Versatile vinegar


May 12, 2004|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Food Editor

Vinegar is one of those indispensable pantry items. It can tenderize meat, make buttermilk, add fluff to cakes and rice and even reduce saltiness in soups or other foods.

Vinegar is also a well-known ingredient in marinades and dressings, but how about sweets? Here's a vinegar-pie recipe from White House Foods:

Blend 1 1/2 cups of sugar with 1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter in a medium bowl. Whisk in 3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons of white distilled or apple-cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

Pour into 9-inch unbaked pie shell and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 50 minutes or until filling is golden-brown and a sharp knife inserted in the center of filling comes out mostly clean. Garnish with whipped cream or fresh berries, if desired.

Per serving (1 / 8th of pie): 405 calories, 4 grams protein, 21 grams fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 114 milligrams cholesterol, 299 milligrams sodium.

Flash-frozen, ready to use

Fresh basil and dill won't be ready in the garden for several more weeks, but you can get the taste of fresh herbs today in the grocery freezer section.

Gard'n Fresh of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers flash-frozen basil, cilantro, chives and dill, which will keep in your freezer for up to two years. The herbs are already cleaned and chopped and ready for use.

Look for them in Giant's frozen-food aisles for a suggested retail price of around $2.99 for a two-ounce bottle.

Known for her spice

Ann Davis Wilder, president and founder of Vanns Spices Ltd. was named entrepreneur of the year at the recent meeting of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

"I thought entrepreneurs were young, I already had my AARP card when I started this business," Wilder, 73, told the group in her acceptance speech.

Wilder is a consultant to a variety of food manufacturers and her spices are carried by a number of specialty stores.

Locally the Vanns products can be found at Eddie's of Roland Park and Graul's Markets in Ruxton and Lutherville.

Traveling margaritas

When it's your turn to bring the drinks, try taking Margarita in a Bag. The new drink mix from Lt. Blender's Frozen Concoctions lets you make margaritas, daiquiris and other drinks in your freezer. You just add your favorite tequila or rum and warm water to the bag of mix and shake. Then freeze it or serve it over ice.

Each bag sells for $7.99 and makes a half gallon. Margarita in a Bag is available at Barbeques Galore Stores. Call 800-GRILL-UP or visit


* Learn to make low-fat desserts 7 p.m. May 25 at For the Love of Food in Reisterstown. $45. Call 410-865-0630.

* Explore French wines 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 20 at Bin 604, 604 S. Exeter St. $32 in advance, $37 at the door. Call 410-576-0444.

* Learn to grill in a series of classes this weekend at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. At 7 p.m. Friday, learn the art of grilling burgers; $55. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, learn to grill Italian seafood; $62.50. At 11 a.m. Sunday, learn to make brunch on the grill, $50. Call 410-539-8600.

* Maggie Ayd Reid will speak on the Italian lifestyle based on the writings of her sister Ginda Ayd Simpson, author of Deeply Rooted, 6:30 p.m. May 19 at Aldo's Ristorante Italiano, 306 S. High St. $72 for members of the American Institute of Wine and Food, $88 for nonmembers. Call 410-244-0044 for more information.

* Sample Maryland wines from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Wine in the Woods at Symphony Woods in Columbia. $18 in advance; $20 at the gate. For information call 410-313-7275 or visit

* Taste wines from golfers-turned-vintners Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and David Frost 6:30 p.m. May 19 at Fleming's Steakhouse, 720 Aliceanna St. $85 a person. Call 410-332-1666 for reservations.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail

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