House of vinegar The power of sour with recipes

Jonathon Sawyer

Book - 2018

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California : Ten Speed Press 2018.
Main Author
Jonathon Sawyer (author)
Other Authors
Peter (Photographer) Larson (-)
First edition
Physical Description
vii, 247 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Vinegars
  • Pickles
  • Cold vinegar-based sauces (aka vinaigrettes)
  • Brining, marinating & braising
  • Hot vinegar-based sauces (aka pan sauces)
  • Vinegar-based desserts
  • Drinks.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Sawyer, chef of Cleveland's Greenhouse Tavern, assembles 80 recipes in this enlightening cookbook as he instills two important lessons: anything that ferments can be the base for a vinegar, and vinegars can complement nearly any dish, from appetizer to nightcap. The opening chapter offers instructions for creating 11 different types of vinegars, some of which are easy (malt vinegar, after all, is beer in a jar, plus time); for the brave, there is a prosciutto-scotch vinegar, with the liquor diluted to achieve fermentation and given three months to properly age. The second chapter focuses on pickling techniques, with sauerkraut at one end of the tangy spectrum and Bavarian black grape pickles at the other. Vinegar-based sauces, both cold and hot, are explored, as is the art of brining. Beer-can chicken is elevated by having the bird soak for a day in a beer and vinegar brine with garlic and brown sugar. Other standout entrees include foie-gras steamed clams, and ratatouille Niçoise made with shishito peppers and a red wine vinegar. A fascinating chapter on cocktails includes an orange-vinegar Sazerac, as well as a bourbon ginger baby with the unlikely trio of bourbon, white wine vinegar, and cucumber. A condiment that dates back to ancient Babylon proves to be as vital as ever in this refreshing collection. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

This second title from James Beard Award-winning chef Sawyer (Noodle Kids) offers an accessible entry into the world of vinegar, an underrepresented yet powerful ingredient. Unsatisfied by the quality and diversity of vinegar offered in stores, Sawyer decided to make and perfect his own recipe. He provides a DIY explanation of the science behind, equipment required, and effort needed to create quality vinegar. In all, 11 recipes-from apple cider vinegar and craft-beer vinegar to cream soda vinegar-and their variations are provided along with expert instruction on how to use them to balance out food. In addition, Sawyer offers more than 80 food, sauce, and drink recipes that can be created with the various vinegars. VERDICT Sawyer's writing and wit make reading this book fun, appealing to both seasoned cooks looking to add to their repertoire, as well as beer and wine-making enthusiasts.-David Miller, Farmville P.L., NC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

INTRODUCTION *** Vinegar is so easy to make that it nearly happens without doing any work at all. It's so easy, in fact, that, for thousands of years, wine-makers have been trying to develop ways to prevent wine from automatically fermenting into vinegar. Don't think of this text simply as a how-to manual for making top-shelf vinegar or vinegar-based recipes. Consider it your guide to unlocking the potential of every sweet, salty, sour, and savory bit in your food. Believe it or not, acidic and sour foods like vinegar have the ability to open our senses and make our taste buds more sensitive to all the other tastes. At the same time, they also work to bring balance as well as tone down the intensity of overtly bitter and fatty foods. As a species, we are hardwired to taste sour foods. Some biologists feel that we evolved this ability in order to know if high-energy foods such as fruit were ripe. Unripe fruits don't have the fully developed sugars we need to consume for instant energy. If we can taste their sourness, then we know to wait a little longer before eating them. On the other hand, there are some biologists who believe we developed this ability to warn us of potentially hazardous foods. Some spoiled foods can accumulate organic acids, and some really acidic foods can actually physically harm us. I'll leave it to the scientists to figure out the reason for our ability to taste sour foods, but with either of these concepts, sour takes on a "forbidden fruit" quality. My working understanding of sour taste is from years of eating and cooking. I remember when my kids were little and just starting to eat solid food. Amelia and I would give them slices of lemon to gnaw on. With each bite, they would pull back from the lemon and intensely pucker their faces. What looked like displeasure would instantly fade into a smile followed by another bite. This got me thinking about how we look to sour foods as a source of pleasure and enjoyment while eating. I mean, what kid doesn't stuff their mouth repeatedly with Sour Patch Kids on a regular basis? We simply crave sour foods. This is evident in cuisines around the globe. From the Pennsylvania Dutch to the people of Shanxi Province in northern China, sour foods are an instrumental--actually fundamental--part of how we enjoy what we cook and eat. Why else would a fatty grilled sausage virtually beg to be slathered in a boldly tart brown mustard? Sour ingredients just have a natural way of making us happy. As a chef, it's important to be able to craft and manipulate foods in ways that appease the diner. Vinegar makes this possible to do, to create balance in any dish. It's so important that it has literally become the cornerstone of all my cooking. With all of that being said, let's thank whoever produced that crappy bottle of vinegar I bought many moons ago. It was the best twenty-nine dollars I ever pissed down the drain. Excerpted from House of Vinegar: The Power of Sour, with Recipes by Jonathon Sawyer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.