Make your own vegetable vinegar.
Credit: Courtesy of Neighborhood Dining Group

Make your own vegetable vinegar.

The right vinegar can elevate any vegetable dish from good to great. "We create our own from the same vegetable we're serving," says Brock. "You should see our 'R & D' kitchen – it's full of bubbling jars of vinegars and fermented juices." Indeed, the fact that Brock has nearly 60 different vinegars (including a Pabst Blue Ribbon version) in his garage confirms that the acidic liquid can be created from any vegetable: jalapeños, cucumbers, collard greens, cabbages. All you'll need is a little booze and some imagination.

Your move: Juice your vegetable of choice using a juicer or food processor. Strain it. Then mix three parts juice to one part "live vinegar," which contains jellyfish-looking unheated mother vinegar (Brock likes Bragg's vinegar, which can be found in most better grocery stores). From there, add about a tablespoon of high-proof, clear alcohol (Everclear if you can get your hands on it). Mix it all up. "Keep that in a mason jar, cover it with a cheesecloth, seal it with a rubber band, and let it age a month to two months at room temperature," says Brock. The best way to use vegetable vinegar? "Just add a few drops onto the dish after you've braised a vegetable. It brightens everything right up."