Friday, November 5, 2010

Cooking with whine...I mean wine!

What goes better with Fridays than wine???

I picked up a bottle of wine the other day jokingly telling my husband it's for taking the edge off the whine!  As the mom of 2 little boys, the whine can get out of control.  Actually I bought a bottle of wine so I could experiment with adding it to dishes.  Adding different amounts, at different times in the cooking, using it in different cooking methods.

The wine I picked up is a Barefoot wine. It's a Riesling white wine. The definition says "This light-bodied and refreshingly sweet wine hits all the right fruit-filled notes: delicate orange blossom, juicy apple, and tangy lemon."

 I first tasted it to make sure that I'd like the taste.  Nothing worse than using a wine in your cooking that you don't like the taste of.

Since it's sweet and has a little tang of lemon and green apple, my first experiment was with pork chops!  I marinated the pork chops for about 4 hours in a sesame ginger dressing, with a couple splashes of wine in a plastic bag.  Before putting the pork chops in the bag, I took a knife and poked holes randomly on each side of the chop.  Once I put them in the fridge to marinate every hour, more or less, I would go and moosh (technical cooking term) the bag around, trying to work the marinade into the chops.  To cook the chops, I did bread and fry them on my flat top griddle. I cooked them for about 5-7 minutes on each side. While I was cooking them I made my sauce, I sauteed a 1/2 onion, chopped, in a Tblspoon of butter, until onions are translucent.  Added a splash of wine, and a 1/2 jar of Alfredo Sauce and simmered for about 10-15 more minutes. It was delicious.

The wine added so much to the flavor to the chops.  The wine I picked added sweetness but there was also a little bite from the lemon.

So what wine should you use with what food?  Good Question

Young, full bodied red wine
Red meat, red meat dishes
Young, full bodied, robust red wine
Red sauces
Earthy red, full bodied red wine
Soups with root vegetables and/or beef stock
Dry white wine or dry fortified wine
Fish/shellfish/seafood, poultry, pork, veal
Dry white wine or dry fortified wine
Light/cream sauces
Crisp, dry white wine
Seafood soups, bouillabaisse
Sweet white wine or sweet fortified wine
Sweet desserts
Dry, fortified wine (i.e.: sherry)
Consommé, poultry, vegetable soups
Regional cuisine
Regional wine

Here's a link to Barefoot Wines and the wines they carry.  They are very tasty and not that expensive.
Barefoot Wines

How long should you cook to get the wine "out" of your dish?

Immediate Consumption
Overnight Storage
Boiling liquid, remove from heat

Dishes that have been baked or simmered:
After 15 minutes
After 30 minutes
After 1 hour
After 1.5 hours
After 2 hours
After 2.5 hours

A few questions and answers from

QUESTION: Will recipes taste better if I use a premium or expensive wine?

ANSWER: A good-quality wine will give the same fine flavor to a dish as a premium wine or expensive wine. Save the premium wine to serve with the meal. Remember - only use wines in cooking that you would enjoy drinking.

QUESTION: What is "cooking sherry?"

ANSWER: Cooking sherry usually has salt or chemicals added to make it unpalatable as a sipping wine. Sold in small bottles, it is generally more expensive than regular sherry. I do not recommend using anything labeled "cooking wine."

QUESTION: Will wine in food make me tipsy?
ANSWER: No. The alcohol in wine begins to evaporate at 172 degrees - well short of the boiling point of water. Even people who avoid drinking wine for religious or personal reasons can cook with wine.

QUESTION: Can I use leftover wine for cooking?

ANSWER: Yes. To save leftover wine for cooking, pour into smaller bottles, cork tightly and store in the refrigerator.

QUESTION: How much wine should I use in a recipe when cooking?

ANSWER: This question depends upon the flavor intensity of the wine and the foods you are cooking. Proceed slowly in adding additional wine than the recipe calls for. Wine needs time to impart its flavor. If you're not sure whether to add more wine to a dish, let the dish cook at least ten minutes before tasting again. Adding more wine than the recipe calls for won't necessarily make it better. Wine does not automatically turn an ordinary dish into a gourmet dish. Use it with discretion.

Suggested amounts to add: 
Soups - 2 tablespoons per cup
Sauces - 1 tablespoon per cup
Gravies - 2 tablespoons per cup
Stews & Meats - 1/4 cup per pound
Poaching liquid for fish - 1/2 cup per quart

Suggested recipes- Filet Mignon with a wine glaze
Salmon with Pesto Wine sauce

Don't want to use alcohol in your cooking but still want the same richness in flavor...check out a substitution list here

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I love to cook. It is my passion.