Sometimes I like to open a bottle of wine at home for leisure. Other times I do because a recipe such as a pan-seared steak with wine calls for it.
Wine is so versatile. In the kitchen, it plays three major roles; marinade (can help break down the toughness in meats), cooking liquid and flavoring a finished dish. The purpose of cooking with wine is;
- To enhance the flavor of food
- It adds acidity to a dish, and that brings out other good flavors
- It gives your dish weight loss-aiding antioxidants (only red wine)
That said, there are a few essential tips for cooking with wine;
1. If you can’t drink it, don’t use it. Don’t be tempted to buy wine that tastes like vinegar, or to use leftover wine that has been left open for a long time. Before you use wine for cooking purposes, make sure you can drink it and enjoy it.
2. As with other seasonings, be careful about the amount of wine you pour in your dish. Too little wine will barely have any effect. Too much wine will overpower your dish, and you’ll not enjoy the food.
3. Worried about the alcohol content? Worry not, because alcohol evaporates while food is cooking due to high temperatures. Pour your wine in the early stages of cooking for the flavors to come out. Pouring too late will bring an unpleasant raw wine taste, which might be a buzz kill.
Can you imagine a taste of warm wine?
Yeah, that’s what I thought!
4. Avoid buying wines labeled as cooking wine. They tend to be poor quality and normally salty and have other additives.
5. Wine is a great replacement for fats and oils in many recipes. Sounds healthy, yes?
Therefore, if you’re thinking about sautéing some vegetables, you can replace oil with wine.
6. It’s advisable to cook with dry white wines and dry sparkling wines because of their higher acidity. Dry white wines are perfect for cooking seafood or sauces with heavy cream.
7. Red wines can be added to slow-cooking stews or tomato sauces. Also, it tastes great when added to desserts.
“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.” – Louis Pasteur
To experience the culinary glory of wine, you need to incorporate it as an ingredient to a recipe. Cooking with wine intensifies flavor and adds moisture to dishes.
By: Caroline Wanjiru: Fursa Africa, Food Blogger
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