Balsamic Goodness

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***…

click for source

(***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.

This experience put a halt to my balsamic reduction endeavors…that is, until I saw a post that Jessica did a little while ago that involved a balsamic reduction annnd gnocchi.

While I didn’t follow her recipe precisely, it inspired me to get back on that proverbial horse and REDUCE!

I used Gia Russa’s Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

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??

19 thoughts on “Balsamic Goodness

  1. I’ve made two Giada recipes to date: Fried Nutella Ravioli and Noona Luna’s Shrimp and Rice. The shrimp/rice was just okay, but umm you can’t really fail with fried Nutella stuffed wontons. I only made them the once because I’m sure my arteries broke that day.

  2. oh my days – sweet potato gnocchi!? YUM! i love reducing balsamic with some agave in a pan = best salad dressing ever. it does smell though!
    i’ve recently overcome a fear of pancake-making. though they are still messy!

  3. Home-made soup! I always thought it’d be blah and flavorless, but I’m recently obsessseddd. Mmm curry powder, chili flakes, lots of sauteed veg, lentils and vegetable broth make anything taste good!

    That sweet potato gnocchi looks DELICIOUS….I want it all.

  4. Wait, you don’t understand…I put balsamic vinegar on EVERYTHING. Aka, on my hummus, my salads, and my quinoa. Your love of balsamic made me feel like less of a crazykins! Can’t wait to read more girlie girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Pingback: Balsamic Goodness | Big City, Lil’ Kitchen | Balsamic Vinegar Reviews

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