COOKING WITH WINE (SALLYE)
Cooking with wine truly does give an extra "oomph" to your dishes.
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- helpful hints for cooking with wine
1In the kitchen, wine should be considered a flavoring like other flavorings. The alcohol in all wine spirits evaporates when the boiling point is reached in cooking so that only the flavor remains.
But the flavoring of a dish must not be too strong; it should blend in with the other flavors. For example, if a dish tastes noticeably of salt, pepper or cloves, you put in too much. The same goes for wine. The chief flavor of a dish to which wine has been added should be that of the fish, bird or meat on which the dish is based. Most people use far more wine than is necessary to round out the flavor of what they are cooking.
In cooking main dishes or dishes that are not sweet, use a dry wine, preferably the wine you are going to drink with the meat. But don't cook with rare, exquisite or expensive wines....use a good ordinary wine. Save the rare, expensive wines to drink and enjoy.
The standard rule of white wine for white meats and red wines for red meats does not have to be followed in the kitchen any more than at the table. Poultry, veal, beef, pork, lamb and sauces are excellent with either white or red wine; the flavor of the dish will depend on the wine used. The one exception is fish, which generally tastes better when cooked with white wine, though some famous French dishes call for red. White wine results in a more delicate flavor; while red wine imparts a more robust flavor to a dish.
2When cooking with wine, bring the dish to the boiling point to let the alcohol evaporate. Do not cover the pan; cook at the boiling point for a 2-5 minutes. The time depends on the amount of wine used. A cupful of wine in a stew will take longer to evaporate than two tablespoons in a sauce. Then lower the heat and continue cooking according to the recipe.
Wine is an excellent tenderizer of meats, before and during cooking. Meats, and all foods which have been marinated or soaked in wine to tenderize them, must be thoroughly dried before cooking.
A strained wine marinade can become the base of a sauce or gravy, or simply add some dry wine to the pan juices of roasted meat or poultry, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to de-glaze. Let the mixture cook down to reduce it slightly and then pour over the meat to serve as a sauce.
When wine is not part of a recipe, but you would like to add some to it, add wine sparingly, a tablespoon at a time, and taste before you add more.
Sherry is an excellent cooking aid. Dry sherry goes well with all non-sweet dishes, especially seafood. Sweet sherry takes to fruit, creams and puddings. But remember that a little goes a very long way and use it sparingly.
All dishes cooked with wine can be reheated successfully.