Tag Archives: Vinegar

Sweet ‘N’ Sour Cabbage

Can you believe that it is week five of my CSA box already?  I have probably tripled (at least) my greens intake over the last month, and I have to tell you, I have never felt so great.  I have a green monster every day (either for breakfast or lunch), then usually a big salad (lunch or dinner), and of course there are always more veggies on the side of whatever fancy dinner I feel like making.  I am constantly finding ways to use all the fresh vegetables in the fridge in ways that are different and exciting and filling.

It’s been quite a fun adventure so far!  Here’s what came in the box this week:

Fritz and I are traveling to my parents’ house in upstate NY tomorrow for the long weekend, so we’ll have help finishing off all these vegetables from all of our family and friends.  We’ll need the energy, because my mom informed me that she booked us for a level III/IV white water rafting trip on Friday.

I’m scared.  I’m also glad that Fritz is a certified lifeguard.

So with all the vegetables from the CSA lying around, I can’t attempt to explain what would possess me to stop at the farm stand and buy more other than that I found a really yummy looking recipe I was dying to try.  So here it is:

Sweet ‘N’ Sour Cabbage  (adapted from You Can Trust a Skinny Cook by Allison Fishman)  Sweet ‘N’ Sour Cabbage Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, shredded (I’ll show you how!)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 C red wine vinegar

To shred the cabbage, rinse and remove the outer wilty layers.  Trim the stalk end, then slice in half vertically.  Place on half cut-side down, and slice horizonally very thinly starting at the end opposite the stalk.  Voila!  Shredded cabbage.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion until softened.  Add the cabbage, sugar, salt, thyme, and water, and stir.  Partially cover and allow to cook until the cabbage is softened, about half an hour.  Check the cabbage frequently enough to make sure there is enough water. 

Remove from the heat and admire.  Once you add the vinegar, the cabbage will turn from deep purple to a more bright red color, through some magical chemical reaction that I’m sure my mom knows all about (something about acidity, I’d wager a guess).

Add more salt to taste if desired, and store in a jar in the fridge–you can also add red pepper flakes.  I forgot, but I may toss in a pinch when I have this as part of my lunch tomorrow.

Perfectly sweet and tangy without being overpowering.

You can eat this warm or cold, alone or on a salad, or next to a big chunk o’ meat.

Speaking of meat, I need to make a meal with some real soon.  Fritz asked me sadly today if we are turning into vegetarians (ha!).  I don’t realize how little meat we are eating, because I usually have some in my salad every day.  Sorry Fritz! (By the way, I put some sliced ham into the Cheesy Peasy Couscous from yesterday to give to Fritz for dinner today, and he was mollified).

Anyway, I have a big urge to lie down and read (I started Mansfield Park today) and I also have to finish (…or start) packing for our weekend.  Au revoir!

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Filed under Side Dishes

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Hello all!  It’s been a few days since I’ve ventured out into the sun.  I’ve been in studying prison, and soon I shall return.  However, with two tests down, I thought I’d take a break and do something soothing–i.e. cooking related.  Nothing says spring and fresh summer salads than chive blossom vinegar:

Those of you who have been hangin’ out here for a while know about my herb garden that I started last year.  This year I am really determined to take every advantage of the amazing fresh herbs that are literally on my doorstep–parsley, sage, thyme, basil, mint, lavender, and chives.  Since the garden is already abounding with everything (except the basil, which is still in baby form), I need to get going now to take full advantage.

The chives sprung up really early this year, and are already in full purple blossom.  Gorgeous, by the way, but I had no idea what to do with them.  Does one prune the blossoms?  Leave ’em alone?  Make chive-scented bouquets?  So imagine my joy and surprise when I find a recipe that actually uses the blossoms–to make vinegar!

I was paging though a cookbook my mom gave me last Christmas called Another Savory Seasoning all about cooking with herbs.  In the veeeery back is a chapter entitled “specialties”.  Clearly this is the one I was immediately drawn to–vinegars, jellies, teas, seasoned salt, butter, mustard–all those things that cost a lot of money to buy at boutiques, and I can now make for under a buck!

I love when special things are cheap.  Makes ’em even more special, in my opinion.

This discovery coincides perfectly with my other goal–to make this the “summer of salad”.  This chive blossom vinegar, which will turn a light pink color over the next few weeks and have a “delicious chive aroma”, is touted as wonderful dressing over a light salad.

Yes, please.

Plus, I love vinegar.  I used to like to eat salt and vinegar chips until the roof of my mouth is raw and bleeding–still do, on occasion. 

Okay, that’s weird.  Sorry I told you that.

Chive Blossom Vinegar

  • 16 oz of white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2-3 C chive blossoms
  • glass/plastic jar

Here’s an important point–you don’t want metal to touch your vinegar!  If you want to stir it, use a wooden spoon.  If you are using a jar with a metal lid (like my mason jars), cover the top with plastic first.

Pick enough chive blossoms to fill the jar halfway–if you don’t have enough, you can come over and have some of mine!  I have a lot.

Wash them thoroughly, and drain them or blot them ’till they are totally dry.  Fill the jar, and pour the vinegar over the top to fill.

Cover with plastic, then the metal lid, then let it sit for a few weeks, not in bright light (stick it in your cupboard!).  After it’s light pink and pretty, strain through filter paper into containers.

I love the idea of making herb vinegars and oils–they are beautiful and make great gourmet gifts…not to mention the fact that they are dead cheap to make (and I definitely think that matters!).  I can’t wait until I’m ready to use this–I’ll update you then on how it looks and tastes.

My intuition says I’m gonna like this a lot.

In other summer-y news, here’s our pool, turned back to blue after only one day of filtering!  Still needs to be vacuumed, but it’s not quite warm enough to warrant that job yet.  Since our pool was actually black when we opened it last year (eww!), we expected it to take a lot longer to clear up this year.  Guess our new cover did its job!

Hope you have a beautiful, sunshine-y, happy day no matter what the weather is like outside.

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Filed under Sauces