A meal tastes better when accompanied with wine, and so do the dishes on the menu when you add a splash of wine to them. Here’s how to make the most of wine in the kitchen… When wine is heated, the alcohol evaporates. So you cannot get drunk on a plate of lamb ribs with honey and wine. (Recipe in SI, Issue 2, 2013). The sulphites in wine – which some people are allergic to – also evaporate on cooking. The aim of using wine in cooking is to get the concentrated flavour and essence of the wine.
Which Wine to Use
Rule of thumb: Do not use any wine in cooking that you would not drink. Avoid “cooking wines” sold in supermarkets as they are generally too salty and do nothing to enhance the flavours of food. You can use any leftover wine for cooking, as long as it has not been on the shelf for too long. If you want to keep leftover wine for up to a month, transfer it to a smaller bottle and screw on the top tightly so that there is very little air left in the bottle, and refrigerate.
How To Use Wine In Cooking
Wine makes a good marinade, excellent cooking liquid and can add dramatic flair if you are flambeing a dish with it. But be careful of the quantity you use. Too much will overpower the dish and too little will prove to be insignificant. It is also important to allow the wine to “mature” in the cooking. For the wine to impart its essence, it has to simmer with the food for a long time. If added too late in the cooking process, it will remain too harsh, not marrying with the flavours of the food.
A Wine Reduction
The technical term for a wine sauce is a wine reduction. Allow about a half or three-quarters cup of wine if you want two to three tablespoons of reduction. After browning the meat in the pan, add the amount of wine according to the quantity of the final result you need and allow the wine to deglaze the pan on high heat and then slowly reduce on low heat for perfect results.
Drunken Lamb Ribs Sweetened with Honey is a really simple but tasty recipe that almost cooks by itself. Serve it with creamy mashed potatoes or oven-roasted summer vegetables. The recipe appears in Sommelier India Issue 2 April-May 2013.
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