Apple cider vinegar is a light to golden brown type of vinegar that is made from the fermentation of apples. Much has been made of its health benefits, but don’t overlook apple cider vinegar when cooking.
Consider taking a trip to your local health food store and buying a bottle of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Experiment with it and discover new ways to wake up your taste buds. There are many ways to cook with apple cider vinegar. Here are a few:
Substitute apple cider vinegar when a recipe calls for an acid, such as lemon. Apple cider vinegar adds a subtle layer of flavor. Whisk together apple cider vinegar with crushed fresh garlic, fresh-ground black pepper, olive oil and a pinch of salt and cumin. Pour over steamed vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli or zucchini. If you have a hard time getting your family to eat vegetables, try this.
To add zing to freshly steamed green beans, whisk apple cider vinegar with garlic, olive oil and a leaf or two of fresh mint, finely chopped.
Marinades do more than give meat flavor; marinating meat also makes it more tender. Instead of using wine, or other types of vinegar, use apple cider instead and watch it wake up the flavor of meat for grilling.
Mix apple cider vinegar with crushed garlic, sage, rosemary, olive oil and a touch of brown sugar. Use this as a pork marinade.
Apple cider vinegar makes a great sauce when tangy is what you’re looking for. Make a sauce for a summer fruit dessert. Mash strawberries and add honey, a drop or two of vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Fold into pineapple, blueberries and peaches. Top with sweet whipped cream.
An apple cider vinegar sauce, or glaze, is also great over venison, pork and ham. Reduce apple cider vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, paprika, black pepper and thyme until it is the consistency of gravy.
4. Salad Dressing
Add a musky bit of fall flavor to a salad, layering it with complex flavors. Mix apple cider vinegar with feta cheese, crushed garlic, olive oil, oregano and black pepper. Fold into a salad of lettuce, green and red bell pepper and black Greek olives.
Make a quick pickling base for veggies to serve with cocktails. Combine apple cider vinegar with water, salt and chili powder and bring to a boil. Toss in whole cloves of garlic and cook for one minute. Add baby carrots, raw green beans, slices of raw jalapeno pepper, and raw cauliflower florets. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat. Let stand for about an hour, then refrigerate. These are great munchies to serve with martinis.
Make quick pickle cucumber chunks. Cut fresh cucumber into chunks and salt well. Bring apple cider vinegar, cloves of fresh garlic and dill seeds to a boil, then simmer for about ten minutes. Pour over the cucumbers. Refrigerate until cold, then serve with a garnish of minced fresh dill.