What to do with all these flavored vinegars?
My SIL bought me seven different vinegars from a store in Minneapolis called the Golden Fig. I'm looking for recipes that would really benefit from or make the vinegars stand out. Here is what she got me:
basil balsamic (used on roasted veggies with toasted pine nuts last night--great!)
peppercorn thyme balsamic
raspberry vinegar (whole raspberries in the bottle)
mixed pepper vinegar (whole chilies in the bottle)
rosemary lemon garlic vinegar (r.l. & g. in bottle)
I would love some ideas!
1 good pint Fresh strawberries washed and quartered
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar (cinnamon sounds good here)
1/2 teaspoon Finely cracked black pepper (maybe omit this)
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
Toss first four ingredients and refrigerate twenty minutes.
Serve over four scoops of ice cream.
I would use the cinnamon basalmic over pears or apples, either over the fresh, ripe fruit, or in a reduction. The raspberry would be good in a salad -- with arugula, goat cheese, nuts and berries, with olive oil.
The others I'd try in recipes that called for the ingredient -- thyme, rosemary, basil or pepper.
I got a similar gift and I gave most of them away. My understanding is (can anyone confirm this?) that if there are herbs, fruit, etc in the bottle, it gives the product a much shorter shelf life. Also in my experience this kind of stuff is a gimmick and not that great for actual use.
I am embarrassed to admit that I bought a "bramble vinegar" at a gorgeous but ridiculous shop in Scotland. In short, the stuff (which I bought a tiny bottle of for $20 or so, btw) is red food color-y, and ridiculously sweet. I've found that its best use is for soaking dried cranberries before throwing them into salad, to plump them up a bit without putting them in water and diluting their taste. Your raspberry stuff, if too sweet to use as a salad dressing, could certainly be used for this purpose.
Here's a picture of the place in Edinburgh, by the way. There's an incredible cheese shop next door. Go to the cheese shop. Don't get sucked in to the gorgeous bottles of vinegars like I did.
re: rose water
I sympathize - I have all sorts of food products that I've bought while traveling because they seemed "interesting" - like a life time's supply of licorice root that I've never used, also some pomegranate salt, never used. I should clear through my cupboards and either find some recipes or throw the stuff out!
Hmm...pomegranate salt, huh? Maybe on slices of apple, or green mango/green papaya--i can imagine the salty and tangy could be great with sweet things. Or on the rim of a nice pink pomegranate margarita...to complement the color of my nice, magenta, (foodie/consumer/sucker) bramble vinegar!
re: rose water
Thanks for the links. Our best friends go to Scotland on a regular basis and we hope to join them sometime in the near future. When we get together with them (they live in San Diego, we live in DC) we sit around and drink Scotch and eat good cheese. Ironic that you posted about Scotland and cheese. Thanks!
It's grilling season. I would try any of them to make a marinade for chicken and other meats. I might try the mixed pepper vinegar in a cucumber salad, the kind you somtimes get in Oriental restaurants. Vinegar, sugar, sesame oil. The recipes usually call for some hot pepper, just skip that ingredient because of the chilies in the vinegar. Sometimes I season a dull gravy by adding a tablespoon or so of vinegar. A seasoned vinegar would be great. I would also be tempted to make my own mustard since I used to make a wonderful tarragon mustard. The acidity has probably changed so if you make any pickled food, refrigerate it.
What a nice gift!