One of the great ways you can use wine in your cooking is as a substitute for fats. If you decide to remove oil or butter from your cooking, you probably are going to need to add a couple of ingredients to replace the moisture that has been lost.
One of the ways to do this is to use wine. For example, you do not need to saute your vegetables in a 1/4 cup of oil or butter. You can add less oil, no butter, and replace it with a wine. Or, you can make a marinade with 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of wine, rather than a 1/2 cup of oil. Another idea is to add 3/4 a cup of dessert wine to a cake batter, rather than 3/4 a cup of oil.
Here are some other great ways to use inexpensive wine in your cooking:
Add Flavor to a Dish
If you deep fry your fish and dip it in tartar sauce, you have pretty much nuke the nutritional benefit of fish. One thing you can do is to take out the oil in your fish cooking and replace it with wine. We like to add wine to our pan when the fish is on simmer. Another way is to try poaching the fish in a saucepan of wine. Or, you can put a small amount of wine on a piece of fish and bake it in foil.
Great for Marinades
Wine is essentially an acid, and it will assist in tenderizing the outer parts of your meat. Wine also adds a lot of flavor to meat, so it is a great substitute in your marinade. A marinade based from wine will help to keep your meat, poultry or seafood nice and moist while it is cooking.
Perfect for Simmering
We like to add wine to many dishes that we cook in a skillet on a stovetop. It's also a great addition to a meat in a slow cooker or even in the oven. When wine is simmered with your food, it will add some flavor and more moisture to whatever dish you are preparing.
Good for Baking
For some kinds of cakes, you can use wine or sherry rather than butter and oil. It will make your cake lighter and will add some interesting flavor as well.
White wine can add flavors to food that include a hint of melon, apple, pineapple, pear, vanilla, mushrooms and caramel.
Red wine can add flavor that includes berries, peaches, plums, cherries, oranges, and chocolate.
Selecting The Right Wine for the Right Dish
A dry wine does not have a lot of sugar left in it, and it usually will have more alcohol. A sweeter wine will still have some of the sugar from the grapes. Selecting a dry or sweet wine will depend on the sort of flavor you want to put into your dish.
When you are selecting the wine you are to cook with, keep in mind that lighter wines are thought to go better with foods that are more delicate in flavor. So it is logical that a bolder wine would go with a stronger flavored dish.
In general, meats that are lighter in color, such as fish or chicken, are eaten with wines that are lighter in color, generally white. And darker meats, such as beef, are eaten with darker wines, which are usually red. Pork, on the other hand, can be eaten with white or red.
Red wines can go very well with foods with a lot of seasoning, such as pork, duck, goose, beef and pasta.
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