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Vinegars, oils, and winter salads

 
 
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 01:31 pm
I love salads all year round. They always change with the seasons. I always have extra-virgin olive oil on hand, and Maille red wine, white wine, and apple cider vinegars on hand. I also make vinegars from wines in the pseudo-cellar that have turned, but are not corked. Generally, a little bit of 'mother' from an almost empty purchased bottle of vinegar is enough to get them started. I don't generally go for infused vinegars, I would rather add whatever herb/seasoning to the dressing directly, as it gives you more control on the balance of flavour. Share your vinegar/oil/winter salad stories here, but please don't post recipes, just preferences, and inspirational winter salad moments. There are a couple of salads I have made recently that stand out. Baby spinach and Fuji apple, cider vinaigrette, and mixed wild rice with roasted pecans and black grapes, which I sliced to look like pizza olives. That had a dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh sage. It was delicious.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 02:14 pm
Hi Cav, I live for salads year round.
Can you explain
Quote:
uncorked???
and
Quote:
a little bit of 'mother' from an almost empty purchased bottle of vinegar is enough to get them started.
I'm not sure what you mean.
I'm with you on the infused vindgars but I love, love, love balsamic.
I'm in favour of very simple salads, lemon juice, parmesan and butter lettuce is yummy with just a pinch of salt and pepper.

I had a BBQ once and made 17 salads, my friends though I was nuts, but I was inspired and just went crazy. They all loved the leftovers so I guess I was vindicated. Very Happy
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 03:22 pm
Actually, I said 'not corked' which is different from 'uncorked.' Uncorked means a bottle of wine has been opened, while 'corked' refers to what happens when a little bacterium gets into the sealed bottle, and changes the wine, giving it a dank, musty, mouldy smell and taste. Now, all wine does eventually turn to vinegar. If it turns that way from age, but is not corked, it can make a nice salad dressing.

A vinegar 'mother' is the sediment that settles in the bottom of a bottle of vinegar. If you pour fresh (or old) wine on top, that sediment will turn the wine into vinegar. This takes 4-6 months, approximately.

Hope that clarifies things. Very Happy
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bigdice67
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 08:41 am
Nice trick! Thanks Cav!
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 08:43 am
I've got some Pinot Noir vinegar going...should be ready for Christmas. :cool:
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bigdice67
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 08:53 am
Would it work if I, let's say, doesn't empty a bottle tonite, pur that to the mother, and the next time the leftovers from another wine, would that work, too?
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 08:55 am
Sure, as long as the mother is there, you can keep refilling the supply. Best to allow one batch to mature fully though, then save the dregs and refill.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 09:32 am
Cav, one few more questions, if I may Very Happy
Can you do this technique with normal white vinegar or just wine?
Do you use both white and red wine?
Can you use a light mother to make a dark vinegar or vice versa?
Thanks again, Ceili
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 09:58 am
On the tail end here, Cav, and confused about this corking, uncorking, and not corked. Do you mean that bottles of wine should be left open (uncorked) if you're planning on making vinegar with them (so that they won't have a "cork" flavor)?

I like to use rice wine vinegar but I'm especially fond of the darker vinegars... balsamic, raspberry, red wine, apple cider. When I was a child and sick, my mom gave me a teacup of hot water with apple cider vinegar and honey added. It was to make my body become "acidic" again.

I bought some walnut oil this summer, thinking it would be an interesting change from the good olive oil I use. I was disappointed, there was hardly any flavor. Any suggestions for using it up?

I have a good recipes for breadsticks that have a tasty flavor -- it comes only from the salt and olive oil. Great stuff, that olive oil.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 11:09 am
Ceili, I would use white wine with white wine vinegar mother, and red with red. Technically, you could use a white wine vinegar mother with red wine, but it's a matter of taste, that's all. Regular white vinegar will not work, as it has no sediment. It is too refined. So, yes, just wine vinegars or organic vinegars (like some fruit vinegars).

Piffka, leaving a bottle of wine open will only cause it to oxidize, not turn into vinegar. The process of wine turning into vinegar is anaerobic, and happens over time. If you stored a cheap wine sealed in your cellar for years after it was good to drink, and it didn't get that nasty bacteria that causes it to get corked, you would probably start getting vinegar.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 11:42 am
I meant can I use white vinegar mixed with the mother, will it eventually taste better or should I stick with wines?
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 11:51 am
Well.....white vinegar is already vinegar, so it wouldn't really change. Stick with the wines.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 11:56 am
thank you, will do.
0 Replies
 
 

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