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Food Matters: Unique vinegars add flair to your food; new Austin food show on YouTube

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
Southern Skillet Vinegars offers a number of out-of-the-ordinary vinegars, including those made with tomatoes, blueberries and satsuma oranges.

COOKING AT HOME

If you are bored with your pantry staples, check out this new line of vinegars called Southern Skillet Vinegars. The Alabama-based company makes aged gourmet vinegars from ingredients that grow well in the area: blueberries, tomatoes, satsuma oranges, sugarcane and red and white muscadine grapes, which are native to the Gulf coast.

Fruit vinegars are sweeter than what we usually think of as vinegar, but you’ll find plenty of ideas for using the products on the website, southernskilletvinegar.com, including several recipes from cookbook author Martha Hall Foose. Not sure what to do with a blueberry or sugarcane vinegar? Try sprinkling over a salad or fresh goat cheese and pears. Tomato vinegar adds another layer of flavor to just about any soup, side dish or bloody Mary, and a splash of satsuma vinegar will brighten your chicken salad or gin and tonic.

The vinegars are available in a few specialty stores throughout the south, but in Austin, you’ll have to buy them online at Amazon.com.

Hominy Salad

1 (14½-ounce) can golden hominy, rinsed and drained

1 (14½-ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drained

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

2 Tbsp. tomato vinegar

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chopped green bell pepper

¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, combine the golden hominy, white hominy, tomatoes, cheese, vinegar, mayonnaise, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, chili powder, cumin seeds and salt. Toss well to combine. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 8.

— Martha Hall Foose

WEB SERIES

Tolly Moseley, the blogger behind Austin Eavesdropper, has teamed with YouTube’s new food channel, Hungry, to host a new web series called “Hungry In…” that features plugged-in eaters in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Austin. (You’ll remember that Austin’s Casserole Queens also have a show on Hungry.)

Ahead of the launch of the first Austin episode, Tolly snapped a photo of her fridge for the What’s in Your Fridge Friday feature at austin360.com/relishaustin, admitting that her husband, Ross, is the primary cook in the family and that he’s the one who keeps the fridge so clean and well-stocked.

What three things are always in your fridge? Almond milk, Greek yogurt, and if you peeked in the pantry, an appalling amount of nut butters.

What’s your favorite condiment? Salsa. I’m a San Antonio gal, so salsa is like my fifth food group. I think my body composition might be part salsa.

What’s your go-to late night snack? Does wine count? Just kidding: Greek Gods’ Kefir Cheese on Ryvita Sesame Rye crackers. Kefir cheese is spreadable and rich, almost like a dryer, saltier cream cheese. I can’t get enough of it these days.

FUNDRAISER

The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is hosting its fourth annual online charity auction through Oct. 19 at ldeiaustin.org. You can bid on 80 items including a subscription to Rogue Creamery’s cheese social club, boxes of locally grown produce from Farmhouse Delivery, gift certificates to local restaurants including El Alma Cafe and Cantina and Wink, a private five-course dinner with local chefs Bess Giannakakis of Gateway Guesthouse and Pamela Nevarez-Fisher of EatStreet personal chef service and a guided fishing tour on the Gulf coast with Bay Flats Lodge near Corpus Christi. The money raised through the auction will go to support the Les Dames’ culinary scholarship and its “garden-to-plate” initiatives.

BRIEFS

  • Chris McFall of Paggi House was named one of the six Best New Sommeliers of 2012 in the most recent edition of Wine & Spirits Magazine. This marks the third year that an Austin sommelier has earned this recognition. In 2010, it was Mark Sayre of Trio at the Four Seasons, and in 2011, June Rodil of Congress was on the list.
  • Nicole Patel, owner of Delysia Chocolatier, will send her jalapeño tequila truffle to London this week for the International Chocolate Awards. Patel’s spicy sweet concoction impressed judges in the semi-final round in New York last month in the filled dark chocolate category.