Monday, December 17, 2012

Recipes for using our Vinegar and Jam

One of the best ways to taste the true flavors of any specific ingredient is to use it as simply and plainly as possible. When trying a new vinegar or oil in a recipe why not let it shine through purely as possible? I myself will use a spoon and taste ingredients in small dosages to get a real intense, straight shot of a new ingredient. However this does overwhelm the palate and in times of doubt about an ingredient can be a rather bold commitment for your senses.

For ages many cultures have have used vinegar as a health tonic. Raw-unpasteurized apple vinegar such as Spoiled Rotten Apple is considered a living food filled with many possibilities for both internal and external well being. To get you started in your research of using vinegar in such a way try the recipe below.

Energy Drink
yields a full days serving
*For a natural energy boost and cleanse sip this recipe throughout your day. Warm or cold.

1 quart purified water
3 sprigs organic peppermint (stems & all)
raw, locally harvested honey or agave nectar to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a pitcher large enough to comfortably hold ingredients. As you add your honey or agave nectar stir mixture to help dissolve and incorporate flavors. 
It is best to allow the mixture to be kept in tact as you drink from the pitcher through the day. However if you prefer to strain the mint out of your beverage I suggest letting the mixture "steep" for at least one hour before you strain.
Serve chilled or gently warmed.

*In the recipes you will read from our kitchen note that when "salt" is called for we are referring to Kosher Salt. Any other kind of salt will be listed in the ingredients.

Basic Vinaigrette
yields 1 1/2 cup
* A good building block recipe to start with and then soon throw out as soon as you are using whimsy.

*Combine the following ingredients into a small bowl for whisking or what mechanical device you brandish.
1/2 cup Spoiled Rotten Vinegar (any variety) or any vinegar you prefer
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (try not to make this an optional element)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
 *Reserve the following.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil *For Spoiled Rotten Vinegar I prefer an olive oil blend or other light flavored oil.

While whisking athletically, slowly drizzle in the oil. Emulsifying is your goal. If using a machine such as a blender or food processor, combine the first group of ingredients in your machine and while motor is running slowly drizzle in the oil.
When smooth taste for seasoning. Ready to use or store in your refrigerator. 

Blackstrap Vinegar Reduction or Glaze 
yields 1/4 cup thick syrup
*A fun and useful condiment for a wide variety of dishes. Use as a finishing drizzle on roasted meats and vegetables or composed salads, cheese platters or on fresh berries over vanilla bean ice cream. Will keep indefinitely in the fridge.

1 teaspoon honey
1/2 small dried bay leaf

Pour the blackstrap vinegar into a heavy bottom saucepan. Over moderate heat, stir int he honey and 1/2 bay leaf. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer and allow the vinegar to reduce slowly.
*You may become impatient or bored during this reduction time but BE CAREFUL!! Do not turn up heat to speed up the process or get sidetracked and forget your reduction to find a hard, burnt black mass STUCK in the bottom of your pan. Keep it slow and low.
Around 20 minutes into reducing time or when vinegar mixture has lost more than half of its original volume, start to watch your pan closely. Allow to cool before use. Store in a sealed jar or container indefinitely in your fridge.
*This reduction is best used at room temp or warmed slightly.

Quick Maple Glaze for Pork & Poultry
yields a scant 3/4 cup
*For best results I would first recommend using this glaze while grilling or roasting. Since the glaze is used near the end of cooking and won't necessarily penetrate into the protein I suggest using smaller & more tender cuts of meats like; Pork loin, tenderloin & chops. Fowl breasts, leg & thighs or a whole small chicken or game bird. 

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup, Pure
1/3 Cup Whole-grain Mustard

Mix maple syrup, mustard & maple vinegar in a small bowl. Apply the glaze to your pork or poultry during the last 10 minutes of grilling or roasting.

Mahi-Mahi Ceviche with Chiles
serves 6 appetizer portions
*The fish called for in this recipe can be substituted with any number of firm, white flesh fish. I suggest using Chilean sea bass (toothfish), blue nose bass, halibut or snapper. Always use the freshest fish you can find to avoid any health concerns or "fishy" flavors. Frozen fish for this purpose is not suggested.

1 pound mahi-mahi filets (cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips)
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup Spoiled Rotten Chile Vinegar
2 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1/2 roasted red bell pepper, seeded, peeled and diced small
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), finely chopped
approx. 12 leaves of fresh cilantro
sprigs of chive tips
Salty crackers or freshly fried corn chips

Combine fish, lime juice, chile vinegar, oregano in a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Chill until fish turns opaque, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes.
*It is important not to over marinate or "cook" the fish in this initial step. You want the fish to have just tuned opaque when you know it is time to strain out liquid. By the time the ceviche is finished and ready to serve it will have kept "cooking" in the acid of the lime juice and vinegar. Any prolonged marinating or "cooking" will result in undesirable textures. For this reason although leftovers are safe to eat the following day the texture might be lacking for most palates. There is a tendency for the texture of the fish to become soggy.
Strain almost all of the liquid from the fish, return the fish to the bowl. Stir in onion, jalapenos, bell pepper, and cilantro. Season with salt. Chill for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.

To serve:
Divide the ceviche into 6 martini glasses, small bowls or in small spoons for a passing hor d'oeuvres. Sprinkle the toasted pepitas on the top of each portion finally sprinkling the cilantro leaves and chive sprigs.
Serve with the salty crackers or freshly fried corn chips.

by the Foodinista
This recipe was created by a fellow foodie using our Stuck-Up Rhubarb Bing Cherry Jam. Follow the link on the recipe title to get the whole story and her recipe.


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