Thai-FUSION: Chili-Ginger Infused Pasta

Ginger Balsamic along with "what's in the fridge" were my inspirations for dinner one night that was even better than I imagined.

"What's in the fridge" means that I look at the odds and ends of veggies in my crisper and say, what can I make with that? For this recipe I had the following (but feel free to substitute whatever is in your crisper!)

  • Regular cabbage
  • Purple cabbage
  • Some tri-color carrots
  • Some diced splines from Kale (yes I save the splines and find a use for them later)

The remaining ingredients are:

  • Thin spaghetti pasta
  • enFuso Chili Cilantro Olive Oil
  • enFuso Ginger Balsamic
  • enFuso Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cashews (diced)
  • Fresh mint (diced) - I have in my herb garden (optional but better with this)
  • Kosher salt

I slow saute'd all of the veggies (also called "sweating") in enFuso Chili Cilantro olive oil. I used my favorite heavy weight every day pan by All Clad. I recommend heavy pans for this purpose. As the veggies started to slowly break down and caramelize the sweet aroma of cilantro filled my kitchen.

When I saw that I was really getting some caramel brown sweet clusters on the bottom of the pan, I brought out the enFuso Ginger Balsamic, the other primary inspiration. I generously doused the cooking veggies with it, de-glazed the bottom of the pan to get up all of the goodies, then covered the pan and allowed the balsamic to glaze the veggies and begin to make a sauce as they further broke down. I let it cook about another 10-15 minutes. Just before serving I added a pinch of Kosher salt to taste and stirred it in. When the veggies were ready to go, they were soft to the tooth with bits of brown caramelization and plenty of ginger glaze.

Meanwhile I cooked some thin spaghetti pasta. I like the Barilla protein plus pasta as this is a vegetarian dish and needs some protein augmentation. After cooking and draining. I lightly coated the pasta with some extra virgin olive oil.

 I plated the dish like this ...

I put the spaghetti on the plate and made a hole in the center. I filled the hole with the rich spicy gingered veggies. Then I topped it with chopped cashews, diced fresh mint, a final drizzle of enFuso Ginger Balsamic, and sprig of fresh mint.

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To eat it I ran my knife through the pasta to bring all of the flavors together. What a treat! I certainly consider this a fusion dish. I loved all of the flavors going on. The sweet yet tangy and spicy caramelized veggies were so good and the pasta was the perfect complement. The cashews added the needed richness while the mint gave a fresh finish.

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So many great flavors jumping in the mouth! This one was a winner.

Pumpkin Cookies with Balsamic Cream Filling

I found this cookie recipe online. The cookies are cake-like and perfect for frosting filling. I modified the frosting to my own style since I love to flavor frosting with different balsamic vinegars for a sweet and savory balance. The result is light and fluffy and flavorful without being too sweet or filling.

pumpkin cookies - main photo

Cookie Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting Ingredients

  • one 8 oz package of cream cheese
  •  ½ stick of butter
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of harvest spice balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Add pumpkin, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, beating on medium to low speed until fully mixed.
  6. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of mixture onto baking sheet with parchment.
  7. Dough will be sticky.
  8. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 minutes.
  9. Allow to fully cool.
  10. Make frosting by beating all ingredients until creamy (see photo below)
  11. Cut cookies in ½ and fill with frosting. (see photos below)
  12. Drizzle with glaze made from powdered sugar liquefied until thick but runny with lemon juice. Drizzle with more balsamic (optional). Dust with more powdered sugar.
Frosting should be spreadable and very creamy.

Frosting should be spreadable and very creamy.

Cookies are cake-like. Use a serrated knife to cut.

Cookies are cake-like. Use a serrated knife to cut.

Be generous with the frosting filling, more is better!

Be generous with the frosting filling, more is better!

Anne's Famous Smoky Dressing

At the Farmers' Markets, many of you have asked me to relay my recipe for this dressing. After repeating it about 100 times, I  decided it would be much more efficient to just add it to this blog!

What you will need:

  • 1 part cup enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • 1 part enFuso Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 part enFuso Fig or Strawberry Balsamic
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

I use any bowl or dish good for whisking. You simply combine all of the ingredients and whisk together. Then done! It is a basic vinaigrette but the smoke makes it taste earthy and very rich. It's so easy – I just make enough each night for my salad so it is always fresh.

Smoky Roasted Potato Salad

Perfect for a summer BBQ!

What you will need:

Steps:

Roast the potatoes: Wash and cut the potatoes into bite size cubes. Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 425 degree oven to roast. Once potatoes are tender (check with a fork), remove them from the oven and place them on a paper towel to drain and cool.

Prep veggies: Chop red, yellow, and orange bell peppers to bite size pieces and set aside. For the added crunch, chop celery and green onions. Mix together.

Prep fresh garlic: Use 4-5 large cloves. Peel, mince, and set aside.

Smoked dressing: Use 2 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 part Strawberry Balsamic, and 2 tablespoons of Smoked Olive Oil. The amount of dressing you need depends on the size of your salad so scale it as you need to. Whisk until fully mixed. Add 1-2 tablespoons of tangy, brown mustard along with salt, pepper, and freshly minced garlic. Whisk again.

When the potatoes are fully cooled, place them in a large mixing bowl. Add your chopped veggies, a tablespoon or two of capers, pimentos, and your smoky dressing. Toss the ingredients and then salt to taste.

Coconut Pecan Brussie Salad

Another all-star recipe from our friend Em at The Pig & Quill. Described as, "The crackiest salad, and for good reason. Buttery pecans. Chewy, sugar-flecked coconut. Crisp, salty fried onions, all lightly dressed with a sweet-tart balsamic vinaigrette? It’s a beautiful thing."

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

What you will need for the dressing:

What you will need for the salad:

  • 14 oz. brussel sprouts, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) canned fried onions

According to Em, "Whisk together dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss together brussies, carrot, coconut, and pecans. Combine with dressing. Top with fried onions and extra sesame seeds just before serving. Crack out."

Yum!

Smoky Fig Pizza With Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onions

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

We love this savory dish!

What you will need:

  • Pizza dough (you can buy this at most supermarkets)
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Red baby potatoes, steamed and sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • Fresh chopped arugula
  • enFuso Fig Balsamic

First, take your your pizza dough and spread it out on a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal or flour. Then, rub it with our Smoked Olive Oil.

In a separate pan on medium heat, take chopped onions and sautee them in an enFuso Extra Virgin Varietal. Do this until they are golden in color.

Next, you will top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, potatoes, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Place dish in oven and bake for as long as your dough recipe package recommends.

Once done baking, drizzle with Fig Balsamic and sprinkle with arugula. Enjoy!

Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad

Over the past few months I have been searching for the perfect salad container to bring to work. In a serendipitous trip to the Container Store I happened upon the salad container of my dreams. But in all seriousness, it is fabulous and has a separate container for dressing so your salad doesn’t get soggy!

I love strawberries with spinach, but for those of us who are too lazy to cut up strawberries every morning or for those times of the year when strawberries aren’t in season, Enfuso Strawberry Balsamic is the perfect substitute. The recipe is simple and you can add your own salad toppings to suit your fancy!

What you will need:

  • Spinach
  • Candied pecans
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • enFuso Strawberry Balsamic

Voila! A cheap, easy, and healthy salad you can bring for lunch!

Lemon and Fig Flavored Fruit Stuffed Wontons

Lemon and Fig: one of my favorite pairings! To begin, you will need:

First, toss together the blueberries, apricots, goat cheese, and Fig Balsamic in a large bowl.

Next, fill wonton wrappers with the mixture and then seal. Drizzle Lemon Olive Oil on top and add a touch of brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes until golden brown.

This recipe was created on the fly by my daughter, Taryn. Enjoy!

Spicy Mango Fish Tacos

This is a twist on a traditional street taco. We love any recipe that includes our Mango Balsamic Vinegar on fish, chicken or pork! For this dish, you will need:

We start with tilapia filets. Ours were frozen and we just defrosted them in some hot water. Then we pan fried them in enFuso extra virgin olive oil (Manzanilla) and dusted them with Cajun seasoning as we fried them.

Next, we took some fresh spinach and Swiss chard leaves and quickly wilted them in heated olive oil with some diced sun dried tomatoes.

Finally we plated the fish on some toasted white corn tortillas, placed the wilted greens on the side, sprinkled them with some grated Mexican style grated cheese (jack and mild cheddar) and then drizzled the Mango balsamic vinegar over the top.

Simple, and crazy good. It’s the combination of the spicy season and sweet fruity balsamic that give this the perfect flavor combination.

Golden Beet Caprese

This recipe is a twist on an old classic. Instead of using tomatoes like a normal caprese, I used my new favorite vegetable: the golden beet. Golden beets are a little difficult to come by so if they are unavailable, try regular beets or resort back to tomatoes.

What you need:

  • 3 boiled and peeled golden beets
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • enFuso Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The prep time takes much longer than the assembly line due to boiling the beets. The beets need about 1 hour to boil with skins on. After they are easy to poke with a fork, remove from boiling water and let cool. Once cool, skins will easily peel off using just your hands. Next, cut the beets in thin slices.

Place beets on a plate and stack the cheese and basil on top of each slice.

Now it's time to drizzle! Pour Smoked Olive Oil over your beet caprese salad. The amount of oil depends on how much you like the flavor of the smoke. I personally used about 3 tablespoons on two plates.

Next, I added a quick splash of our Pomegranate Balsamic. Lastly, add a big of salt and pepper to taste.

Tasters of this recipe liked it both before and after I added the balsamic. They also really appreciated the taste of smoke on this very vegetarian classic. I liked the recipe better with the balsamic; however, the flavor of smoke is slightly masked. Give it a try and feel free to add any personal feedback. Enjoy!