple thereby reducing the risk of being diagnosed with atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis. It is even now claimed that the use of olive oil may reduce the symptoms of arthritis as well as contributing to better gall bladder function and the ability to reduce breast and colon cancer.

Due to the increasing number of stresses in our lives, our bodies are in a constant state of inflammation. This inflammatory process contributes to a host of diseases, some life threatening. With the use of olive oil on a daily basis, this process is greatly reduced so that the body can do what it does best, provide a healthy environment conducive to healthy living. With elevated cholesterol on the rise, especially the LDL and triglycerides (which promote high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems), consuming olive oil on a daily basis will help maintain good blood lipid readings. Prescription medications come with their unique side effects and if the final blood panel results can be kept within normal readings, than use an organic means to do so. It is so much better for your health. Olive oil is very beneficial for your health.

[tag] olive oil benefits, bread dipping sauce[/tag]

 

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Monday, March 09th, 2009

Vinaigrette dressings have taken over the primarily sweet and thick dressing that was so popular several years ago. Not only are vinaigrette dressings used on salads but this dressing is also used as sauces for fish and other main course meals. Over the fruit salads and even desserts, chefs are concocting a sweetened mint raspberry vinaigrette to serve to their clientele.

Vinaigrette dressing can be used warmed or at room temperature. Even though the name implies the use of vinegar, citrus juice or any other acid ingredient can be used instead of the vinegar.

Vinegar with a distinctive flavor is also a choice. Key ingredients are sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar and honey vinegar. Even herbs have the benefit of blending with vinegar as does the garlic and shallot family. The oil used is extra virgin olive oil but hazelnut oil, walnut oil, red pepper oil, herb oil, ginger flavored oil, sesame oil or a spice oil will each add its unique flavor.

Sautéing vegetables, fish, poultry or the meat in bacon, chicken or duck fat and then adding some vinegar when the cooking is done will create a vinaigrette that is used to pour over the sautéed food. A French bistro salad is made from salad greens in which diced bacon is sautéed and vinegar added.

Vinaigrette dressing should be harmoniously blended using vinegar and oil. If unsure, mix three parts of oil to one part of vinegar or any another acidic food. If sweetness can be tasted in a citrus food, than mixing two parts oil to one of acid may be used or even one to one.

When marinating meat, fish, or poultry, the acid in the vinaigrette should be increased. If raw meat, fish or poultry is to be marinated, do not pour the same marinade over cooked food. Raw food may contain harmful bacteria. Boil the marinade first or even prepare a fresh batch to be used as a sauce.

It is quite simple to prepare a vinaigrette as a dressing; just taste and adjust as you prepare using just the right amount of oil or vinegar. In a tightly enclosed container, vinaigrette dressing can be stored for months in the refrigerator. Since oil and vinegar do tend to separate, vigorous shaking of the container will once again blend the key ingredients. And if need be, prepared mustard can be combine in the vinegar before adding oil.

To add a unique flavor to a basic vinaigrette dressing, include grated minced herbs or crumbled cheese. To it, different diced fruits can be added as well as mixing soy sauce and sugar in some recipes. That is what is so nice about preparing vinaigrette dressing. Just being able to combine your particular spices and seasonings can, in reality, form a signature dressing that you can share with your friends and family. Whether mild in taste or somewhat “zippy”, a vinaigrette dressing should be light and subtle – a flavor just to add that special taste whether to a salad or to the main entrée. 

[tag] vinaigrette dressing, vinaigrette salad[/tag]

 

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