Monday, February 21, 2011

Cooking with Wine

After Ellen's tasty post where wine is incorporated,  I was thinking about how much I love to cook with a little wine here and a little wine there. I  don't always have a bottle of wine open like you would in a restaurant setting. And, I don't particularly like buying the little screw top bottles of cooking wine. I'm fine with some Two Buck Chuck in white or red for this job. So in the case of Ellen's recipe, you need 1/2 a cup of white wine. (I'd almost never have this around, I'm not a white wine drinker.)

So, an easy, simple step I take, is freezing left over wine. If I need a cup of wine for cooking, I open the bottle then repackage the rest for later.

Because of the alcohol, wine doesn't freeze too terribly hard and thaws pretty easily. Think about the shape of the bottle or jar you use. One simple way to do it is to use an ice cube tray and bag the frozen cubes. I'm not big on plastic in the freezer though and I tend to want a bit more than a cube so I freeze it in the perfectly shaped ramekin.

I don't think I ever leave the drippings from a roast or steaks or turkey. Do you deglaze your pans? It makes for the tastiest sauces and isn't something that should be particular to chefs. You may have deglazed, just by adding water and making gravy. But when you make steaks, try this:
  • Pour off a little bit of the fat
  • Make sure to removed blackened pieces (brown is good and carmelized)
  • Pull the pan off the fire for a minute
  • Add wine 
  • Return the heat
  • Scrape with a spatula
  • Let it boil down and concentrate
  • Finish with a little bit of butter
Taste it, and add salt, pepper if you like. Now you have a perfect accompaniment for the steak, etc. Or, a wonderful thing to freeze and add to a soup base.
Easy.
All from some extra wine in your freezer.

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