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Cooking for Two: Caprese Sauce on Basil Gnocchi

Cooking for Two: Caprese Sauce on Basil Gnocchi

Don’t you just love those caprese appetizers? Those little fresh mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes skewered on picks and drizzled with balsamic vinegar? So yummy! I decided to make a sauce based on those delightful, summery, picks-o-goodness! Only no toothpicks. Because that would be dangerous.

I picked up a package of basil gnocchi at our local World Market for this dish, but regular gnocchi should work also. I used “pearl” tomatoes – which are more golf-ball sized, so I’m not sure where the name came from! A couple of diced, seeded Roma tomatoes would work just dandy. Speaking of pearls, I wish I could have found those cute little pearl-sized fresh mozzarella balls, but oh well!

1 – 16 oz. pkg. Basil Gnocchi

3-4 cloves Roasted Garlic

mozzarella balls, tomatoes, basil, caprese sauce

The sauce just needs to simmer a little longer to warm through!

¾ c white wine

1 tbl. Balsamic vinegar

1 tbl olive oil

3 small Tomatoes, cut in wedges and seeded

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/3 c chopped fresh basil (I use scissors)

12 fresh mozzarella balls (1 inch size –although I would have loved to have found the pearl-sized mozzarella)

SAUCE: Measure the wine and Balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan – add the roasted garlic and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt & pepper and simmer 2 minutes longer. Put in the mozzarella balls and basil and warm through.

gnocchi, caprese sauce, basil, tomatoes, mozzarella balls

We ate every single bite!

GNOCCHI: Using only mountain spring water, hauled by hand in a copper bucket…kidding! Cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and stir gently. Serve immediately.

Note: I should have added a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar…next time!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Recipe

 

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A Work in Progress: Raspberry-Balsamic Reduction Sauce

I’ve had two fabulous meals at restaurants lately that inspired me to give reduction sauces a shot. I had the Chicken Marsala at The Main Street Ale House in Kingston that was so wonderful that I came >this< close to licking the plate. The other was Apricot Chicken at – of all places – The Olive Garden in Silverdale. Again, there was very nearly a plate-licking incident.

Both of these dishes had chicken breasts that were pounded nearly flat. OK – I have a breast-pounding mallet

Surely this device will pound a chicken breast nice & flat!

that looks like it could stop a moose in its tracks which I keep in the car for protection. Or in case I’m suddenly underwater and need to break a window. With the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, I commenced pounding (with the smooth side of the mallet) until they were flat and the size of a salad plate. And, hey, it was fun! I sprinkled them with thyme and fresh ground pepper on both sides and put a little sea salt on one side only before cutting them into manageable sizes for grilling.

As I said, I never made a reduction sauce before and I didn’t want to muck up my experiment by actually researching the concept. Pshaw! So this is what I did:

  • In a large, deep sided skillet (large because I needed to add the grilled chicken later and I hate
    Raspberry Balsamic Reduction Sauce

    See - reduced by half!

    washing dishes) I melted 1/2 c. of seedless raspberry jam over low heat.

  • I added 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar, 3/4 c. apple juice (I used a small juice box of 100% juice), fresh ground pepper and 1 tbl. dried onion (handy for sauces when you only need a small amount of onion). I bumped the heat up to medium-high so it would come to a boil.
  • Once it was boiling, I reduced the heat to a simmer until it reduced by half and the chicken was ready to go in. I tossed in some fresh raspberries for color.
  • I coated the chicken in the sauce and let it simmer for 5 or 10 minutes so the flavors would meld.

It smelled like heaven and was very pretty to look at. Not to mention, quite tasty!

See how pretty?!?

Remember that this is a work in progress and that I had never made a reduction sauce before. My husband begged me to put the recipe on my blog so here it is! If you have made a reduction sauce before and what I am doing is horribly, horribly wrong, please let me know.

But if something this delicious is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Information, Recipe

 

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