Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
While watching a recent episode of ATK’s called New England Classics, a taste test of sherry vinegars was featured:
I was intrigued since I’d made a Nobu West dish Mackerel ‘Shio-yaki’ And Vegetable Salad a while back and wondered how it would taste given a reviewed sherry vinegar. Since I couldn’t find the Test Kitchen’s Napa Valley Sherry Vinegar, I went and got the O Sherry to remake the dish (guessing that Bridget Lancaster’s palate was spot on).
So my wife helped out a little bit by washing the chinese cabbage (aka nappa) leaves to make sure they were really clean for the salad. And I prepared all the other diced salad ingredients as per the recipe. We lucked out that HMart had really fresh Norwegian mackerel; and following my comment from my original article, I seasoned and simply broiled the mackerel without brushing/wiping the mackerel fillets with olive oil. Sure enough after I broiled it for about 8 minutes, I got a nicely cooked mackerel with moist flesh under crispy skin.
I assembled the salad with 1/4 c of Frantoia extra virgin olive oil and 2 T of the sherry vinegar and 1 t of 4:1 salt/pepper mix. Upon plating the salad, I laid the freshly cooked mackerel on top. On tasting the salad with the mackerel, I noticed how balanced the flavors were. It seemed to me that this particular sherry vinegar had a much more rounded flavor and not as sharp as the Coulmela I had used previously. I must say that I vastly prefer this vinegar to what I’d used before. I would be curious to try the Gran Capirete and the Napa Valley reserves for this recipe in the future.
By the way, I did do a taste test of the Columela v the O Sherry:
Between shots of water to cleanse my palate, I definitely preferred the O Sherry. By comparison, I just felt the Columela just had too many harsh notes.