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               VINEGARS WITH WHIMSICAL NAMES

Don’t ask me a lot of questions about the names. I made them up for the sheer delight of it and reasonableness, or authenticity, or accuracy of any attribution wasn’t part of it. I like the names. Feel free to make up your own irrelevant names. It’s kinda fun.

These aren’t recipes, merely guidelines for some combinations I like. Quantities in a 750 ml wine bottle tend to be about the bottom 1/3 of the bottle if there are fresh herbs. Otherwise, if just garlic or peppercorns, for example, 1/2 cup is plenty. The citrus slices are dried. I slice them thinly, dry them in a dehydrator to the point that they’re leathery but still bendable. Same with slices of large tomatoes or halves of plum tomatoes. I use dried apricots - they plump and look like some strange egg yolks in the bottles. Fresh peppers (handle with gloves). Spices are all dried. Adapt/change/mess with the ingredient list to suit yourself.

Adding the flavors is the simplest job in the kitchen. Combine the vinegar with the flavoring agent and wait two or three weeks. Want to shorten it to days? Stand the uncovered bottles of vinegar and flavoring in a pan of hot water (180 degrees or so) for an hour or two, then let them cool, cap or cork them and wait about three days for the flavors to develop.

European Sipping Vinegar
With cinnamon, ginger, orange, lemon and lime slices, cloves, fennel seeds and fresh mint in white wine vinegar
Add to chilled sparkling water and garnish with lemon slice

Golden Moon Vinegar
Apricots, cloves and cinnamon stick in white wine vinegar

Hot Chile Vinegar
Jalapeno, Thai, cayenne, habanero and Hungarian peppers pickled in white and cider vinegars
Good in soups, chili, as a salad dressing, marinade, pickling vinegar and trickled inside sandwiches

Hot Chile Vinegar, more gentle
Jalapeno, Thai, Pasilla, Red Bell and Hungarian peppers pickled in white and cider vinegars
Good in soups, chili, as a salad dressing, marinade, pickling vinegar and trickled inside sandwiches

Italian Forever Vinegar
Red wine vinegar with garlic, sage, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and chives
Good on salads, trickled over sub sandwiches, as a bread dipper, on steamed vegetables, on grilled meats and in mayonnaise

Italian Wine Country Vinegar
White wine vinegar with sage, garlic, rosemary, thyme and peppercorns
Good with pasta salads, for dipping breads, on sauteed vegetables, over steaks, on antipasto, in omelets

Lavender and Rosemary Vinegar
White wine and distilled vinegars, fresh rosemary and fresh lavender leaves and flowers
Good for fruit salads, vinaigrette dressings, sauces, poultry marinades and steamed fish and vegetables

Lemon-Pepper Vinegar
Lemon zest and juice, Green, Black and Szechuan peppercorns plus garlic in a blend of cider and red wine vinegars

Marinade for Wild Game Meats
Cider vinegar with peppercorns, ginger, garlic, peppers and hickory smoke - mix with 3 parts water and marinate game, pork or beef for 8 to 24 hours

Marinade for Farmed Meats
Red wine and apple cider vinegars, peppercorns, ginger, rosemary, garlic, hot peppers and juniper berries
Mix with 3 parts water, broth, wine or a combination and marinate meats for 8 hours or more

Peasant-style Garlic in Red Wine Vinegar
Fresh garlic cloves steeped in red wine vinegar.
Good with meat and seafood salads, for basting beef and lamb roasts, homemade mayonnaise, game marinades and splashed into soups.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Vinegar
The four legendary herbs, garlic, white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar
Good with salads, for basting roasts, homemade mayonnaise, marinades

Raspberry Champagne Vinegar
Vinegar made from champagne infused with fresh raspberries
Good for elegant salads, steamed vegetables, chicken, marinades, deglazing saute pans, fruit salads and compotes

Roman Festival Vinegar
Red wine vinegar with garlic, sage, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, and oregano
Very good for a salad dressing, vinaigrette, grilled meats, mayonnaise, with butter for vegetables, sprinkle on sandwiches

Scandinavian Seasoned Vinegar
White, cider and malt vinegars, dill, sage, orange slices, lemon zest, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, caraway seeds
Good with fish, steamed vegetables, melons, fruit compotes, poultry , game meats and salad dressing

Sicilian Summer Vinegar
With white wine and cider vinegars, honey, garlic, rosemary, sage, chives, oregano, marjoram, dried apples, peaches, apricots and pears
Good for fruit, in sparkling water as a drink, to baste chicken, as a marinade, in sauces, on vegetables, as a bread dipper, on fish

Spanish Golden Vinegar
Garlic, red and green chili peppers, basil, oregano and chives in vinegars of white wine, red wine and cider
Good with salads, homemade mayonnaise, steamed vegetables seafoods, marinades for game, fish and poultry

Spearmint and Red Rose Vinegar
Rose petals and cut mint stems and leaves in white wine vinegar
Good with leaf salads, basting roasts,
homemade mayonnaise, chicken marinades, dressing cooked greens, fruit salads and compotes, and melon slices

Sun-dried Tomato and Herb Vinegar
Dried tomatoes, rosemary, basil, thyme, garlic and spices in a red wine and cider vinegar blend.
Good for salads, steamed vegetables, chicken, antipasto, marinades

Tarragon Vinegar
Vinegars made from champagne and apple cider, infused with fresh tarragon
Good for elegant salads, steamed vegetables, chicken, marinades, deglazing saute pans, fruit salads and compotes

Tellicherry Peppercorn Vinegar
Black, whole peppercorns in a blend of white wine vinegar and cider vinegar
Good as a red meat baste, salad dressing, marinade, pickling vinegar, in bean soups, with mayo as a sandwich spread.

Three-Peppercorn Vinegar
White peppercorns from China, green peppercorns from Madagascar, black peppercorns from Indonesia, fresh garlic and lemon zest in a red wine vinegar

Tropical Four-Citrus Vinegar
Seville oranges, Meyer lemons, Persian limes and yellow grapefruit in cider, malt and distilled vinegars
Good with fish, poultry, steamed vegetables, melons, fruit compotes, game, and salad dressing


WHAT TO DO WITH FLAVORED VINEGARS

Vinaigrette - For salad dressings, the traditional amounts are 1 unit of vinegar and 3 units of oil. In real-world use, that can be 1/3 to 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of oil, whisked or shaken together with any of several other ingredients - 1 mashed garlic clove, 1 minced shallot, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together, pour over salad and mix.

Bread dippers - Mix vinegars and oils half and half. Dip French or Italian breads into them.

Low-fat salad dressing - 3 tablespoons vinegar, 3/4 cup chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of oil with any of the other seasoning ingredients mentioned above. Shake or whisk together.

Marinades - 1 cup of vinegar with 3 cups of water, juice, broth, wine or a combination of them. A little soy sauce can contribute good flavor. Combine with 1 cup of oil, shake or whisk and pour over food to be marinated. Occasionally turn the food to coat well.

Easy home-made mayonnaise made with a hand mixer, blender or food processor - Use olive (no more than 25%) and other lighter oils or it overwhelms the other flavors. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper or a dash of hot pepper sauce
1 1/4 cups oil, divided
3 tablespoons flavored vinegar
Combine egg, mustard, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup oil on high speed until well mixed. With the machine running, slowly add 1/2 of the remaining oil, then the vinegar, and then the rest of the oil. Occasionally, stop and scrape down the sides. Store in the fridge.
Use different vinegars for different mayos: fruity vinegars for fruit salads, and chicken and pork in salads or sandwiches. Herbal ones for salad dressing.

Vinegar-butters -- Whip 3 tablespoons vinegar into 1 stick of softened butter. Spoon into a line on wax paper or plastic wrap, roll up so the butter forms a rod and chill. Slice off “coins” of seasoned butter and put on steaks, fish, chicken, veggies, toast just before service.

Seasoning - Some ways to use seasoned vinegars for improving the flavors of foods...
- a few drops sprinkled over grilled poultry, fish and vegetables
- a few drops sprinkled over fruit, whether slices of melon or fruit salads
- a splash in pan gravies for a sharper flavor
- a couple tablespoons vinegar and chopped peppers in mayo for a spicy spread or dip
- a couple tablespoons vinegar and some butter stirred into rice for a light sparkle
- mix 1/2 and 1/2 with honey for a sweet & sour dip for chicken
- sprinkle a few teaspoons of vinegar on sub rolls before putting in the other ingredients
- add a little vinegar to tomato juice and simmer to remoisten dried tomatoes
- toss hot pastas with butter, fresh herbs and vinegar, top with grated Parmesan
- add a tablespoon to sparkling water for a quenchy summertime drink



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