If you’re anything like me you are likely counting down the minutes until you can officially start grilling season. For those of us in the South that time is now – it’s not too hot, the breeze is cool, and it’s always a welcome treat to get outside and smell the unmistakable aroma of meat and vegetables cooked over an open flame.
I am of the mindset that if you have a really great ingredient to start with (i.e., a good cut of meat or fresh, seasonal produce) then preparation really shouldn’t take that long. I also think that the amount of condiments needed to enjoy perfectly cooked food should be minimal.
I’m a huge fan of a good barbecue sauce, and there really isn’t anything that compliments grilled or smoked food better than a thick, rich and sweet-tangy sauce. Even better? Knowing all of the ingredients going said sauce! This version is so simple and easy to make that you really can’t go wrong. I make mine in a blender and then just store it in the fridge until ready to use, keeping the mess to a minimum and making it hard to justify the bottled stuff at the store.
You’re only a few ingredients away from that perfect sauce!
BLENDER BARBECUE SAUCE
Makes about 1 quart
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup De Nigris Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
- Store in an airtight container with a fitted lid until ready to use or up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Recipe and post by De Nigris friend and food blogger Heather Disarro of Heathersdish.com.
Allow our De Nigris family help make your Valentine’s Day memorable. Couple your American traditions of flowers and candies with our Italian tradition of fine balsamic vinegar and romance for a delicious, memorable celebration.
Valentine Delicacies from De Nigris
Create romance with chocolate and balsamic. When joined, dark chocolate and balsamic vinegar make a decadent treat. Add berry syrup to make the treat better than a box of chocolates. – Chocolate Brownies with Balsamic Berry Syrup
Put a new spin on Tiramisu. Perfect for a sweet Valentine’s Day breakfast.
Enjoy a rich pie. A pie with maple syrup and fine balsamic vinegar is a perfectly acceptable treat for cupid’s day.
Maple Pecan Pie
Eat strawberries, of course. Valentine’s Day without strawberries would be a lot less scrumptious (or colorful). Scoop the ice cream, pour on the compote and mix a refreshing drink. You will see hearts all over these recipes.
Balsamic Ribbon Ice Cream with Strawberry Compote
Delve into a fine cheese and fruit. Celebrate the day with unique recipes created when combining complementary ingredients of sweet fruit and cheese. These could become your new favorite traditions.
Complete your romantic evening with a fruity cocktail. We have exquisite fruit pulp vinegar that makes an ordinary cocktail extraordinary. For you and your sweetheart, may the romance continue.
Bourbon and White Peach Shrub Cocktail
Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. De Nigirs…. Bringing the Best of Italy to Your Table.
Make sure to slow down today; enjoy food, laughter, family, and friends!
We have some wonderful holiday deals for the Foodie on your Christmas list this year.
Our Holiday Gift Pack contains one White Modena Pearl and one Platinum Eagle Balsamic for just $30.00. Specially Gift Wrapped—Must on or order before 12/16 to arrive by Christmas. Shop HERE now!
In addition, we are offering HALF off our: Villa Grimelli Orange Glaze, Villa Grimelli Strawberry Glaze, and De Nigris White Truffle Glaze! ORDER HERE.
On behalf of the entire De Nigris family, we wish you a happy and delicious holiday season!
Fa La La La La!
When it comes to entertaining during the holidays or just any time of the year, it’s really fun to create a mouthwatering dish that really wows the crowd. Whether it’s the ingredients, the intricacy or just a fancy name, devising a singular course that creates a mood of whimsy can really make the night!
Arancini di riso (fried rice balls) is one such dish. It is a great way to use up leftover risotto, but with this recipe I cooked the risotto specifically for making arancini. It’s a simple dish, no fancy ingredients, but the name makes it special. Adding a great dipping sauce, though, is truly key to making this appetizer shine!
I really love the way the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic work with the spices to cut through the creamy, rich consistency of the arancini. The sauce is the yin to the arancini’s yang, and together you have a truly balanced bite.
A few quick notes before we get to the recipe:
❖ A traditional risotto is made with Arborio rice, but I’ve also used a medium-grain rice in its place and had a great final product.
❖ If you don’t have white wine, just use another half cup of chicken stock or water. The wine adds a great flavor, but isn’t a must-have if you don’t have it on hand.
❖ Some stores don’t carry crushed tomatoes in a size less than 28 ounces; if that’s the case, just measure out 14 ounces and save the rest!
❖ You can certainly add less or more when it comes to the spices, but I love the balance of the measurements listed below.
❖ I like to make the sauce the day before to allow the flavors to really meld together.
Arancini Di Riso with Spicy Tomato Balsamic Dipping Sauce
For the risotto
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup arborio or medium-grain rice
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 3-4 cups chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
• 3-4 cups neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
• salt to season the arancini (optional)
For the spicy tomato balsamic dipping sauce
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 small onion, minced
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar de Modena
Directions to make the risotto and arancini:
- In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter and olive oil.
- Stir in the rice so that the grains are coated with the fat.
- Allow the rice to toast in the pan, stirring frequently, until just starting to turn brown.
- Pour in the white wine and stir until the wine has been absorbed.
- Stir in a 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
- Repeat until the rice is tender and plump, and the starches have been released to create a creamy sauce. You may or may not use all of the stock, so when there is about a cup left test the rice to check for doneness.
- When the rice is done, remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, basil and Parmesan cheese until completely combined.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to cool completely, but overnight is preferred.
- When the risotto has cooled, use a small cookie scoop to portion out the rice.
- Using your hands, roll the rice into balls, and then roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs.
- Refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes before frying.
- To fry, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until a wooden spoon inserted creates bubbles very quickly.
- Fry the arancini for about 2-3 minutes, 3 at a time, until golden brown.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels; season with additional salt if desired.
- When the arancini are done, serve them hot with the spicy tomato balsamic dipping sauce.
Directions to make the spicy tomato balsamic dipping sauce:
- In a skillet heat up the olive oil.
- Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and the De Nigris balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 7-10 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heather Disarro is a food-centric lifestyle blogger who is passionate about embracing the beauty that surrounds us with in our everyday lives. She is a Texan living the expat life in central Arkansas with her husband, sons and two massive dogs. Heather writes her blog, Heather’s Dish, from an office filled with dust, dog fur, toys and plenty of love, grace and music. She specializes in creating delicious and creatively nourishing recipes. Cooking seasonally and with as many local ingredients as possible is an important component to Heather’s style of food, and she revels in the opportunity to bring the love of cooking to the world as a way to love others well! You can find her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
Oh, the possibilities that come with a loaf of baguette bread, French bread or thick sliced sourdough. The pleasant balance between a little toughness, a soft middle, and a slightly crispy crust give a special taste to breakfast toast and breadsticks—perfect for spreads or dipping or eating all by itself. A few of those same possibilities also come with bread ends and bits lingering in the bottom of the bread sack.
These breads are the perfect foundation for homemade croutons and garlic crostini with a variety of herbs. If you’re lucky, you might even find breads already infused with garlic or herbs at a bakery near you.
Let’s turn those special breads and bread crumbs into something delicious, shall we? These two recipes use mostly the same ingredients, but with different instructions for each end result.
I find using my oven broiler for toasting large quantities of bread is the most efficient method. Toasting the bread a little before adding other ingredients prevents sogginess and encourages a crispy texture in all the right places.
The broiler method comes with the danger of over toasting, or burning. Do keep a close eye on bread during the process.
Toasted Croutons with Herbs and Balsamic
● several thick slices French bread, days-old dense bread, sourdough, or herb bread like tomato basil, cut to crouton-sized squares.
● 4 tablespoons butter, melted
● 1 heaping tablespoon dried or fresh parsley, chopped
● 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
● 1 teaspoon salt
● ½ teaspoon pepper
● 2 tablespoons De Nigris Gold Eagle Balsamic Vinegar
- Spread out bread pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Under an oven broiler set on 500 degrees, toast the bread on the middle oven rack for about two minutes.
- Remove sheet from oven and let bread pieces cool for at least one minute.
- Whisk melted butter, parsley, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, and balsamic in a small glass pitcher.
- Transfer the bread to a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour the butter and herb mixture over the bread while gently tossing with a spatula or mixing with your hand. Each bread piece should be drizzled with some of the mixture, but not saturated.
- Put bread back on baking sheet, spreading out the pieces.
- Toast the bread again under the 500-degree broiler for about four minutes. Stirring the pieces once about halfway through. Remove bread when it’s toasted to a golden brown, or a bit darker if you like your croutons extra crispy.
- Remove sheet from oven and let croutons cool.
Crostini works as a wonderful party appetizer or an addition to a warm meal of pasta or soup. Keep a bottle of De Nigris balsamic at the table so it can be used just before serving, and so guests can keep drizzling it on their bread, as they’re likely to do after their first taste.
CROSTINI WITH HERB GARLIC BUTTER BLEND AND BALSAMIC
● baguette loaf or loaf of French bread. This recipe can also be made with sourdough or otherwise tough loaf of bread, with slices cut into fourths.
● 4 tablespoons butter, softened
● 1 heaping tablespoon parsley
● 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
● 1 teaspoon salt
● ½ teaspoon pepper
● 1 clove garlic, minced
● 2 tablespoons De Nigris Platinum Eagle Balsamic Vinegar
- Slice baguette bread into ½-inch or ¼-inch pieces.
- Lay slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Broil in oven at 500 degrees for about a minute.
- Remove slices from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- With a rubber spatula, mix softened butter, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and minced garlic.
- Spread butter and garlic blend on each bread slice.
- Place under 500-degree broiler again for about three minutes. Remove when toasts are a golden brown. Allow several minutes to cool.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over crostini immediately before serving.