Recipe and Uses in French Cooking
Tarragon vinegar is a popular ingredient in French recipes. You can buy this condiment ready to use, or you can make your own at home with a few precautions.
Cooking with Tarragon Vinegar
Soups. Splash on top of a bowl of soup. Especially nice with gazpacho and other tomato based soups.
Seafood. Use in a mayonnaise recipe and serve with hard boiled eggs or a cold seafood platter.
Canning. Flavor canned pickles or tomatoes.
Sauces. Use it to make bearnaise sauce or in this tartar sauce recipe.
Chicken. Simmer chicken pieces in about 1 cup of vinegar, then add a little cream. The flavor of this dish is wonderful.
Salads. And of course you can use it to make vinaigrette recipes.
Homemade Tarragon Vinegar
You can make your own flavored vinegars in your kitchen. The process is not complicated, but just as with jam or any other preserve that sits on your pantry shelf, you do need to be careful to completely sterilize everything.
Empty wine bottles with screw on lids are perfect for making your own flavored vinegars. Wash the bottle carefully in hot sudsy water, and rinse completely. Immediately plunge the bottle in hot boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the hot water with tongs and invert it on a clean towel. Fill the bottle with the vinegar while it is still warm.
You will need to sterilize the lid as well.
Use 4 sprigs of fresh, clean tarragon for 2 cups of vinegar. You can sterilize the tarragon as well, by dipping it in a solution of 1 teaspoon of household bleach and 6 cups of water. Pat dry.
Use white wine or champagne vinegar with the tarragon. Place the tarragon in the sterilized bottle along with the vinegar and cap with the sterilized lid.
You can store the vinegar on your pantry shelf or in the refrigerator. Vinegar will last for about 3 months in a cool dark spot, and longer in the refrigerator. Be sure to date it. The flavor will become stronger with time. remove the tarragon after about 3 weeks. You may wish to filter the vinegar into a freshly sterilized bottle at this point.
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