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Wine Village Recipes

COOKING WITH WINE

Cooking with wine can be a pleasure and an enhancement to good food and a fine meal! When wine is heated, the alcoholic content as well as sulphites evaporates, leaving only the essence imparting a subtle flavour.

Wine has three main uses in the kitchen:

  • Marinade ingredient
  • Cooking liquid
  • Adding flavour to a finished dish

The function of wine in cooking is to intensify, enhance and accent the flavour and aroma of food – not to mask the flavour of what you are cooking but rather to fortify it. As with any seasoning used in cooking, care should be taken in the amount of wine used – too little is inconsequential and too much will be overpowering. Neither extreme is desirable. A small quantity of wine will enhance the flavour of the dish.

For best results, wine should not be added to a dish just before serving. The wine should simmer with the food, or sauce, to enhance the flavour of the dish. If added late in the preparation, it could impart a harsh quality. A wine needs time to impart its flavour in your dish. Wait 10 minutes or more to taste before adding more wine.

WINE COOKING TIPS

  • Use only wines in your cooking that you would drink.
  • Never, ever use any wine that you would not drink. If you do not like the taste of a wine, you will not like the dish you choose to use it in.
  • An expensive wine is not necessary, although a cheap wine will not bring out the best characteristics of your dish.
  • A good quality wine, that you enjoy, will provide the same flavour to a dish as a premium wine.
  • Save the premium wine to serve with the meal.

WINE REDUCTION FOR PAN SAUCES

1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine = 2 tablespoons of wine reduction.
For ultimate flavour, wine should be reduced slowly over low heat. This method takes more time and effort but will achieve a superior sauce because the flavour compounds present in the wine are better preserved.

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 1/2 cup flour Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or olive oil 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup white wine 3 tablespoons capers, drained and...

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Hake Fillets in Wine and Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients: 45ml butter 45ml cake flour 425g cream of mushroom soup 125ml white wine 10ml mustard powder [a good dijon gives a nice edge to the fish] 30ml grated Cheddar cheese (optional) lemon pepper to taste 50 ml water [sometimes I use Monis Fino Sherry] 1kg Fresh...

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Roast Leg of Lamb

Ingredients: 1 Leg of lamb (approximately 2kg) One dessert spoon course Salt 50 – 100g Small pieces of bacon Fresh Rosemary Method: Preheat your oven to 100 ºC Rub the leg of lamb thoroughly with the course salt Make small incisions to your leg of lamb and insert the...

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Crayfish on the Grill

Ingredients: Raw crayfish Lemon juice Freshly chopped parsley Draping sauce: 250ml Butter, melted, Juice of 1 lemon, 5ml mixed dried herbs, 5ml chopped garlic Method: Cut the crayfish open across the back without cutting through the meat. Break the crayfish open, take...

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