V is for Vinaigrette

One of my favorite things to make in the kitchen are vinaigrettes. It’s something that if you have a basic understanding of what kind of vinaigrette you need to make, you can mix and match the flavors however you like. That is exactly what I had done with the recipes that I am going to share in this blog post. Two of these recipes were adapted form recipes that I had learned at the steakhouse. The recipes that I will be sharing today are Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Lime Vinaigrette, and Mediterranean Dressing. 

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As discussed in the past 3 weeks of Tip Tuesday’s, a vinaigrette is made with oil, an acid, and an emulsifier. The most common all natural emulsifiers are honey, mustard and egg yolk. Most of my vinaigrette recipes that I create include both honey and Dijon mustard, giving me twice the opportunity for a consistent texture. The emulsifier egg yolks are most commonly used in mayo (which is an emulsion of egg yolk, lemon juice, and oil). When making dressings try to use light flavored oil and if you are not making your own mayo, light flavored mayo. Strong flavored oils or mayos will cause the flavor to be hard to cover up. When it comes to making the vinaigrette or dressing you can either us a blender, a hand electric mixer or a whisk. If in small batches I usually would use a blender, and my blender of choice is a vitamix. These blenders are the most trusted in professional kitchens (and usually one of the most expensive, but well worth the investment).

imageI Had my first version of culinary school when I worked at the steakhouse. I learned a lot of the basics and some of the advanced molecular gastronomy. I owe a lot of what I do now to my experience there. When asked to come up with my Lime Vinaigrette and Creamy Cilantro recipes at work I referenced to  two recipes (that have now become the base for much of the vinaigrette and dressing recipes that I create today) from the steakhouse, their Citrus Vinaigrette and Green Goddess dressing.

*All of these recipes measurements are a base to use, add and subtract to your tastes. 

 

Lime Vinaigrette

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  • Juice of 4 limes
  • Zest of 3 limes, none of the white pith (too bitter)
  • 1/4 Shallot, sliced
  • 2 tsp Thyme, fresh without stem or dried
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Honey to taste
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Mild flavored Olive Oil or grape seed oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Blend all of the ingredients except the olive oil on low, until well mixed.
  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the blender is on low. The vin should start to thicken, as the vinaigrette thickens and the blade seems to be struggling slowly turn up the speed as you continue to pour in the oil. Once nice and thick, taste and adjust whatever flavor you need to. Add more juice if thand flavor isn’t strong enough, add more s+p of the flavored are not bright, add more honey if too tart, etc.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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  • 1 bunch of Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Sherry or champagne vinegar Or red wine vin to start
  • 1 cup Mayo, either store bought or made yourself to start
  • water as needed
  1. Wash the cilantro and dry either with a towel or by shaking it over a sink and leaving out to air dry. Quickly chop the cilantro leaves and stems to smaller pieces, doesn’t have to perfect they are going into the blender.
  2. In a blender, blend together cilantro, vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a little bit of water until it mixes freely.
  3. Put the mayo in a mixing bowl and pour the cilantro mix over it. Using a whisk, whisk together until well combined. Taste and add seasoning and water as needed to achieve a easily flowing texture and proper seasoning. If you want it to be creamier add less water or add more mayoimage

One of the ways that I use the cilantro dressing is for a slaw for tacos or sandwiches. It made a great accompaniment for a BBQ chicken pita sandwich I made for dinner one night.

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Mediterranean Vinaigrette

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  • Juice of 3 Lemons
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/4 Shallot, sliced
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping tbsp Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • Honey to taste
  • Mild olive oil or grape seed oil
  1. Mix together all ingredients in a blender except the olive oils until all of the ingredients are throughly broken down.
  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the blender is on low. The vin should start to thicken, as the vinaigrette thickens and the blade seems to be struggling slowly turn up the speed as you continue to pour in the oil. Once nice and thick, taste and adjust whatever flavor you need to.

*The tahini will act as the emulsifier for this recipe along with the honey, no mustard needed.

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If you get a chance to buy what we call deli cups do it, or if you get them with your take out food makes sure to save them. They are some of the easiest storage containers to use, great for stacking and can be used as measurement cups. The tall cups are 4 cups and the smaller cups are 2.

Refer to the previous weeks Tip Tuesday’s for more of a visual on how to make a vinaigrette.

Tip Tuesday 8/23/16

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Tip Tuesday 8/16/16

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Tip Tuesday 8/9/16
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