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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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.

Chili Mango Shrimp & Sautéed Green Beans

The food has to been delicious and satisfying, especially when I’m giving my img_1503body a break from carbs and sugars! I see it as an opportunity to step up my menu planning to meet the challenge. So far, so very good!

Chili Mango Shrimp  Serves 4

Ingredients
24 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. vomFASS Chili Sunflower Oil (may substitute Lemon EVOO for all or part of Chili Oil for less spicy)
2 T. vomFASS Mango Balsamic Star
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Texas BBQ spice blend
½ t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste
Cilantro, chopped, as garnish

Directions
Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, half the salt and a few cranks of pepper in a glass bowl with cover or zip top bag. Add shrimp and marinate 15 – 20 minutes. Do not marinate longer, as shrimp will break down in the acidity.  Empty contents of bag or bowl into hot stir-fry pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or chill to serve as an appetizer. In the unlikely event of leftovers, try tossing with salad greens and drizzle with a dressing of oil and vinegar.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb. Fresh green beans
2 T. vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground vomFASS Garlic Pepper Whole Blend, to taste

Directions
Steam green beans to tender crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium burner. When the oil is shimmery, add green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until beans are lightly browned/blackened.

Gourmet Pizza

Use your leftover rotisserie chicken or roasted turkey in this easy, delicious pizza recipe!

Chicken Flatbread Pizza with White Cheddar Alfredo

Makes 2 pizzas

2 pre-made Flatbread Pizza Crusts (gluten or gluten-free)flatbread
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
½ cup White Cheddar Alfredo Sauce (recipe follows) or purchased Alfredo sauce
½ cup Balsamic Glazed Onions (recipe follows)
½ cup fresh spinach, chopped
Vom Fass Truffle or Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil – for drizzling
½ – ¾ cup Italian Blend shredded cheese (optional)
Optional toppings – fresh tomatoes, olives, roasted red pepper, asparagus

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pizza pan or cookie sheet with a very light coating of cooking spray.

Lay flatbread crusts on pan.  Spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce onto each flatbread crust.  Layer on chicken or turkey, balsamic glazed onions, and spinach.  Add any additional toppings if desired.  Do not overload flatbread pizza. Top with shredded cheese, if desired.

Bake flatbread pizza for 10 minutes, or until crust is crispy and toppings are heated thoroughly.

Drizzle with Truffle or Basil oil before serving.

White Cheddar Alfredo Sauce  (approximately 1 cup sauce)

1 cup Heavy Cream or Half & Half

¼ cup Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature

½ tsp vomFASS Porcini and Tartufi Spice Blend

½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese

In saucepan over medium-low heat, warm cream and cream cheese.  As it heats, whisk until smooth.  Add spice blend and mix well.  Bring to slight simmer, but do not boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cheese, whisking until smooth.  Set aside until ready to use.

Balsamic Glazed Onions

2 large Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup vomFASS Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ – ½ tsp vomFASS Sea Salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Modena Platinum Vinegar

½ tsp brown sugar

In medium-sized sauté pan, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions, salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Cook slowly to softened and lightly brown – about 10 – 15 minutes.

In small bowl, combine the balsamic and brown sugar.  When onions are soft and lightly brown, add balsamic mixture to the pan.  Stir to coat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

It’s Chili Season!

When the temperature drops below freezing, I turn to one of my favorite types of meals – soup. This classic Chili con Carne recipe is so simple and quick – not to mention delicious! Easy to convert to vegetarian/vegan – just eliminate or replace the meat with a vegan substitute and leave off the cheese garnish or use a vegan cheese. And if you’re cooking for only two, the leftovers are even better the next day! Enjoy!

Classic Chili – Serves 4

1/2 pound ground beef or turkeychili.jpg
1 medium onion, diced
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
3 C. tomato juice (I used 3 cups of a jarred spaghetti sauce that I deemed too thin to use as a pasta sauce)
1 T vomFASS Chili con Carne spice blend (or more, to taste)
vomFASS Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, ground, to taste
Shredded cheese, sour cream or other toppings for garnish and flavor.

Brown the meat over medium heat, breaking up into crumbles with spoon as you stir. If using turkey or very lean beef, coat the pan with chili sunflower oil and preheat pan before adding meat.  If there is a lot of excess fat in the pan after browning meat, drain it off. Add the remaining ingredients (I did not drain and rinse the beans). Heat over medium-high heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to bloom flavors. Dish up and enjoy!