VARIETY OF PRODUCTS = ENDLESS DELICIOUS POSSIBILITIES
By: Sara De Leeuw
Sponsored By VOM FASS CLAREMONT
Are you ready to discover another amazing place in the Inland Empire? This time we’re heading to VOM FASS in Claremont.
When I arrived, I was greeted by co-owner Kim and her amazing team. Do you know they recently won VOM FASS Franchise Partner of the Year? With over 300 franchise locations world-wide, that’s an impressive accomplishment!
VOM FASS means “from the barrel” in German, and at VOM FASS you’ll find some of the world’s best oils, vinegars, spirits and wines. Along with an awesome pyramid of casks that hold their small batch, artisan produced aged whiskeys and spirits, you’ll encounter a whole wall of new flavors with their extensive variety of oils and vinegars! This is my favorite part of the store!
One of the things that really struck me about the oils (and everything else at VOM FASS) was the dedication to high quality and pure products. They can trace their oils back to the farm, back to the very olive trees that produced them. They even know the person who creates most of their nut and seed oils. One example is Jean Marc who lives in the city of Beaujeu, France. In 1981, as an 18-year-old Jean Marc discovered an old oil mill in the back of his parents' hardware store. After some training from local oil producers, Jean Marc brought his mill back to life and began to produce small batches of pure oils with no chemical processes or additives. Only 100 percent fruits and nuts find their way into his oils, which result in truly exceptional aroma and tastes!
Speaking of tastes, VOM FASS has a “try before you buy” policy. You can actually sample the products right in the store! Nearly all the products come with a description and a recipe card, and their expert staff can offer taste pairings and recipe suggestions as well. As a home cook, it’s very exciting to know you don’t have to take a chance on a new ingredient that “might” be good. At VOM FASS, you’ll know!
With so many choices and different flavor profiles, I couldn’t decide on a single ingredient to make one recipe. This time, I’m sharing four different recipes! You could make a whole meal (and plenty more) with the top notch ingredients from VOM FASS. My first inspiration was the Blueberry Balsamic Star Vinegar. As soon as I tried it, my thoughts went immediately to combining it with a smoky Bourbon for a sweet and spicy BBQ mix. This stunning sauce comes together in under 30 minutes.
BLUEBERRY BOURBON BBQ SAUCE
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 - 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup VOM FASS American Bourbon Whiskey
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup VOM FASS Blueberry Balsamic Star Vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
3 shakes Chipotle Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat vegetable oil in a 3qt saucepan over medium heat. Add red onion and cook until soft, but not brown, 2 - 4 minutes.
Add chopped garlic and jalapeño to the pan, and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Add VOM FASS American Bourbon Whiskey, and increase the heat to high. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 - 5 minutes.
Stir in all the remaining ingredients (blueberries through salt) and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stirring often, simmer until thickened for 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and place into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. If you want a thinner sauce to use as a glaze, pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any thicker solids.
Use as you would your favorite BBQ sauce. Pairs well with ribs, pork or chicken. You can make it ahead of time too. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This next recipe was inspired from my first taste of Absinthe. Have you heard of Absinthe before? It has a bit of a controversial history, but I love the black licorice flavor! Used primarily in cocktails, I decided to pair this spirit with a VOM FASS Pear Balsamic Vinegar to make a light and lovely vinaigrette.
ABSINTHE AND PEAR BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio (or your favorite white wine)
1/3 cup VOM FASS Pear Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 oz VOM FASS Absinthe
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup VOM FASS Madonia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a blender or bowl of a food processor, place chopped pear, white wine, VOM FASS Pear Balsamic Vinegar, VOM FASS Absinthe, dijon mustard, shallot, ginger, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined.
With the motor still running, slowly drizzle VOM FASS Madonia Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a thin, steady stream into the pear mixture. Continue to blend until mixture is creamy.
Use as a marinade for salmon or as a light dressing for a spring salad. I served this over a salad of poached salmon, pears, fennel, asparagus, feta and pine nuts. It’s delicious!
So far, we’ve covered a main dish and a salad. Now, we need dessert! Do you remember Jean Marc and his amazing oils that we mentioned earlier? Well, he created my hands-down-favorite oil at VOM FASS, the Pistachio Olive Oil. One little taste, and I knew it would make a ridiculously decadent pistachio ice-cream. This recipe takes a bit of time, but the high quality of this oil and the pure flavor makes it more than worth it!
PISTACHIO OLIVE OIL ICE CREAM
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
100ml VOM FASS Pistachio Olive Oil
Place the milk and heavy cream into a medium saucepan, and set over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar, and whisk to combine. Add the oil and whisk thoroughly. Temper the cream mixture into the egg mixture by whisking in small amounts, approximately 1 tablespoon at a time, until about a 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder of the cream and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium-low heat.
Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a container, and place in the refrigerator uncovered. Allow to sit uncovered until it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid. Cover and store for 4 hours, up to overnight, or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees or below.
Pour into an ice cream maker, and process according to the manufacturer's directions, approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow ice cream to harden. If freezing longer than 4 hours, remove from the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Feel free to substitute your favorite flavor of VOM FASS fruit or nut oils to create your own unique version of this ice cream. I think using Meyer Lemon Olive Oil would be deliciously refreshing!
After making all these recipes, I was thirsty and still had a little of the Blueberry Balsamic Star Vinegar, so I got creative! Here’s an easy and refreshing Blueberry Lemonade recipe. Pefect for those warm days and nights.
10 oz Sparkling Meyer Lemon Juice (or your favorite lemonade)
2 teaspoons VOM FASS Blueberry Balsamic Star Vinegar
Two sprigs of Rosemary
Freshly grated ginger to garnish
Evenly divide the lemonade between two cocktail glasses. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of VOM FASS Blueberry Balsamic Star over the ice and lemonade mix. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a tiny pinch of grated ginger.
For an adult version, add a splash of vodka to each glass.
VOM FASS offers in-store classes and events too! They have gift cards and unique gift baskets or sets for that special foodie person in your life. With Mother’s Day coming up, this is the perfect place to shop for Mom. With how much I loved my trip to VOM FASS, you might even see me in their next class. You’re going to love it too!
Don’t miss the fun and delicious classes, events and activities happening at VOM FASS Claremont. On Saturday, April 18th, join VOM FASS Claremont for their Easy Appetizers & More Class, which is likely to sell out fast. To find out more, check out their website or call (909) 399-0256.
Until next time, Adventurers!
Full disclosure: This featured article is sponsored by VOM FASS Claremont, an IEShineOn.com promotional partner. However, all opinions expressed are 100% our own.