Pour over any seafood dish, use as a glaze for any chicken dish, great with any green leaves, drizzle over hot cooked cheese such as haloumi or your roast vegetables!
One of my favourite, and most popular dishes to make is caramelized garlic bread which involves frying garlic with balsamic vinegar, adding brown sugar, spreading on a home made pizza dough base and baking in the oven. I also like using it as a salad dressing so was excited about sampling Castle Rocks Balsamic Honey vinegar.
The vinegar comes in a small bottle with brand label on the front and Nutritional Information, serving suggestions and ingredients on the back. I was very impressed that the only ingredients were vinegar and honey, no nasty preservatives! The vinegar has a lovely rich brown colour and the smell is divine with the sour smell of the vinegar mixed in with a subtle hint of honey. It tasted delicious over a simple salad and definitely gave it the wow factor. I successfully used the Balsamic Honey Vinegar for my caramelized garlic bread and it tasted fabulous with the honey making a welcome and distinct addition to the dish. By heating and adding the brown sugar, it had a lovely sticky and gooey consistency which wasn't too thin and runny. The addition of honey gives it a little sweetness that was a delight to the taste buds!
Although this may seem a little pricey for the amount, I found that this vinegar went a long way and is not your usual 'run of the mill' mass produced balsamic vinegar. It is great for standalone dips, adding to stir fry's, salads and cooking with and if you are looking for a quality product that's a little different, then I would definitely recommend this!
Balsamic has always been one of my favourite things to use as a salad dressing as it always gives such a zing to an otherwise boring bowl of vegetables. So out of the Castle Rock varieties available, the Balsamic Honey seemed the safe bet; the product that I'd have a hard time disliking.
Rather than going for the obligatory salad that I knew it would work with, I wanted to see how it would work as a bread dip. I've never really managed to get it to work, either choosing the wrong bread, wrong oil, or just getting the ratio of oil to vinegar wrong. But determined to get it to work, I did a little research on the internet and learnt that ciabatta works best. With regards to oil to vinegar ratio, you just need a thin layer of both; minimal vinegar, and just enough oil to cover the vinegar, no more.
Flavour-wise, I enjoyed it. It was familiar, but the honey took a lot of the edge off from the balsamic, giving it a much smoother taste. This works well when experimenting with new flavours as it lacks the sharpness that would easily over power if done incorrectly. An enjoyable mix, and a flavour that I enjoy, but still very similar in flavour to what is already available. So is it really worth the price? That is really the question that comes down to personal tastes. Personally, I like it, but I don't know if I would go out of my way to get it (mainly because I still have a litre bottle of balsamic vinegar which will probably last me a lifetime); unlike the other more unique flavours, this variant is probably a little to close to other products.
One of our favourite meals in my household is a balsamic chicken recipe in which chicken is marinated in balsamic vinegar and garlic before being cooked in a fry pan. It is amazing with a salad or can be served with vegetables on colder evenings. When I saw the Castle Rock Balsamic Honey Vinegar was up for review I just had to try it.
As I opened up the bottle I had to have a smell (something that seems to be a regular occurrence when reviewing products!). The smell was quite interesting - there was a gorgeous aroma of honey, but then there was also the sour smell of the vinegar. It certainly wasn't what I expected but I was quite nicely surprised! I poured a little bit over my chicken before cooking it. One little down fall is that there isn't a nozzle to pour this - being a small bottle I didn't want to use too much, but trying to pour just a little bit is hard with a fully open top. As the chicken started to cook the aroma in our house was just amazing. My patience definitely wasn't working quite so well on this day - as it was cooking I couldn't wait, I just had to dip my finger into the bottle and have a little try. The flavour was amazing - a nice mix of my favourite balsamic vinegar taste, with the taste of honey too. A perfect match. And it was even better on the chicken. When the chicken was ready I sliced it and served it over a green salad. It was just amazing - these sorts of meals are definitely my favourite and this will be used a lot in our house.
Castle Rock - you seem to have a knack for getting your flavours just right! I look forward to experimenting with more of your sauces. My biggest disappointment however is the price - $12 for such a small bottle does seem quite steep, even if it will last for a while.
Castle rock cafe have an awesome range of bottled goods, especially the balsamic honey vinegar. When opening the bottle you are hit by the yummiest smell of the balsamic vinegar, the right mix and not to overpower that it tickles your nose. The taste is amazing consisting of the right blend of sweet, sour, tangy and hit of balsamic. It reminds me of when I used to work in a kitchen and make my own dressing, balsamic glaze has always been a favourite of mine so when you find one that is amazing it becomes a must have.
I love how the bottle has serving suggestions on the back of it that are not the normal ones you would straight away think of. The haloumi cheese one was something I would not have thought of, but when trying it I was blown away. I am a lover of haloumi cheese and the balsamic honey vinegar works well with it. I always love trying new things when it comes to cooking so experimenting is a must do for me.
I used this balsamic honey vinegar to cook prawns where I added a little raw garlic to it as well. I soaked the prawns in the mix for about an hour then poured the whole lot in to a hot frying pan. The smell was amazing and the end result was super delicious. I had the balsamic honey and garlic prawns with rocket leaves and avocado. The flavours all worked so well together. A dish I would make for friends in the future. The price of the 100ml bottle though is a concern for me, as I am a student so therefore I am on a student income. It would be one of those dressings you would be as a treat rather than a must have for me. it would be worth the treat though as it is truly yummy.
Lately I've been using quite a bit of Balsamic Vinegar in a few different meals. My favourite way to have it is as a dip for bread but I also love it on salads for a different taste. When I saw this Balsamic Honey Vinegar up for review I was pretty excited, I have a massive sweet tooth so anything with the addition of Honey has got to be good right?!
To say it was good would be a major understatement. It was amazing. I like the taste of Balsamic Vinegar on it's own but with the added honey it just takes it to the next level. I couldn't keep this product to myself so I took it round to my parents house for my brother's birthday to use in a pre dinner snack.
I cut up some fresh bread and added a generous amount of the Balsamic Honey Vinegar to a little bowl, I added some Olive Oil on top and served it up for everyone. After dipping a piece of bread into the Balsamic/Olive oil mix and trying it, my mouth watered for more. You can really taste the honey in there but it's not a strong overpowering taste, just a subtle hint of something sweet. It really made the dip perfect and it went fast. The unfortunate thing about using it as a dip is that it didn't go very far, most of the bottle was used for this snack but it was definitely worth it.
Both my brothers enjoyed it and happily ate the bread but I don't know if it'd be a staple food for them. My dad particularly liked it and wanted to know where he could get some of this liquid gold, he told me to get him some when I next found it. There isn't much higher praise than that from my family.
I took what was left in my bottle home and decided to use it the next night as a salad dressing over a very simple salad. For a product with very simple ingredients it packs an excellent flavour and made my boring salad very enjoyable.
I balked a little at the price for such a small bottle but then decided this would be one of those amazing specialty items that you would add to a gift basket that people would rave about later. If they wanted to crack in to the everyday market though I think they'd have to reduce the price a bit or offer more for the money.
I was lucky to be offered some of this Castle Rock vinegar just in time for a dinner of left-over roast veges. I decided the vinegar would be a perfect way to jazz them up and it worked perfectly. Being mid-winter, I decided to re-heat the veges (potato, kumara, and pumpkin) and then I just added some red onion, feta and a drizzle of vinegar and you'd never have guessed it was the previous night's dinner! I anticipated Miss 7 wouldn't love it and kept her veges plain, but my husband and I both really enjoyed it and so I'll be definitely trying that again!
The vinegar is preservative free and contains only honey as an additional ingredient which I love. With clean-eating being something I stick to as much as I can, it really fits the bill. It's almost half way to a balsamic glaze but not quite thick and sticky enough for that. I'd consider reducing it by boiling it on the stove top if I wanted it thicker, but it works well as it is. It's got that real vinegar tang, but able to be eaten as-is without diluting it with anything, making it perfect as a drizzle over many foods.
There are so many uses for this - I've found myself getting it out several times over the last week just to jazz things up. I decided it would go nicely with pork and served it over pork chops the other night. It added some nice moisture to the meat and I found that the oven-baked chips that ended up falling into the vinegar by mistake, weren't half bad either!
I then noticed that the bottle does have some serving ideas on there, which is fantastic. When I saw the suggestion of serving it with haloumi cheese I was keen to try it as I love haloumi. I have to say that it made a simple but delicious snack with just the fried cheese, some salad greens and this drizzled over the top - something else I'd definitely try again.
After all this, I still have most of the bottle left, so don't be put off by the small size - it will last ages! I haven't had a chance to try this with chicken yet, but I can see it would be delicious. I'll continue to use it over roast veges over winter, and in place of dressings with salads right through summer as it is so versatile. I can't see myself having to buy another bottle for some time, but I'll be definitely looking into it when this is all gone.
Honey is something that I use a lot of in my day to day cooking, so I was interested to try out the balsamic honey vinegar. The thing was I actually couldn't think of what to use this in, but luckily I saw some ideas on the Castle Rock website to help me find some inspiration. There were quite a few ideas listed here for me to think about - as a glaze for chicken, or roasted vegetables, or a dressing for salad leaves.
The bottle is nice and small containing 100mls of vinegar, which may not seem much but with the amount you actually use a little does go a long way. Being compact in size it is easy to store in your fridge and means you don't need to be adjusting shelves to the right height for tall bottles. The bottle has a well presented and easy to read label, and shows a list of ingredients used in the product, honey and vinegar nice and simple!
I decided to cook up some honey chicken for dinner, one of my partners favourite dishes, and opted to use the vinegar in place of half the soy sauce that it called for. I was a bit worried about how this may turn out, but am happy to report it worked amazingly, the touch of vinegar really mellowed out the dish and my partner and I both agreed it really made the dish and took away a bit of the sweetness which was a good thing, this was served over stir fried noodles and went down a treat.
Thinking about other ways in which I could use the vinegar, I tried drizzling some over a salad and also as a dip for using with Dukkah, and I have to say that the flavours this way really weren't for me, I'm thinking this was due to the fact that I couldn't really taste the honey but rather the balsamic which I'm not the biggest fan of on it's own.
Although this is probably a hit with many it's not with me, this is something I can see myself adding to meals, but not something I would use as a topping or dressing. However if your a fan of balsamic this could be right up your alley.
I loved the look of this bottle. it is very simple in its labelling and even more simple in its ingredients. This Honey Balsamic Vinegar contains only vinegar and honey. I like that the bottle is small as there is nothing worse than having shelf in the fridge full of half used bottles of dressings and sauces that have expired before they are used.
We have a favourite meal which we call painted chicken using another sauce so we thought we would try our painted chicken using this honey Balsamic vinegar. The sauce is a good think consistency and painted on our chicken pieces which were then grilled it gave a lovely flavour to the chicken. We all enjoyed the taste and it was a nicer more cleansing taste than using soy sauce and honey. I also used this in a vegetable stir fry and once again appreciated the different taste to using a soy sauce base. The balsamic vinegar just gives a nice taste that is more cleansing than sickening. I really liked this as well for a salad dressing. I was struggling a little to think what else to use this for so then used it a s dipping sauce for bread which was nice. I wasn't sure what els to us this for however so that was all I tried.
My thoughts on this however are that in terms of distinction this really didn't stand out very differently from just stirring some honey into my own balsamic dressing. I am not sure I would buy this for $12 especially for such a small bottle. For convenience factor however having the honey and balsamic mixed together is certainly good. I would recommend using this as an alternative to using soy sauce but also as a sweeter salad dressing.
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