Thursday, August 28, 2014

Balsamic Cream Sauce

Strictly speaking the sauce is pictured here.
That said, this is what we are actually cooking today.

So I was on the fence if this would actually be blog worthy. I mean I cook something most everyday. But I am not going to post every time I boil a bit of pasta or get my Shake 'n Bake on. I am sure Shakespeare wrote thank you notes or letters about Hamnet's first word. Does not mean anyone wants to read it.
 
This recipe started as most of my biggest failures start: left over ingredients. I had a large amount of cream left over from the honey butter sauce. I had half a left over red onion from the wifey making guacamole. I had some left over butter noodles from something or another. A few Google searches later, I had this recipe too. But it was just to get rid of left overs, so I had no expectations.
 
Then I made it: cream of cromulent*, reduction of radiance, essence of ecstasy. This was good.
 
Resources:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 red onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
 
Method:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat (or low if you have a hot stove like me). Stir in the onion, and cook about 15 minutes until very tender.
 
Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the chicken bouillon and cream. Crush the cubes to mix better.
 
Pause** as necessary.
 
Increase heat to medium. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese a little at a time until melted.

Commentary:
So this is not exactly what I would call a healthy meal. Butter, oil, and cream: three ways to die happy... and early.

I seem to remember my doctor suggesting I eat more fatty foods.
Or was that less... whatever.
 
Well now we have a vegetable, so that makes it healthy right?
I got the impression the original recipe was shooting for yellow or white onions. I went red and will never look back.

I wanted those onions to be very soft hence the finely minced and cook time. I did not want to really be aware of them as I ate them.
 
The recipe originally called for two teaspoons of bouillon granules. I only have cubes.

It might be nice to have something to serve the sauce with. I went with some chicken and egg noodles. That sounded almost healthy, so I made a point to cook the chicken in large amount of butter.

Butter. Round 2. Fight!
  
Balsamic is a big flavor here, but do not let that put you off. This is not vinegary, it actually came out quite sweet and creamy.

One thing I struggle with is using left overs ingredients without buying new stuff. So while I would prefer to use real parmesan instead of the Kraft I had in the fridge, I used the Kraft. This made the sauce a little grainy. If you can I would use the real stuff.

That said, right before cooking I went though my vinegars: white, apple cider, sherry x2, rice, Masala, red wine... no balsamic. Since I was sold at this point, I went to the grocery for one ingredient (because I was not thinking cheese at the moment).

I should probably discuss quantity. For two people, this was ample sauce. I think it would be a stretch for four.

* - I really struggled to find a "C" work that meant great. Then I settled for a Simpsons reference. Please note the obvious answers I missed in the comments.

** - So this was not in the recipe originally. I just got distracted by stuff. So I had a unplanned five minute delay here. I doubt this had any real impact on the recipe other than maybe thickening it a little.

Conclusion:
This is absolutely a keeper. It is an easy, quick "white" sauce. I can imagine putting this on all kinds of pasta and meats.

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