Wine has always been associated with good food to complement the dining experience. Cooking with wine, however, always brings about a certain amount of apprehension for most homemakers. The mere thought of dousing anything with alcohol goes against the grain for any self respecting mom who’s trying to feed her kids. But of course, it’s time you broke out of that habit and prep those Ikea champagne glasses that’s been sitting at the back of your cabinet; here are some great reasons to cook with wine.
Wine is a great substitute for fat. Technically speaking, you only need oil to make sure your food doesn’t dry out and cooks evenly. Wine can be a great substitute for it. Instead of drowning your ingredients in ungodly amounts of fat, place only small amounts and let the wine do the rest. Wine adds flavor to your otherwise oil-tasting creations. While I can understand your apprehension in breaking out that expensive Marks and Spencer wine collection from your favorite uncle, you can also choose to use the less expensive ones for this purpose. Apart from substituting for oil, wine adds a burst of flavor to subtle tasting ingredients like fish. You can add wine to any fish recipe and you’d be surprised at how better tasting it can be. You can add it while poaching your fish or add a spoonful if you’re steaming it in foil.
For most people, cooking and serving anything that has been touched by alcohol scares them and it plants a lot of misconceptions in their head. Rest assured, alcohol burns off quite easily and you’re left with just the flavors minus the spirit. This is why you see some dishes set ablaze during your favorite Iron Chef battle. Just remember to use a wine that you don’t mind drinking as well. Add only small portions until you get the right taste and practice cooking with it. With any ingredient, the secret is familiarity. You cook with it more often and you’ll eventually figure out which dishes would go well with it. That, in itself, is a journey worth a thousand dishes. I raise my glass to you!