MAPLE ASIAN BALSAMIC SAUCE
For Today’s Ingredients I’m using the gifts Steve gave me for Christmas including a high-end extra virgin olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. A perfect dressing for salads or a sauce for plant meats and veggies! You pick. Quality ingredients do make a difference in the quality of the recipe you prepare. Today was a delightful savor experience on all fronts!
I could drink this sauce by itself!
Makes 2 cups
1/2 c. apple cider (not juice)
1/3 c. Balsamic vinegar – Gran Deposito Aceto Balsamic Di Guiseppe Giusti Modena
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil – Merula brand
1/4 c. soy sauce – check order
1/3 c. Grade A maple syrup
1/2 t. pink Himalayan salt
4-5 lg. garlic cloves, snip off core end, then very thinly slice
1/3 c. additional apple cider
1/2 t. guar gum powder (thickener)
In med. mixing bowl combine cider, vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup salt. whisk till incorporated.
Add garlic slices. Stir.
Pour additional cider into small bowl. Add guar gum and immediately whisk briskly till completely dissolved. If a few white specks remain, lift them out and discard.
When ultra smooth and thick like hot pudding, pour into dressing, while immediately whisking till completely incorporated.
Pour into lidded jar and keep at room temperature till ready to use over your favorite salads, fruits, vegetables and plant meats.
Notes: Be sure not to use more than 1/2 t. guar gum and to whisk it separately in cider before adding it to the sauce.
When I first tasted the soy sauce it was like I was eating a platter of veggie sushi from a liquid in a teaspoon. The Balsamic and extra virgin olive oil, again, the liquid in the teaspoon spanned the entire meal in a massive subtle sensory culinary experience. I traveled the globe without leaving the kitchen counter. Whatever Steve paid for that, was worth the trip!! And the memory!
Okay, so we’re thinking steamed potatoes, drizzled with dressing, topped with sliced scallion and maybe a bit of chopped ginger or ginger matchsticks. I decide on baking the potatoes, since peeling didn’t appeal to me today. So, 3 lbs. bakers potatoes, scrubbed and baked in a 400 degree oven right on the rack for about 1 hour or till fork tender. We like them a little more tender than that, so after 1 hour, I turned off the oven and left the potatoes in till Steve got home from work.
With one of the potatoes I tried the serving suggestion as I said I would. Loved it.
Then, I decided to mix a little sauce into some animal-free cream cheese, cut the potato into cubes, toss. Plate, top with diced scallion and celery plus leaves, then a few caramelized walnuts. Perfect flavors and textures.
SMOKED GINGER BEER WALNUTS
Delectable morsels of pure pleasure. How did I live without these? A delicacy for sure, yet made from a common nut that most people overlook.
Makes 2 cups
1/2 c. ginger beer
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vanilla – I used imitation
few drops of liquid smoke
2 c. walnut halves
1 scoop white sugar
In large skillet, over low heat, combine ginger beer and brown sugar. Stir till dissolved.
Add salt, vanilla, liquid smoke. Stir.
Add walnuts. Stir well to coat, then stir often without leaving stove area.
When liquid evaporates and a light film of sticky covers walnuts remove from heat. Let cool to lukewarm in skillet.
Pour a large scoop of granulated sugar over walnuts. Stir to coat evenly.
Using fingers, separate large pieces and coat each piece thoroughly, then place them all in wire mesh strainer to sift off excess sugar.
Use as toppers for dishes of choice: desserts, sandwiches, salads, cooked veggies.
ANOTHER WALNUT RECIPE:
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