Monday, August 19

Tips for cooking with wine - 3 myths debunked

Wine. This is an interesting topic to me. I generally perfer red wine BUT my husband prefers white and if possible the sweetest he can find (hello moscato). So over the course of the last 5 years, when I really started to cook instead of preheating boxed commericalized foods, I stumbled and tripped through learning the ropes of cooking with red AND white wine. If you haven't ever cooked with wine before let me reassure you its super easy. So lets debunk 3 myths associated with cooking with wine. 

Side note: The cooking wine that you can find on the shelf at the grocery store is to be avoided at all costs. Why? It is not the same thing as wine. Don't cook with anything you wouldn't personally drink, and I promise you it doesn't taste good. Most of them have very high sodium levels. Save the salt for something yummy like french fries or a salted pretzel. Then there is the problem listed in the Handbook of Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy that not all cooking wines have thier salt percentages listed on the labels so you have no idea what you are getting (Powers, 439). Heres another reason for not using cooking wine.... its expensive. The blogger at Casual Kitchen explains it this way, don't pay "
$3.49 you can get 12 lousy ounces of Holland House Super Sodium Special Unpalatable Wine" when you can buy a bottle or in her case a gallon of something else that tastes amazing for a few dollars more.

cooking with red wine (my favorite!)

Myth #1 Cooking with wine is for expensive meals, not everyday foods. 

This is definately not true. I keep wine stocked in my pantry one bottle of each for everyday meals that I make for my family. Almost anything you can do with water or chicken broth you can do with wine while cooking. My most common thing I use wine for its deglazing a pan to get drippings up to make a sauce or a gravy.  

Click on any of the titles here to the recipes for some favorite everyday family meals using white wine: Garlic Dijon Chicken with White Wine & Wild Rice, Walnut Pesto Crusted Fish TacosRosemary-Leek Chicken Couscous,  Veggie Chicken biscuit Stew, and Pork Chops with a Rosemary Reduction. P.S. The garlic dijon chicken is a make ahead freezer meal - very very family budget friendly. 

Myth #2 Cooking with wine is expensive. 

Most grocery stores have really affordable wines. Expensive wine doesn't always mean it tastes better. Don't be fooled by the price tag. Read the description on the label and look at where the wine is coming from. Most of the stuff I buy is between $4-12 per bottle. I like to buy wine from California, Oregon, and Washington but that's my personal preference. Its easy to buy regionally so go support places you love. Some of it is about experimenting so go ahead and buy 2 different $4- $6 bottles on your next grocery shopping trip and see which one you like better. If it tastes good in a glass, it will only enhance the food. If its cheaper you will be less intimated to cook with it. 

cooking with white wine - Coq Au Vin Blanc - Yum!!!

Myth #3 Cooking with wine will completely NOT eliminate the alcohol in food. 

So yeah. I didn't think this was true for a very long time. But out of all the food "celebrity" chefs on foodnetwork and the cooking channel Alton Brown, has the most food cred. So I believe he knows what hes talking about. Most of it will be cooked out in my dishes that I feed to my family so I am not struggling with it just as long as I keep an eye on the amount that I am using per cooking length of the foods. So when I am using an entire bottle of white wine like I did last night I am thankful that the food simmered away in the oven for 2. 5 hours and had only 5% or so in the food. To see a list of cooking times/ different food preperations versus alcohol percentages click over here

My favorite recipe to cook red wine in is a easy veggie filled make ahead/freezable red pasta sauce. I use this pasta sauce on everything and yes it simmers for at least 2 hrs on low and as long as 3.5 hrs. I use this versalite sauce to make sloppy joes, Spaghetti with Mozzerella Stuffed Meatballs,  as pizza, Bruschetta Chicken Spaghetti, meatball subs, and Chicken Parm. Your family will have no idea that they are getting summer squash, zucchini, carrots, and red peppers hidden in this red or slightly orange red smooth delish creation. 

So go drink. Just kidding. Just don't be afraid to try something new in the kitchen with wine.  Its fun. Additional side note from experience who knows and loves people who have drinking problems and/or have been in bad car accidents because of it. Please use your head and some moderation if ever you are drinking. All things (most things these days) are permissible but not everything is beneficial (paraphrased from Paul, in the bible). 

Happy Monday!
From my kitchen to yours

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