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Heathen's Kitchen Witches Compendium

Flavored Vinegars

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Edited By Crimsonwolf

Cooking Tips: Flavored Vinegars

Gourmet flavored vinegars can cost a small fortune, but you might be surprised at how easy and economical it is to make your own. With a few fresh herbs and a little imagination, you can create a signature vinegar to splash on foods as a flavor garnish or to use in salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Captured in decorative bottles, home-made vinegars are also special gifts.

Vinegar acts as a natural preservative, so flavored vinegars can be safely made at home if you use high-quality commercial vinegar and follow a few common safety rules. Cleanliness is critical for all utensils and for fresh herbs and fruits. For maximum hygiene, sterilize glass jars and bottles by immersing them in a pan of hot water and simmering for ten minutes. Fill with vinegar while the glass is still warm.

Fresh Herbs and Fruits Add Flavor
When using fresh herbs from the garden, pick them just after the morning dew has dried. Gently rinse herbs with cold water. A brief dip in a sanitizing solution of 1 teaspoon of household bleach to 6 cups of water is recommended. Rinse herbs well in cold water and drain on paper towels. Allow three or four sprigs of fresh herbs or 1 tablespoons dried herbs per pint of vinegar.

One or two cups of freshly washed fruit can be used to flavor one pint of vinegar. Leave raspberries and blackberries whole, strawberries whole or halved. Pears and peaches can be peeled, sliced or cubed. Citrus peels can be used alone or in combination with herbs and spices such as cloves and cinnamon. Here are a few ideas for flavor combinations to get you started thinking of your own private-label vintages.

  • Blackberries and mint blend well with red or white wine vinegar to use on fruit salads.
  • Fresh dill and champagne vinegar create a delicate marinade for poultry or fresh vegetables like green beans.
  • Lemon and garlic in white wine vinegar are the beginning of an easy sauce on fish and poultry.
  • Lemon and mint, a touch of sugar and white wine vinegar complement fresh fruit.
  • Ginger and rice wine vinegar form a classic combination for Asian recipes.
  • Organic red rose petals with champagne vinegar are excellent on fruit salad, cold lamb, chicken salad or lobster.
  • Mixed Italian herbs with red wine vinegar make a classic vinaigrette.

Step I: Build Flavor
Heat vinegar to just below boiling. Place the prepared herbs, fruit or spices in sterilized jars or bottles. Use large ordinary jars for this phase, particularly if making a large quantity. Pour in the hot vinegar and cap tightly. Place the bottles in a cool, dark place. It will take at least ten days for the vinegar to develop flavor. It may take up to four weeks to achieve the desired strength of flavoring. To shorten the process, herbs and fruits can be crushed slightly before adding to the jars.

Step II: Bottle
When the flavor is achieved, strain the vinegar through cheesecloth or coffee filters until it is no longer cloudy. Discard the solids. Pour the vinegar into newly sterilized bottles, decorative bottles if for gifts, adding a sprig or two of fresh herbs. Seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 months, as garlic cloves, herbs and fruits will eventually deteriorate.


 

Five-Herb Vinegar

Serves 24
-- Recipe Provided by Meals.com

Est. preparation time:

10 mins

Est. cooking time:

5 mins

Est. standing time:

14 days

 


Ingredients:

 

2

tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

2

tablespoons fresh marjoram

2

tablespoons fresh thyme

1

tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

4

green onions, thinly sliced

12

black peppercorns

3 3/4

cups white wine vinegar

Directions:
In a large jar, combine rosemary, marjoram, thyme, parsley, green onion and peppercorns; set aside.

In a saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Pour into jar, cover, and let stand for 2 weeks at room temperature.

Strain vinegar. Seal with an airtight lid to store.

Basil and Red Wine Dressing

Serves 8
-- Recipe Provided by Meals.com

Est. preparation time:

6 mins

Est. cooking time:

5 mins

 

 

 


Ingredients:

 

2

cups red wine vinegar

4

tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook red wine vinegar and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Store in a tightly closed bottle. Use as a salad dressing or sprinkle on meats and vegetables.

Herb Vinegars

Serves 8
-- Recipe Provided by Meals.com

Est. preparation time:

20 mins

 

 

Est. standing time:

5 days, 8 hrs, 24 mins

 


Ingredients:

 

2

cups cider vinegar

2

tablespoons coarsley chopped fresh basil leaves

1

garlic clove, peeled

Directions:
In a shaker bottle, combine cider vinegar and basil. Add garlic clove, shake, and let stand for 3 weeks before using.

 

Crimsonwolf

Heathen's Kitchen Compendium