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.
Summers in the Midwest are short, and therefore incredibly sweet. We savor every moment of sunlight. We come out of our homes and reconnect with neighbors. We play hard. We party like snow and ice are just around the corner, because they are.
With the Summer Solstice already in the rear view mirror, it’s time to celebrate summer with your favorite people, patio food and refreshing drinks. Sangria fits the bill to a T.
Sangria is originally a Spanish concept that we have embraced and embellished to basically be a light and enjoyable alcoholic fruit punch that you can make with a wide variety of ingredients. The basic recipe includes some combination of these ingredients, with the proportions tweaked to please your preferences:
1 bottle of wine (red, rosé, white)
1 Cup of bubbly (sparkling wine, club soda, sparkling water, etc.)
1/4 Cup Liqueur and/or 1/4 Cup Spirit (or 1/2 cup of one)
1/4 Cup Fruit juice
1 – 2 Cups Fruit
Combine all ingredients except the bubbly in a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, and as long as 24 hours. Add the bubbly right before serving, either by adding all at once to the pitcher or topping off each serving with a splash of bubbly. Adding to individual servings allows you to make the sangria as light in alcohol content as the drinker prefers.
The sangria I made for my daughter’s birthday this week included these ingredients:
Bobbie’s Birthday Sangria
1 bottle of rosé wine (Paul Blisson from vomFASS)
1 Cup of sparkling pink lemonade (Trader Joe’s)
1/2 Cup vomFASS Elderflower Liqueur
1 1/2 Cups (approximate) of fruit, including apples, orange slices, blueberries and watermelon (great way to use whatever you have in the frig!)
Prepare as indicated above, using the sparkling pink lemonade as the bubbly. If you want a lighter sangria, just add more sparkling lemonade.
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.
This week’s Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking Class at vomFASS in Mall of America put the spotlight on Spain and their delightfully delicious tradition of tapas.
Tapas are a variety of small savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack with drinks, or with other tapas as a meal. To “tapear,” going from bar to bar for drinks and tapas, is an essential part of the social culture of Spain, especially in the south. Learn more about tapas in this great guide to tapas bars and restaurants in Sevilla.
Tapas are perfect appetizers for your summer parties, or serve several for a “small plates” dinner party. Pair them with one or more of our Spanish wines currently in stock. I especially love Cava or Tempranillo with these dishes. These recipes were a huge hit in class this week (and vomFASS staff scarfed up the leftovers very quickly!). I hope you enjoy them as well! And I invite you to join us in a future cooking class. Check out our schedule. Call us at 952-426-3222 to order the vomFASS products included in these recipes.
Tater Tapas Serves 8 – 10
15-20 mini potatoes
¼ C. Manchego Cheese, finely shredded
¼ C. vomFASS Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil vomFASS Sea Salt & Pepper ¼ C. Sour cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
½ t. vomFASS Fried Potato Spice 3 green scallions, tops cut on a diagonal
Fill stock pot with enough water to cover potatoes, add a teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of potatoes (do not overcook). Strain and cool enough to handle or refrigerate up to 4 days before using.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a paring knife, cut each potato with 3 to 4 slices halfway through. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with Truffle oil. Sprinkle with cheese, salt & pepper. Roast until slightly brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. While roasting potatoes, combine Fried Potato Spice and sour cream or yogurt. Remove potatoes from oven and cool slightly. Top with a tiny dollop of sour cream/yogurt mixture and garnish with scallions before serving.
Tuna & Red Pepper ToastsServes 12
½ C. mayonnaise
½ C. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided; more for serving
1 T. minced garlic
3 t. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, divided
2 – 7 oz. cans tuna, drained
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 T. small brined capers
3 T. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppercorn Mix, to taste
1 jar vomFASS Red Pepper Pesto ¼ C. Manchego Cheese, finely shredded
12 baguette slices, cut on a sharp biasBrush baguette slices with olive oil and lightly toast under a broiler or on a grill.
Combine mayo, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, 1 t. Calamansi Balsam Vinegar and sea salt, to taste. Set mixture aside for a moment or make in advance and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Combine Red Pepper Pesto with Manchego cheese and set aside.
Place tuna in a medium mixing bowl and break it up with a fork. Add to tuna: ¼ cup of the aioli you just made, minced shallot, 2 teaspoons Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, capers, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Fold mixture gently to incorporate all ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, adding more vinegar, olive oil, or aioli for flavor if desired.
Spread Red Pepper Pesto mixture in a thin layer onto toasted baguette slices. Arrange baguette slices on a serving board. Top them with a spoonful of tuna mixture, followed by a small dollop or drizzle of remaining aioli. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, or 1 1/2 C. fresh diced tomatoes
2 T. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 T. vomFASS Forest Honey 1 T. vomFASS White Balsamic Vinegar 1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. vomFASS Aglio Olio Pepperoncino spice blend vomFASS Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppercorn Mix ½ C. hummus (see recipe below)
4 pocketless pita breads
½ C. thinly sliced dry chorizo (2 ounces)
½ pound shelled and deveined cooked small shrimp
1 C. Manchego cheese, shredded vomFASS Aceto Balsamico Maletti, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes with olive oil, honey, vinegar, shallot, garlic, spice blend, salt and pepper. Stir in shrimp.
Spread hummus on pita breads. Top with chorizo and Manchego. Bake directly on the oven rack for about 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Transfer flatbreads to work surface. Using slotted spoon, top with tomato mix. Quarter flatbreads, drizzle with Maletti and serve.
2 T. vomFASS Toasted Sesame Oil 2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more, as needed)
1 T. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar vomFASS Sea Salt, to taste
Using a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients. Slowly drizzle in more garlic olive oil while mixing, if needed, until desired consistency. Serve with corn chips, fresh veggies as a dip. Also good as a sandwich spread or pizza base sauce.
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.