Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Special recipe - Using Herbal Vinegar

When I first started my business, back in 1995, I was most keen on teaching people to make herbal vinegar.  I think this is a simple way to incorporate herbal flavors into your cooking and they are easy to make, was well as making great gifts to share your garden abundance.

 I made a How-To on Making Herbal Vinegar a few years back so I will not go into that, but this time of year when we often eat salads because the heat drives us out of the kitchen, an herbal vinegar is a great companion to have.  Also herb vinegar is what you need for flavorful marinade for grilling meats and vegetables.

 Today I thought I would share two recipes.  The first I created back in 1995 when I was doing demonstrations on making vinegar at farmer's markets and the second is a great creamy dressing.  I make a log of vinaigrette blends with herbal vinegar, but this one is a departure from that with a great herbal character.

Herb Shallot Marinade
Tenderizes less expensive cuts of meat.  Marinade chicken or beef 3 to 4 hours or overnight, then cook as usual.

3/4 cup oil (olive)
3/4 cup of any Herbal Vinegar
3 Tbls. shallots, finely chopped
1 Tbls. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic 
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Pinch of salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients in small shallow bowl, beating until well blended.

Herb Salad Dressing  or Dip    
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbls. herbal vinegar (sweeter herbs like dill, lemon balm, or chive are perfect)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried lemon balm
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
dash salt & pepper

Soak the dried herbs in the lemon juice until absorbed (or use 1 tsp. each fresh herbs instead.) Blend with remaining ingredients and allow 4 hours in refrigerator to meld.  Can be used as a dip or thinned with 3 T. of milk for salad dressing.

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