Ahh – balsamic vinegar. I’ve always loved the concept of reducing balsamic down to a sweet, sinful syrup…I mean, look, Giada does it all the time…
You wouldn’t do me wrong right, Giada??
Mmmm – not so much***…
(***for the record, I’ve never actually made a “Giada-recipe” and have nothing against her – for some reason I just associate her with reducing balsamic)
…what they don’t tell you is that it’ll smell like you’re dying Easter eggs for the majority of the process – I mean, if you don’t have the industrial strength hood that comes standard with any food television program.
I tried reducing balsamic waaay back in the day – 2007 perhaps? Specific, I know. It was scarring.
There I was with delusions of grandeur. “This will be the best syrup everrrr!” was probably rattling around in my brain as I danced around the kitchen.
Then it came to a halt. I don’t remember what was happening – but something went wrong in my apartment. This involved having to call a repairman to come over immediately, and, at the time, I was *soooooo* embarrassed when he walked into our apartment and was essentially hit by a wall of vinegar vapors. Nowadays, this wouldn’t have phased me – a simple “Just makin’ a balsamic reduction!!” while still bopping around the kitchen – would have sufficed, and I would have gone about my business. Instead…I felt…shame. haha No, but seriously.
While I didn’t follow her recipe precisely, it inspired me to get back on that proverbial horse and REDUCE!
Then some simultaneous boiling and reducing occurred. I opted for use of a nonstick “just in case”…and because I wasn’t using a large quantity of vinegar.
…and yeah – my apartment did sort of smell like I was decorating Easter Eggs for a bit (I blame this on poor ventilation and a teeeeeny-tiny living space), but it was sooo worth it. After it reduced a bit (I was cautious, and probably could have reduced it further)…I sprinkled in some garlic and onion powders – just to round it out.
Originally I started eating while it was warm, but as the reduction cooled it got even more syrupy and amazing!! Sweet and sour at it’s finest – oh, and I made the addition of some broccolini, as well.
I can’t rave about it enough; I really can’t.
- What’s a cooking/kitchen fear or hesitation that you’ve overcome??