Using up vinegar?
January 4, 2008 9:45 AM   Subscribe

What are some ways to get rid of (i.e. use up) a lot of fancy vinegar?

Two months ago or so I bought around a liter of tomato vinegar (tastes something like balsamic vinegar). Since then I've only managed to use around a 6th of a bottle. I am moving in 3 weeks and can't take the vinegar with me. I'd rather not throw it away. What are some things that I can do with a whole lot of vinegar?
posted by Deathalicious to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also: I live alone, so although I know salad dressing makes a lot of sense, that would mean a whole lot of salad!
posted by Deathalicious at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2008

This thread might be helpful.

Can you pickle some things? I don't know if it would work with that vinegar, but it'd be interesting, at least.
posted by Sassyfras at 9:50 AM on January 4, 2008

I wonder if it would taste good with chicken? Marinade some chicken breasts in it then bake.
posted by The Deej at 9:53 AM on January 4, 2008

Use it for a gourmet foot bath, to soften your calluses, kill athlete's foot, etc.
posted by mumkin at 9:57 AM on January 4, 2008

In response to my mother's plea, I recently improvised a recipe for cippollini onions in reduced balsamic vinegar, and they were tasty! It used up a decent amount of vinegar, but then you're left with the question of how to use up the onions. Some suggestions: sliced or chopped in salads, warmed in broth as a side dish, on pizza or in sandwiches.

I used some white wine vinegar and some balsamic, but I don't see why you couldn't use tomato vinegar. Here was my basic technique:

1 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1 TBS turbinado sugar (if unavailable, use brown sugar or white sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
bay leaf
2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 lb cippolini (or other small onions), peeled and trimmed

Bring to a boil all ingredients except balsamic and onions; stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add onions and balsamic; simmer until onions are tender. For me, this was about 15 minutes.

Remove onions to sterile jar. Simmer liquid until thickened and bubbly, stirring as necessary, then pour over onions. Cover, let cool, and refrigerate.


I now have such a large assortment of fancy vinegars (and such a tiny kitchen) that I'm planning to experiment more with reductions and sauces. Since you know you'll have to toss the vinegar before you move, maybe this is a good opportunity to throw caution to the winds and play around with making sauces?
posted by Elsa at 10:02 AM on January 4, 2008

You might not want to waste fancy vinegar on this, but you're moving, and vinegar is an excellent (and green) cleaning fluid. I use it to clean glass and mirrors - wipe on/wipe off with newspaper pages, which don't leave any streaks. You can also use to clean kitchen appliances like coffeemakers and grinders, those plastic things that get crumbs stuck in their little seams. Normally I use white vinegar for this, but I've used cider vinegar too, so I don't think the flavor/aroma will make any difference to using it as cleaning fluid. It evaporates pretty quickly.

Because of the flavor maybe you wouldn't want to use it to clean the inside of your coffeemaker, though.
posted by Miko at 10:15 AM on January 4, 2008

You could make a lot of vinegar-based hot sauce.
posted by Caviar at 10:16 AM on January 4, 2008

Best answer: Do not use tomato vinegar for cleaning.
posted by Caviar at 10:17 AM on January 4, 2008

Do not use tomato vinegar for cleaning.

Why not - what happens?

I mean, I wouldn't use balsamic because of the sticky sugars, but is the same true for tomato? Is it not strained?
posted by Miko at 10:18 AM on January 4, 2008

It's sticky, and it stains.
posted by Caviar at 10:25 AM on January 4, 2008

Response by poster: Miko, we're talking vinegar that's thicker and brown, mucher closer to balsamic than white vinegar. It's not sticky like balsamic but it would certainly stain and it would smell horrible.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:34 AM on January 4, 2008

Like Elsa, I've done a balsamic-vinegar reduction. However, mine wasn't very complicated--it only used the vinegar (starting at maybe 1/2 cup?), which I put it in a pan at a light simmer for about 20 minutes, until it had become pretty syrupy and reduced down to about half the volume.

Totally good drizzled over roasted asparagus, or roasted broccoli, or roasted green beans. Or any good root vegetable that you roast in the oven. Very simple, very tasty, and good for you to boot!
posted by iminurmefi at 10:41 AM on January 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ah. Thanks. I've never seen tomato vinegar.
posted by Miko at 10:43 AM on January 4, 2008

Make a big batch of vindaloo sauce Freeze it in single meal portions.
posted by nax at 11:09 AM on January 4, 2008

Reduced balsamic vinegar tastes really good on strawberries and thinly sliced pears.
posted by spec80 at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2008

I have a marinated brussels sprout recipe that uses lots of balsamic vinegar and *bonus* it makes brussels sprouts edible to most haters. Tomato vinegar would substitute fine for the usual balsamic.

(Serves 4-5)
~ 20 medium sized fresh brussels sprouts
1/2 cup balsamic or tomato vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup Mirin (optional)

-Wash the brussels sprouts, removing dirty or yellowed outer leaves.
-Cut them in half and remove any remaining stem.
-Place them in a bowl
-Add your remaining ingredients. Most of the sprouts should be covered with liquid
-Let stand for about 30 minutes, shaking occasionally if not all sprouts are submerged
-Pour, liquid and all, into a pan
-Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce gets thick
-Serve Immediately
posted by Alison at 11:58 AM on January 4, 2008

A popular salad in the Wu household these days is:

- thinly sliced (like with a veggie peeler) cucumber
- thinly sliced (like with a knife) raw red onion
- dried (or, if you have it, fresh) thyme
- kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- a little olive oil
- a generous amount of balsamic vinegar (tomato vinegar would work, I bet)

I know, it's just one salad, but hey. Tasty, fast, and cheap. (A tad strong, though - mega-onionbreath.)
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:19 PM on January 4, 2008

It's great to marinate cucumbers and other veggies in. My tomato and couscous salad:

1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 medium regular tomato
1 package instant couscous
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of your tomato vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon or whole grain mustard, whichever you prefer
1/4 cup of fresh basil

Cut all the cherry tomatoes in half and wash out the seeds. Put the regular tomato, olive oil, mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper (to taste) in a blender or food processor and pulse. Make the couscous; tear up the basil leaves into bits, or chop if you prefer. Mix the finished couscous, dressing, and basil together in a bowl; dump in the cherry tomatoes and stir so the halves get filled up with the flavored couscous. Refrigerate 1 hour for maximum flavor.

You can serve this cold at a party or it's great for a picnic.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:36 PM on January 4, 2008

Give it to a friend who likes to cook.

"Hey, I'm moving and don't want to take this with me. Do you think you could use it?"
posted by Cordelya at 1:01 PM on January 4, 2008

Response by poster: Great recipes everybody! I'll try to give them a shot if I can find the ingredients...

Considering that I am leaving, on a jet plane, and don't know when I'll be back again, pickling things and freezing things won't work--that's displacing the vinegar, not using it up. :-) I should have made it clearly -- when I move, I am outta here.

Most of my friends here in Cairo aren't really the chef types...although perhaps my roommate (who is also moving) would be interested in taking it along when he moves.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:25 PM on January 4, 2008

Sweet and sour sauce uses quite a bit of vinegar, and sometimes people put tomatoes in it, so I don't see why you couldn't use tomato vinegar. Here's the recipe I use, adapted from the 1975 Joy of Cooking.

1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
8 ounces of pineapple (fresh or canned)
1 small green pepper, diced
½ cup rice vinegar
¾ cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
posted by found dog one eye at 2:04 PM on January 4, 2008

I bet that vinegar would be really good in chicken adobo. Tasty and easy to make.
posted by gimonca at 4:34 PM on January 4, 2008

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