Food and drink are your love languages, vomFASS is your translator! In Mall of America's Culinary on North (N345), we delight in experiencing extraordinary olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spices, wine, whiskey, brandy, liqueurs and more. Free tastes daily. Cooking, wine and spirits classes weekly. Gifts of great taste, customized as desired. Only the best, always.
2 cans (15 oz) legumes, drained and rinsed (Garbanzo, Cannelini, Great Northern, black beans, etc.)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
½ C. sliced Kalamata Olives
½ C. vomFASS Jalapeno Extra Virgin Olive Oil (substitute another infused oil if you don’t like spicy) ¼ C. vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar 2 – 3 tsp. vomFASS Greek Seasoning, more or less to taste vomFASS Mediterranean Sea Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve with bread, on crostini or as a garnish, in a pita pocket, as side dish or salad topping. Flavors will bloom and blend, and this will taste even better in a day or two or three. Substitute veggies for what you have or like. Change up the flavor by using different oil, vinegar and spice combinations.
Today’s milestone was our first Facebook Live cooking class, and I made pickles! The late summer bounty has farmers markets bursting at the seams. For a foodie like me, August is a little like Christmas. I look forward to fresh local produce all year, and then BOOM – it’s here and gone in a swallow.
Pickling can extend that feeling at least a month or a year, if you want to go all out and preserve your pickles. But today, we went the quick, easy and delicious in the blink of an eye route. Pickling is easy and flexible. When I was testing my recipes, I didn’t have enough of one vinegar – so I used four different ones to make the first batch of dill pickle chips, and they were delicious. You can also use either one of these brines to pickle onions, squash, beans – really any kind of veggie, and even fruits!
Cucumbers, thickly sliced, enough to fill two pint jars
1 C. water
¾ C. vomFASS White Balsamic
¼ C. vomFASS Sherry Reserva Vinegar
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. vomFASS Game Mix/Pickling seasoning
1 sliced jalapeno pepper
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2-4 heads of fresh dill
Add dill, garlic and cucumber slices in a bowl that just fits them or two pint jars. Heat water, vinegar, salt, and seasoning in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Immediately pour brine over cucumbers. Cover bowl or jars. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving. Pickles can be stored in their brine in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
1 T. vomFASS Game Mix/Pickling Spice
1/2 tsp. Viola’s cumin seeds
1 C vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar
1 C. vomFASS Ginger Grape Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
1 C. water
5 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
One-half small yellow onion, julienned
1 T. Sugar or Stevia crystals
2 T. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Viola’s ground turmeric
One-half head cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 2 cups)
One-half red bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 cup)
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, cut into strips
Pack the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and onions in a 2-qt. heat-resistant glass bowl with lid or in clean canning jar(s).
Put the pickling spice and cumin in a saucepan and toast the spices over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, salt, and turmeric to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil.
Pour the hot brine over the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to a month.
For canned pickles:
Pack the vegetables into clean pint jars. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. If you have extra brine, strain it and distribute the solids among the jars. Wipe the jars’ lids with a damp cloth before putting on the lids. Secure the lids with screw bands tightened by hand. Process for 10 minutes, following the instructions in this “Canning Basics” guide. Store the pickles for at least 2 but preferably 7 days or longer before opening. Refrigerate after opening.
Have you ever entered a room to meet eight people for the first time and leave 90 minutes later with eight new friends? That’s an awesome feeling, and it’s how tonight’s cooking class went. In fact, the photos ended up being more about the people than the food, but the happy smiles are because of the food and the experience, so that’s OK, right?
Francis is not THE most common name, yet we had two people in the class by that name and almost every else knew or were related to a Francis, including me – so we got off on a congenial foot by declaring it Francis Night at vomFASS! The night was also special because Francis from Memphis was celebrating her birthday and because we were graced by the presence of newlyweds who joined the class during their 12 hour layover on their way to honeymoon in Iceland! (Coolest newlyweds of the year!)
But enough about how much fun we had (DO join us next time!), let’s get to the recipes!
Shrimp Salad / Dip / Tacos
2 C. cooked cocktail-sized shrimp (mini) vomFASS Chili Sea Salt, to taste 3 T. vomFASS San Domenico or Jalapeno Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 1/2 vomFASS Calamansi or Mango Balsam Vinegar 1/4 C. minced cilantro 1/4 C. sliced green onions 1/4 C. diced red bell pepper 1/4 C. Poblano pepper Tortilla chip scoops, romaine leaves, taco shells or salad greens Directions
Whisk together oil, vinegar and spices. Add remaining ingredients. Serve as desired: on greens for a salad, on lettuce leaves or taco shells, or with tortilla chips for an appetizer.
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pasta 6 servings
1 pkg vomFASS Basil Pasta OR 8 C. zoodles to replace pasta
1 t. Violas’ Caprese Salt or to taste
1 t. Violas’ Pepper with Herbs, or to taste
¼ C. vomFASS San Domenico Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 – 2 T. vomFASS Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil OR Chili Sunflower Oil
1 jar vomFASS Sun-dried Tomatoes
½ C. chopped sweet onion
½ C. chopped orange bell pepper
2 t. minced garlic (fresh or jarred)
1 C. chopped fresh baby spinach
Parmesan Cheese, to taste
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia
Chop sun-dried tomatoes and set aside. Sauté onion and pepper with sunflower oil over medium high heat, just until tender crisp. Add garlic and sauté about one more minute. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and seasonings. Set aside in pan. Cook pasta in boiling salted water 1 minute less than minimum recommended on package. Lift out of water and into the pan with sautéed veggie mixture, along with about ½ cup of pasta water. Add olive oil, spinach and adjust spices. Toss, cover and let rest in a warm place until ready to serve. Serve with parmesan and drizzle with Aceto Balsamico.
I love meeting people who are as jazzed about easy, delicious and healthy cooking and eating as I am! Tonight’s class was delightful, with engaged participants enjoying the company and the food. The recipes were such a hit that I just had to share this peek at the fun. Join us for next month’s classes! See the class schedule on our Facebook page.
Chopped Potato Salad Serves 2 – 3
Ingredients – Salad
2 T. Spicy Honey Mustard Dressing (recipe below)
½ C. Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¾ C. Small red potatoes, steamed, chilled and and cubed
½ C. Cherry or grape tomatoes
1 hand full green beans, steamed to tender crisp and chilled
1 Egg, hard boiled and diced
Ingredients – Honey Mustard Dressing
½ C. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 T. vomFASS White Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. vomFASS Forest Honey
1 T. vomFASS Walla Walla Chipotle Mustard
vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix to taste
Combine dressing ingredients and whisk until emulsified. Leftovers may be used as a salad dressing or marinade for chicken, pork chops or shrimp. Combine salad ingredients and serve. This salad is even better the second day!
Black-Eyed Peas and Walnut Lettuce Wraps Serves 6-8
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked from dried state
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can diced water chestnuts
1 medium carrot, roughly grated
½ C. chopped walnuts
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ C. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. vomFASS Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Red Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil if you prefer spicier
¼ C. vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic 1 t. vomFASS African Rub spice blend vomFASS Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste
Bibb / Butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, carrots and water chestnuts. Reduce heat to low, cover pan
and continue cooking until veggies are tender crisp, about 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts, black-eyed peas, Fig-Chili Balsamic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Spoon about ¼ cup of the mixture into each lettuce leaf. Fold the leaves in half and eat taco-style. vomFASSified from Oldwayspt.org
Balsamic Watermelon SaladServes 6
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico Maletti
1 Small seedless watermelon
1 T. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
2 T. vomFASS Agora Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C. fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
2/3 C. crumbled feta cheese
vomFASS Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix
In a large bowl, whisk together the Calamansi Balsam Vinegar and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cut the watermelon into cubes or use a melon baller and scoop it into balls. Add it to the bowl, along with mint and feta cheese. Toss to combine. Drizzle the salad with Aceto Balsamico Maletti and serve. You can serve this on a tray, in a bowl, or even as individual wedged servings.
Easy DessertServes 6
vomFASS Star Forest Raspberry Balsamic
vomFASS Pistachio Oil
vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
Scoop one small serving of ice cream or yogurt into serving bowl. Drizzle with Star Forest Raspberry Balsamic and Pistachio Oil. Enjoy! (You won’t believe how decadently delicious this is!)
Risotto is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s so easy to make it new each time using different veggies, olive oil flavors or seasonings. And it’s a great way to use left-over grilled veggies this summer! And of course Minnesotans love easy new ways to prepare their fresh catch of Walleye, Northern Pike, Bass or Pan Fish. No problem if you don’t have access to fresh Minnesota fish. This preparation works equally well on Halibut, Cod or Salmon!
I recommend pairing this meal with a juicy, slightly off-dry white or rosé wine, such as Brand Weissburgunder, Sentio Pinot Grigio, Fausse Piste Oyster Sauce, or even a Prosecco or Cava from vomFASS at Mall of America. Enjoy!
Easy pan-fried or grilled fish
vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS BBQ Fish Seasoning
Fish fillets of choice (I used halibut this time) 1 per person
vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, to taste
Heat a sauté pan with Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat. Add fish fillet(s), not over-crowding the pan. Grind BBQ Fish Seasoning over the fish. Sauté until golden. Flip once and finish sautéing until golden on the second side. Turn off heat under pan and allow to continue cooking with ambient heat just until fish is flaky and no longer translucent in the middle. Don’t overcook, as it results in a dry, tough fillet. To grill, use aluminum foil as your “pan” over medium heat. Serve with a drizzle of Calamansi Balsam Vinegar.
Risotto with Asparagus Serves 4-6
6 – 8 asparagus spears, washed, tough ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
½ medium onion, diced
1 t. minced garlic
2 T. vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus more for drizzling) vomFASS Sea Salt, to taste vomFASS Peppercorn Mix, ground, or to taste
1 T. butter
2 T. vomFASS Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 C. Arborio rice
½ C. dry white wine (such as vomFASS Sentio Pinot Grigio)
4 C. chicken or vegetable stock
½ C. Parmesan Cheese, grated (we like Cheese Brothers Parmesan, from our friends at their Mall of America store)
Heat a large sauté pan (I like using cast iron for risotto for consistent heat) with Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until slightly softened, about two minutes. Add asparagus and sauté a couple more minutes, just until tender-crisp. Finally, add garlic and sauté just a minute more, reducing heat as needed to keep garlic from burning. Use a slotted spoon to remove veggies from pan and set aside.
Heat butter and Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add rice and stir to coat the grains, sautéing for a few minutes until rice becomes slightly golden. Add wine and cook until liquid is absorbed. Add about ½ cup of stock and ½ teaspoon salt to the rice. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed. Continue to add the stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Each time, cook until the mixture is a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the sautéed veggies and salt and/or pepper to taste, if needed. Off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve with a drizzle of Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
You can fight the crowds of people Sunday morning for a turn at Easter brunch in a restaurant. Or, you can make this easy, delicious and healthy brunch at home while in your PJs, with your favorite music streaming and sipping on a glass of bubbly!
1 lb asparagus
1 C. Manchego cheese, grated vomFASS ingredients:
Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Pepper Whole Blend
Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
Pyramid Sea Salt
Indian Green Peppercorns
Tomatoes, avocado, or green onions for garnish.
Heat oven to broil. Wash asparagus and snap off tough ends. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes in a steam basket over boiling water in a large saucepan. Then rinse asparagus in cold water to stop cooking. Pat dry on paper towels. (You can blanch a day in advance and hold in a container or zipper bag in the refrigerator until the next morning.) Place spears on aluminum foil lined baking pan with sides. Drizzle with Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, turning spears to coat evenly with oil. Crack Garlic Pepper Whole Blend generously onto spears. Broil for 4 minutes on top rack of oven. (If your grill is free from its snow bank, use that instead of broiling!) Hold asparagus in oven on low, or turn oven off to hold while making eggs.
Make omelets two eggs at a time. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add 1 T. water and a pinch of Pyramid Sea Salt, ground or crumbled with fingers, and a grind or two of Green Indian Peppercorns and whisk again. Heat Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil in an omelet pan or small non-stick saute pan over medium high heat until oil is hot. Add eggs, reduce heat to low and cook until set but not dry. A cover can help get the center set. Slide omelet onto plate and put in oven to hold with asparagus. Cook the remaining omelets. Assemble with asparagus, add grated 1/4 cup grated cheese to each omelet, saving some for garnish. Add other garnishes desired.
Pair with sparkling wine, such as our beautiful Sentio Prosecco from Italy, on its own or add orange juice for a Mimosa. Enjoy!
Simplify: instead of omelets, simply scramble the eggs all at once and serve with asparagus on the side and grate cheese over all.