Tag Archives: balsamic vinegar

Caramelised onion and blue cheese tart

Balsamic caramelised onion and blue cheese tart

Balsamic caramelised onion and blue cheese tart

A quick recipe for caramelised onion and blue cheese tarts. We normally make this on a Friday for our weekly pizza night, but this time I wanted to use light and crispy puff pastry. I served this as an accompaniment to the beetroot gazpacho. The sweetness of the balsamic caramelised onion and the creaminess of the blue cheese was a great contrast to the vinegary gazpacho.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 6 large red onions, sliced
  • 30ml thyme
  • 4 tbs brown sugar
  • 4 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 packet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • wedge of blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup roasted cashew nuts

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook slowly for 20 minutes. The onions cook down quite a bit, therefore the amount of onions required.
  2. When onions are softened, add sugar and balsamic. Cook over low heat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and roll out the puff pastry to fit a baking tray. Fold over the edges to make a wall and brush with beaten egg. Pierce the base of the pastry with a fork.
  4. Spread the onions, crumbed blue cheese and cashews evenly to cover the base of the pastry.
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden.

As mentioned, this complimented the beetroot gazpacho, but you can serve this with a rocket and tomato salad.

Lamb chops with balsamic reduction

Lamb chops with balsamic reduction

Tonight we had absolutely no idea what to make for dinner. We’ve had our fair share of fish, chicken and vegetarian the last few days and I was craving some read meat.

The problem of course is that it was getting late (food shopping after 6pm) and I wasn’t feeling like building a braai or smoking out the house by grilling meat in the oven.

Then I remembered a quick and easy method for a balsamic reduction, which would go nicely with some pan fried rosemary lamb chops.

A quick meal in 15 minutes.

Lamb chops with balsamic reduction

Ingredients

  • 6 lamb chops
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Method

  1. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over lamb chops.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook lamb chops for about 3 1/2 minutes on each side (medium rare).
  3. Remove lamb and set aside to rest. Add onion to pan and sautee until slightly browned.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken stock.
  5. Allow mixture to cook until reduced by half, this takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter.
  6. Pour sauce over lamb and serve with some seasonal veggies and couscous.

rosemary lamb chops with balsamic reduction

This seemed to be a roaring success. Our 18-month old son even grabbed some of the balsamic reduction off my plate by the handfulls and helped himself to a chop too.

Of course I complety forgot to take a pic of the end result. I hope the one of the uncooked chops, is not too gnarly for some folk. I may have to do this again soon.

Orange dreams

orange

Whilst trying to sleep off a bout of ill health this afternoon I dreamt up an interesting salad dressing, with the main ingredient being orange juice instead of lemon or vinegar. There are 2 options here:

  1. Orange juice, olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden, sugar (if necessary), salt and pepper to taste
  2. Orange juice, balsamic vinegar (or perhaps soy sauce), olive oil, fresh herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

When it comes to salad dressings I tend to grab the first ingredients that pop into my head at the moment I am making them and gradually develop them to taste, so I can’t say that this will even work! I think I’m going to try one of the above on a roasted butternut salad to accompany the chicken espetada we’re planning on braaing. I will be returning with comments and photos…