Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to: Reduced Balsamic Vinegar



If you have never had reduced balsamic vinegar - let me be the first to say, you are missing out!  As the vinegar reduces down, it becomes a thick, sweet syrup that is great on EVERYTHING (try me)!  I used to make a dessert with strawberries, mascarpone & reduced balsamic drizzled over the top - heaven in a bowl!  So, lest you be afraid that this is a difficult process, feast your eyes on this super-easy method for making your own reduced balsamic vinegar sauce!

It really couldn't get any simpler:
This is a fairly cheap brand of balsamic vinegar - it still has a really deep, wonderful flavor, but it won't break the bank!

Pour a small amount into your sauce pan (this is totally up to you): 
Keep in mind that the vinegar will reduce down by 1/3rd, so pour accordingly.

Set your heat to medium (or low if you don't want to watch it as closely) and let it slowly simmer.  You may have to open a window if you don't want the strong smell in the house, but we love it!
Whisk it occasionally and keep checking for consistency.

After it begins to thicken up, you can choose how much longer you want it to simmer/thicken.  Don't let it burn though - it will ruin your day. 
See how much it reduced down?  It's thick and warm, but it will thicken up even more as it cools and later as you refrigerate it.

When it reaches your desired thickness, remove from heat and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Then pour the sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle (these are cheap).  You want one with a smallish tip for easy drizzling later on. 

Drizzle away! 

AND...ENJOY!  Again, you could pour this over veggies, berries, desserts, seafood, chicken, etc.  The possibilities are endless! 
If you're watching your waistline (carb count), you can get an idea of what the balsamic reduction would be like depending on the brand you use.  This particular brand has 2 carbs/Tbl - so if that's reduced down (by 1/3rd), then there would be 2 carbs/tsp.  The thing with this concentration is, you're only going to need 1/3 of what you would normally use anyway! ;o)  It's a win/win!

Try it out and let us know what you think!

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