It began about a year ago. I was introduced to a vinegar called marine vinegar. The name of the place that sold it has slipped my mind. Not that it was a bad place, actually the ingredients were great. (Actually, Shola may remember, perhaps he'll comment) The smell and taste of the marine vinegar sparked the remembrance of a recipe where Jean Louis Palladin marinated a variety of seaweeds in balsamic vinegar to serve as part of a dish. We had borrowed that idea and paired balsamic seaweed salad with grilled skirt steak and smoked tomato jam at The Bradley Inn years ago. And I return to present day, now actually several months ago when we returned back to New York. On the counter in the kitchen was a jar of homemade vinegar we started here a year ago. The vinegar had matured and was intense. As we unpacked our things I came across some beautiful kombu and wakame. Everything came together. I added the kombu and wakame to the vinegar and let it infuse. At first the vinegar was out of balance, smelling of intense sun drenched damp seaweed mixed with the biting aromas of vinegar. I pushed the vinegar jar back into the corner and waited some more.
Now the vinegar is balanced. Intense, yes and balanced. The vinegar and the aromas of the sea mingle beautifully together, reminiscent of the marine vinegar I sampled and the balsamic seaweed I mimicked, though as an ingredient all its own.
With the ocean vinegar ready in the pantry I set out to integrate it into our cooking. I wanted to make a jelly of the vinegar to serve with oysters or foie gras, pork and clams, roasted sweetbreads wrapped in nori. And I wanted to make a jelly to be served hot. Those were the ideas. Today I prepared a simple warm salad which the ocean vinegar is a great accent and element. The salad and the jelly are served warm, the aromas wafting from the plate and the warm jelly an unexpected element.
Here is the link thanks to Asbel to Francvin the supplier of the marine vinegar.