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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oils and Vinegars, Redux

While I'm on a roll talking about my oils and vinegars, I'd be remiss if I didn't chat about one of my very favorites.  Daniel Orr is a chef who's created masterpieces in many of the world's finest restaurants.  Then, he decided to come home.  He grew up a bit down the road in Columbus, IN but decided to open his new restaurant in Bloomington, IN.  I'm lucky enough to have my Columbus office down the hall from the folks who manage the on-line side of his business.  They also happen to own the building...  Christmas, 2008, my gift was a bottle of BIG RED Cranberry Vinegar.  The bottle alone is reason enough to include this in your repertoire.  But, the vinegar, oh la la.  Fabulous stuff.  I could probably drink it plain!  This past Christmas they gave me Chef's most recent cookbook.  I'll confess my first reaction wasn't total joy.  I was kind of underwhelmed by the one cookbook of his that I already had.  This one, though is different.  Very approachable recipes.  And, my favorite part is that it has some of what I would call scavenging in the yard recipes.  We decided we had a bumper crop of dandelions and would try cooking them.  I started with Chef's FARM Bloomington cookbook.  Bingo - a wild dandelion salad with wild garlic vinegar.  We also had a bumper crop of wild garlic so the recipe was perfect. The vinegar had to be made a couple of days in advance so I started with that. 

Wild Garlic Vinegar

1 qt white vinegar
1/4 c sugar
2 t salt
15 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp red pepper flakes
10 wild garlic plants, washed

Boil the vinegar, sugar and salt.  When it's cooled a bit, add the other ingredients.  You'll want to use a sanitized stoppered bottle.  Make sure you use the stems and bulbs of the garlic and cover all the ingredients with vinegar.  I used a bit less vinegar but the same amount of seasonings.

adapted from FARM Bloomington, Daniel Orr 

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