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Jewish Recipes --> Recipes --> Kosher Wine

Kosher Wine .... It's Not Just For Drinking!!

You know those bottles of wine you picked up because they were on sale, and now you're wondering what you are going to do with them? I've got your answer: Cook and bake with the wine. You probably wouldn't want to cook with a special bottle of wine but those wild-card bottles collecting dust in the pantry -- why not?

When a recipe lists "red" or "white" wine, use a medium-dry to dry wine. (In wine parlance, "dry" just means "not sweet.") For red, that means a pinot noir, and for white, go for pinot grigio.

  • If the recipe calls for a sparkling wine, reach for Bordeaux, syrah, zinfandel
  • If the recipe calls for a young, robust red wine, reach for Rioja / tempranillo, Beaujolais Nouveau
    (seasonal and best from Thanksgiving to New Year's)
  • If the recipe calls for a medium-bodied red wine, reach for Merlot, shiraz, Chianti
  • If the recipe calls for a dry white wine, reach for Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Dry Riesling
  • If the recipe calls for a fruity white wine, reach for Gewürztraminer, Riesling or Viognier
  • If the recipe calls for a fortified wine, reach for Marsala, Vermouth, Sherry, Port or Madeira.
    (The recipe should give you some guidelines, since these wines are not necessarily interchangeable)
  • If the recipe calls for a sparkling wine, reach for Champagne or Prosecco

When I think of wine, I think of a great fat substitute in recipes.

When you take some of the fat out of dishes, you usually need to add another ingredient to replace the lost moisture. Here are some examples of how wine can do just that:

  • Instead of sautéing veggies in heaps of butter or oil, you can sauté them in a smaller amount of oil plus some wine for flavor and moisture.
  • Instead of making a marinade with 1/2 cup of oil, decrease the oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup wine.
  • Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert wine to the batter.

Wine helps cook and add flavor to fish. One way to add flavor and moisture to fish without adding fat is to cook it with wine. You can add wine to the pan while the fish is simmering, poach the fish over a saucepan of boiling wine, or drizzle fish with a tablespoon or two of wine and bake it in a foil package.

Wine is a great ingredient in marinades. Wine is basically an acid ingredient (which helps tenderize the outside of the meat) and it has a lot of flavor. The wine-based marinade helps keep meat, poultry, or seafood moist while it cooks, too.

Wine can help cook and simmer foods. Add wine to dishes you're cooking in a skillet on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the oven. Simmered along with the food, it adds flavor and moisture to whatever dish you're making.

Wine can be used in baking, too! For certain types of cakes, using wine or sherry in place of some of the fat not only lightens up the cake but adds complimentary flavors.

Capitalize on the food-like flavors that can come through in wine by adding some to dishes that contain:

  • White wine: melon, apple, pineapple, pear, citrus, vanilla, caramel, olives, and mushrooms
  • Red wine: berries, peaches, currants, plums, cherries, oranges, chocolate, and coffee

Choose the type of wine depending on the flavor you want in the dish you're making. A very dry wine has very few natural sugars remaining, and is usually higher in alcohol. In contrast, the sweeter wines still contain a larger amount of natural sugar from the grapes.

"Acid" is a term used to describe both red and white wines, and it refers to the sharp bite in the wine (much like you would experience with lemon juice or vinegar). Acid can help bring out the natural flavors in a mild food, such as fish (this is why fish is often served with an acidic wedge of lemon). Tannins are generally found in red wines; this word refers to the bitter element in the wine (similar to the bitterness you'll find in a strong cup of tea). The tannins in red wine pair well with strongly flavored dishes and hearty foods, like a nice juicy steak.

Generally, it's thought that a light-flavored wine goes best with delicately flavored foods. It follows that a bold-tasting wine should do well in a boldly flavored dish.

Generally, light-colored meats like chicken and fish, are paired with light-colored wines (white) while dark-colored meats, like beef, are paired with dark-colored wines (red). Red dinner wines go well with hearty or highly seasoned foods, such as beef, game, duck, goose, and pasta dishes, while white dinner wines tend to work with dishes containing chicken, turkey, fish, and veal.

Wine enhances the flavor and aroma of dishes. Heating it concentrates the flavor of the wine, which is why it's important to match the right one to your dish. The wine should meld with other ingredients, not stick out.

Alcohol does burn off in cooking but it takes some time. Generally, wine is lower in alcohol than other spirits, and the amount divided by the servings won't yield much per person. After 15 minutes of cooking, the alcohol content is still about 40 percent. There is even a little left — about 5 percent — after a stew has simmered for 3 hours. If alcohol content is a concern, substitute unsweetened apple cider, grape juice or even broths when appropriate.

Wine enhances a dish when it is simmered for a while with other ingredients, so add it when there is still plenty of cooking time. If it's stirred in at the end of cooking, it may impart unwanted harshness, and its flavor will outshine everything else.

Inexpensive cooking wines have high salt content, which alters the flavor of your dish. The cook should control the saltiness. Cooking wines are stocked by the vinegars in many grocery stores, which gives you an indication of how they taste. "Rule of thumb is to not cook with cooking wines.

 

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods