Fig Chili Balsamic, How Do I Love Thee?

I recently got some family members hooked on vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic Vinegar, and now they are clamoring for more ideas and recipes for using it!

My first love is to use Fig Chili as a seasoning for burgers – beef, bison, turkey – namefig-chili burger2 your protein! Mix your burger meat as usual, and add about 2 tablespoons of Fig Chili Balsamic per pound of meat. It adds great flavor and a little bit of kick to your burger.

Then, make some balsamic glazed onions with Fig Chili Balsamic to top the burger, add some bleu or gorgonzola cheese, (and bacon, if you’re feeling really decadent!) and you just made the best burger in town!

Balsamic Glazed Onions

1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T. vomFASS Aceto Balsamico Platinum
vomFASS Himalayn Salt and Peppercorn Mix
to tasteonions caramelized glazed balsamic vomFASS Mall of America Minnesota Food

In medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Sauté until onions are soft and semi translucent – about 10 minutes. Add Aceto Balsamico Platinum.  Stir to coat onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized.

I recommend doubling this recipe, as these are great on salads, sandwiches, pizza, in mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs – chime in with your own ideas for using them!

Other quick and easy ideas: 

  • Drizzle Fig Chili Balsamic on tomato soup – homemade or purchased. One of my go-to convenience foods is the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup from Costco – its gluten free and organic, and with a pop of extra flavor from Fig Chili Balsamic, it’s delicious! (Don’t forget to dip your grilled cheese sandwich in it!)
  • Use Fig Chili Balsamic as your “secret sauce,” to season roasted meats, steaks and poultry. 
  • My favorite olive oil to pair with Fig Chili Balsamic is vomFASS Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Lemon EVOO is a good alternative to Orange. Use as a marinade for grilled chicken or shrimp, or as a vinaigrette for a Southwest salad, or quinoa salad.
  • Drizzle on pizza, roasted veggies, caprese salad, fish tacos, and yes – even ice cream! Wow, yum!

Here are some more recipes. Let me know what YOU make with this sweet + heat all-star balsamic!

Grilled Fish with Balsamic Marinade

¼ cup vomFASS Madonia or Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup vomFASS Avocado Oil
¼ cup vomFASS Fig-Chili Balsamic Vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped)
1/8 tsp vomFASS Sea Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground vomFASS Peppercorn Mix
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard

In small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well mixed and emulsified.  Place fish fillets into large zip-lock bag.  Pour marinade over fish, distributing well.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Remove fish from marinade when ready to cook.  Discard any remaining marinade.  Grill according to package directions.

Fig Chili Shrimp or Chicken  Serves 4

1 lb. raw shrimp or cubed chickenvomfass15-2521
3 T. vomFASS Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T. vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt, divided
Freshly ground vomFASS Peppercorn Mix, to taste 

Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, half the salt and a few cranks of ground pepper in a glass bowl with cover or plastic zip bag. Add shrimp or chicken and marinate 15 – 20 minutes. Do not marinate shrimp longer; chicken may be marinated up to two hours. Empty contents of bag or bowl into a hot stir-fry pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with Smoked Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix to taste. Serve immediately.

Black-Eyed Peas and Walnut Lettuce Wraps Serves 6-8

2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cookedBlack Eyed Pea Lettuce Wraps Mediterranean Diet Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America
1 onion, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
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
¼ C. vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic
1 t. vomFASS African Rub spice blend
vomFASS Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste
16 leaves iceberg or butter lettuce

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, carrots and water chestnuts. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and continue cooking until veggies are tender crisp, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in walnuts, black-eyed peas, 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

Fig-Chili BBQ Sauce

Makes approximately 1 cup sauce

4 Tbsp vomFASS San Gimignano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ medium-sized onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
½ cup vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic Vinegar (for less spicy, see NOTE)
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup water
¼ tsp vomFASS  Sea Salt
¼ tsp vomFASS  Black Peppercorn Mix

NOTE: For a less spicy version, use ¼ cup Fig Chili Balsamic + ¼ cup Star Fig Balsamic.

In medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté one minute more.

Whisk in the ketchup, vinegar(s), honey, mustard, water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a low simmer.  Cook the sauce until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 – 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  Refrigerate until ready to use, or for up to two weeks.

Black Bean Salsa  Serves 4 – 8

1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsedBlack Bean Salsa vomFASS Cooking Class Mall of America Minnesota Food
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
½ small red onion, minced
1 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen and thawed)
2 T. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp vomFASS Chili con Carne spice blend
1 T. vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic Star Vinegar
1 ½ T. vomFASS Agora Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 t. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
¼ t. vomFASS Sea Salt
¼ t. vomFASS Peppercorn Mix

*For a spicier version, replace Agora Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Red Pepper or Jalapeno Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Place all ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir gently until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.  Stir again just prior to serving. Serve with tortilla chips as a dip, serve as a condiment for tacos, or add to a green salad or grilled entrée of fish or chicken.

Fig Chili Chocolate Truffles

6 oz. heavy cream
2 T sugar
2 T vomFASS Fig Chili Balsamic Vinegar
8 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 T butter
4 oz. Apricot Grappa
1 T Honey

Bring cream, sugar and vinegar to almost a boil.  Add chopped chocolate, cover and let sit for 5 min. Stir in grappa and butter.  Emulsification starts in the middle, continue stirring until grappa is incorporated and ganache is shiny.  Taste, add honey if necessary.  Let cool.  Form  ½ in balls and roll in cocoa.  Look, Taste, Enjoy!

I hope you’re feeling inspired! 

Let me know if you create something wonderful – take a picture and share your recipe by tagging our Facebook page!

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Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking Class June 26, 2018

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

Mediterranean Diet Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America Mark Kathy
Nice job on that colorful, flavorful salad, Mark & Kathy!

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

Potato Salad Minnesota Food vomFASS Mall of America
This colorful salad is as nutritious as it is delicious! Great for the MN summer vegetable bounty! 

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 

Directions

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

Ingredients

Mediterranean Diet Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America Andy Susie
Andy and Susie joined us during their Twin Cities vacation, from Illinois!

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

Directions

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, carrots and water chestnuts. Reduce heat to low, cover pan

Black Eyed Pea Lettuce Wraps Mediterranean Diet Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America
Black-eyed pea and walnut lettuce wraps make a great appetizer or meatless main dish. I loved the leftovers with Paul Blisson Rosé from vomFASS.

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 Salad Serves 6

Ingredients

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 

Directions

Mediterranean Diet Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America Father Daughter
Tiffany knew her dad, George, would love the gift of a cooking class – and quality time with her! 

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 Dessert Serves 6

Ingredients

vomFASS Star Forest Raspberry Balsamic
vomFASS Pistachio Oil

vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

Directions

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!)

 

Summer Harvest Menu #1

My favorite foodie time of year has arrived – summer harvest! It’s the perfect time to explore new easy, delicious and healthy veggie dishes. It’s also a great time to host a laid-back, al fresco dinner party for all the friends you’ve been meaning to connect with this summer. The recipes from our EDH Meals cooking class this week are great additions to a late summer party menu!

Baba Ghannooj Serves 8eggplant
(Inspired by Barbara Stafford’s Eclectic Entertaining cookbook.) 

Ingredients 

2 large eggplants
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 t. minced roasted garlic
2 T. vomFASS Sesame Oil
¼ C. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
2 t. vomFASS Asia Tandoori spice blend
1 t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Parsley, cilantro or diced tomatoes for garnish
Pita bread, corn chips and/or veggies for dipping, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake eggplant about 40 minutes until soft. Cool, peel, cube. Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, as needed. Serve at room temp with crackers, pita bread or veggies.

Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Serves 6 – 8
(Inspired by Kelly Nixon’s recipe on The Cooking Channel

Ingredients

Charred corn salad Minnesota Food vomFASS Mall of America
Photo credit: The Cooking Channel

6 – 8 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
1 small red onion, diced
1 ½ C. packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. vomFASS Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt
and Peppercorn Mix
¼ C. vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar
¼ C. vomFASS Pepone Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Preheat grill to 450 degrees. Brush or rub each cob with Sunflower Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the hot grill and char each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set corn aside until cool enough to handle. Stand each ear up, stalk end down, in a wide, shallow bowl and, using your knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a food processor, add the basil and garlic and pulse until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, tomatoes and onion. Drizzle the vinaigrette over salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Vegetable Medley Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

5 cups assorted vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces, such as:
Broccoli, Cauliflower and carrots OR
Zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion
vomFASS Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Argentina BBQ spice blend, to taste
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia

Directions

Place vegetables in large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Spread onto baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with seasonings.  Roast at 450 degrees until tender-crisp (10 minutes for porous veggies, up to 20 minutes for more dense veggies). Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Tapas – vomFASS style Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

Corn tortillas
vomFASS Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your choice)
1 – 2 Avocados
Cheese of choice, shredded or crumbled (optional)
Baba Ghannooj or hummus, roasted veggies, charred corn salad, shredded pork or chicken, or steak strips (ask about marinating ideas!)tapas Minnesota food vomFASS Mall of America

Directions

Heat corn tortillas on grill or in oven or microwave. Keep warm bet ween two plates or other covered dish. Top with Baba Ghannooj, roasted veggies, Charred Corn Salad, cheese and/or toppings of choice. Add seasonings to taste: Sea Salt, Pepper, Asia Tandoori, Argentina BBQ, etc.

Honey Balsamic Pears with Walnut Oil and Gorgonzola Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pears, halved and cored
¼ C. vomFASS Pepone EVOO
¼ C. vomFASS Honey Balsamic Star
¼ C. vomFASS Walnut Oil
2 T. Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
1 t. vomFASS Chai Masala

Directions

Place pears and Chai Masala on a pan, brush with olive oil. Grill, cut side down, for 4 – 5honey balsamic pears recipe Minnesota food vomFASS Mall of America minutes. Turn and grill another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove pears from heat and place on serving dishes. Add gorgonzola, drizzle with Honey Balsamic Star and Walnut Oil.

Alternative for a crowd: cut pears into large cubes. Combine pears, olive oil, vinegar and Chai Masala in bowl. Place on a pan and grill or roast until tender crisp. Transfer pears and juices to serving bowl and toss with Walnut Oil and Gorgonzola. Dish up in dessert bowls or cups.

Wine pairing recommendations: Tempranillo, Chianti or Lambrusco, all available at vomFASS at Mall of America.

vomFASS at MOA is moving!

We are excited to announce that we are relocating vomFASS oils, vinegars, spices, liqueurs,

IMG_8560

wines and spirits shops to Culinary on North, the up-and-coming destination for discerning foodies and epicures at Mall of America. Our new space will include a tasting room for culinary classes, spirits, wine and cocktail tastings, and private events for up to 15 people. Our October and November class schedule is already on our website; call vomFASS at (952) 426-3222 to register.

For larger, private events, we can expand into our store fronts or partner with select Mall of America venues to product unforgettable tasting experiences for groups up to 50. Call vomFASS for pricing and scheduling.

Thank you for finding us, as we two-step our way into our new space, along the following timeline:

Labor Day, Monday, Sept 5 – last day both shops will be open at E280.

Tuesday, Sept 6 – vomFASS Oils, Vinegars & Spices will open in a temporary location on Level 2, North (N284), near Nordstrom’s. Our liqueurs, wines and spirits shop will be closed during this time.

Saturday, Sept 17 – we expect to open both Oils, Vinegars & Spices and Liqueurs, Wines & Spirits shops in our new, permanent location at Level N345.

We thank you in advance for your understanding in the event of any unexpected changes to this timeline.

My team and I have had a fabulous time introducing local foodies and Twin Cities visitors to the vomFASS concept and products in our two-and-a-half years here at Mall of America. It’s going to be even more fun to have the space to expand the education and fun we have teaching people how to use oils, vinegars and spices to create easy, delicious and healthy meals at home. And who doesn’t enjoy tasting and learning about appreciating fine spirits? I look forward to welcoming you to our new location, where we will continue to be your culinary tour guide as you “try before you buy” the world’s finest products sourced directly from family growers, artisan producers and craft distillers.

Tamra Kramer
Owner, vomFASS at Mall of America

vomFASS Wins Again!

 vomFASS recently received the results of this year’s iTQi Superior Taste Awards Ceremony which was held in Brussels, Belgium.

 

The International Taste & Quality Institute – iTQi – is the world’s leading organization iTQi 2016.pngdedicated to testing and promoting superior food and drink. Once again, we have received awards for our high-quality fruit balsamics from the iTQi!

The Superior Taste Award is a unique international recognition based upon the blind judgment of some of the most prestigious Chefs and Sommeliers in the world who are opinion leaders and experts in taste.

vomFASS is extremely pleased to announce that we were, once again, able to achieve excellent results with our in-house specialty balsamic vinegars including the following:

  • Apple Balsamic Vinegar –  3 Stars and the Crystal Taste Award (granted to products that have received 3 stars, 3 years in a row.)
  • Blueberry Balsamic Star – 3 Stars
  • Passion Fruit Balsamic Vinegar – 3 Stars (Coming soon to vomFASS at Mall of America)

The star ratings are defined as follows:

3 Stars = Exceptionall products with 90% and more of total marks

2 Stars = Remarkable products with marks between 80% and 90%

1 Star = Notable tasting products with marks between 70% and 80%

Stop by vomFASS at Mall of America to taste these award-winning products and many other superior taste award-winners to decide which are the winners on your palate!

Wild about Wild Mango Balsamic Star

We recently added a new Star to the constellation of specialty balsamic vinegars at vomFASS at Mall of America! If you’ve loved our Mango Balsam Vinegar, your palate will leap over the moon when you taste Wild Mango Balsamic Star! Mango Salad

How are Stars made? 

As you may recall, vomFASS makes all our fruit balsamics at the world headquarters in Waldburg, Germany. We use fresh fruit, press it into juice, ferment it  and incorporate the magical vinegar “Mother” bacteria, before it is aged to perfection. Our “Star” balsamics are basically the same process, with one major difference: they have a higher concentrate of fruit (or honey, in the case of our Honey Balsamic Star). The additional fruit results in a sweeter, thicker, lower-acidity specialty balsamic that is to die for (except for the fact that it’s such a healthy condiment!)

Our new Wild Mango Balsamic Star is composed of mango puree and mango vinegar. It has the full, fruity taste of ripe mangoes of the “carabao” variety, grown on a fair trade plantation in the Philippines (read more). You may enjoy it for refining summer salads, meat or fish dishes or as a base for barbecue sauce.  It’s an exotic complement to desserts, oatmeal or cocktails. Personally, I love it in sparkling water and as a marinade for shrimp or pork. It pairs beautifully with any vomFASS extra virgin olive oil, our organic Avocado Oil, Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and Chili Sunflower Oil. It’s also yummy paired with our Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Blueberry Balsamic Star, such as in this salad recipe.

Mango Blueberry Watermelon Salad ~ Serves 6-8

Watermelon_Feta_Salad

Ingredients: 

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 T. shallots, finely minced
  • 2 T.  vomFASS  Blueberry Balsamic Star
  • 2 T.  vomFASS Wild Mango Balsamic Star
  • ½ cup vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • vomFASS Salt and Pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 3-4 cups red watermelon, rind removed, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 2 cups blueberries OR 1 cup black olives
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) fresh mint leaves, minced

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the shallots, vinegars, salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
  3. Taste for flavor and seasoning. Add a little olive oil if less tartness is desired.  Add a little honey if additional sweetness is desired.
  4. Place the greens, watermelon, feta, blueberries or olives and mint in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well, but gently.
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
Tip: Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator. To make this dish more savory, use black olives instead of blueberries.

Enjoy! 

Tamra (a.k.a. Tomboy Tam)