Balsamic Vinaigrette Newly Figured and Getting Ready for "The Big Night"

Are you a “Big Night” fan?  If you are, you’ll remember the end of the movie where Primo takes the TIMPANO  out of the oven for all of their friends…waiting for Louis Prima, the biggest no-show in history.  My friend Sara gave me the movie several years ago and I have watched it with numerous friends and family members.  We just keep saying,

“Let’s make that timpano, have  a party and watch the movie.”

Time passed.  I kept saying I’d buy the pan (not easy to find.)  One day, Sara gave me a website off which to order it; I still didn’t do it.  Finally, she ordered it herself, set a day to make it, and invited a small group of easy-going friends. (Plan B is ordering pizza.)

This little doobiggie is tons of pasta, sauce, sausage, meatballs, boiled eggs, etc, etc. all put into a huge pastry shell and baked til God comes again.   It’s baked in a kidding.  Sara did all the prep work yesteray, but we start today at 2:30 building this drum (timpano is Italian for timpani); people come at 6:30.  I’m making an antipasta platter and salad to keep them at bay until “the timpy,” as I’ve come to call it, is perhaps done enough to eat.  (How will we know?)  I have a case of wine and a big smile.  Watch out.

We’ll talk later when it’s done and I’ve recovered.

Meantime, I’m working on the ingredients for the antipasta…grilling vegetables, making a frittata, marinating other vegetables, rolling mortadella, sopressatta, provolone, proscuitto, and pepperoni, and so on.  But I also thought I’d get the dressing done for the salad and that’s what this tres petite blog is about.  If I don’t write down the ingredients, I’ll forget it.  And it’s good.

You know how you like balsamic vinaigrette out in really good restaurants?  I hate to admit it, because it’s become so everyday and everywhere, but as good as most of my salad dressings are, the balsamic vinaigrette eluded me.  How hard could it be?  This morning, I figured it out.  With a pencil and a pad…with a couple of measuring cups…with a food processor and here it is.  Don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients; buy the best you can afford.  It’s worth it.

Alyce’s (and soon to be yours) Balsamic Vinaigrette  makes 1 cup dressing

1/3 c fine quality balsamic vinegar (I like Masserie di Sant’eramo)
2 heaping tablespoons dijon-style mustard (Grey Poupon is fine)
1T honey
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t kosher salt (or to taste–this is a cup of dressing)
1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
several drops tabasco

In the food processor, pulse until thoroughly pureed and very-well mixed.

2/3 c best quality  you can afford extra-virgin olive oil (I like Olio Santo (California) or Ravida (Italy)

With machine running, slowly pour the 2/3 c olive oil into the tube on top of the processor and leave running until thoroughly emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Keeps in frig several days.  (Without shallot and garlic, will keep for weeks.)

Sing a new song; make a new salad,

Two-dog Kitch and Around the Hood
Nothing new from the dogs except they’ve hidden all of their tennis balls under the couches and have nothing to play with except us.
Around the hood:  bear watch.   Grass still green.  No rain, except an easy-to-miss sprinkle.  Folks caulking, painting, etc., getting ready for winter.  Since summer lasted until now, there’s been no rush.
Blogging fitness:  I can’t believe I promised the physical therapist (Emily!) I would do this.  Ok, I made it to the gym twice and went for a long long walk mid-week.  I lifted at home twice.  I am sticking to my long-term food habit changes (no milk or cream in my coffee except on Sundays, a green salad every day no matter what, vegetables for breakfast –I do this w/ eggbeaters in a whole grain/high fiber tortilla, red meat once a week, no soda (I cheat on this on the rare occasion-say with pizza out), and so on.   I promise you, after now nine months of physical therapy, I am getting stronger–not older!  I also invested in a pair of $150.00 walking shoes (Spira) that have made all the difference in the world on walks and on the treadmill.  Foot Solutions has a nice variety of shoes and they’ll spend the time working with you to find the right one for your foot problems.

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