Firstly I need to say PLEASE do not use cooking wine to cook with EVER! I know I mentioned in quite a few posts that I m a newbie to wine drinking but I have always had wine on hand for cooking. I have for many years bought those little 4 pack mini bottles from the grocery store and kept them in my pantry. I would buy a red and a white. I did and sometimes still do; struggle a bit to what kind to buy Merlot versus Pinot Noir and Chardonnay versus Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc. It can be pretty intimidating and quite time consuming but it will be worth it. So here is my suggestion on your next grocery shopping list add a Merlot and a Chardonnay 4 pack to start and let the adventures begin.
Homemade Pizza’s with below sauce
I had a friend/co-worker stop by my area last week looking forward to making the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe that I blogged about last week. She was ill-advised to pick up some cooking wine, I begged her not to use it. I wanted her dish to have a fighting chance to come out as delicious as mine so I told her about the 4 pack mini bottles and that I used to stock them all the time for cooking with. The day after her dinner she stopped over first thing to share with me her success. It made my entire day; I loved that she tried it, I loved that her entire family enjoyed it and I loved her story about the wine. She stopped at a local store that unfortunately did not stock 4 pack minis so she ended up buying a full bottle. It was time for the wine and she quickly came to the realization they didn’t own a bottle opener. She told her husband “I don’t care how you do it; but I need this opened now”! He offered to run up to the store but she insisted he figure it out. He ended up grabbing a screw and thankfully got the bottle open. Voila Success!!! Side note: You won’t need a bottle opener for the 4 pack minis.
Here are a couple of things I use wine for – but not limited to these!
I use White Wine in my pizza sauce; which also freezes well
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 Cloves of minced Garlic
1 28oz can peeled, crushed tomato w/puree
1 Bay leaf
1 ½ TBS dried Oregano
1 Tsp sugar
¾ Cup White wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Several shakes of Crushed Red Pepper – to your liking
Heat Olive Oil in a 3-4 Quart sauce pan, sauté the garlic for 30 seconds (just don’t burn it). Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the flavors meld. About 30-40 minutes.
I also use white wine for my spaghetti sauce; I tend to use it for swirling out the tomato can or in a pinch the jar sauce. Which I don’t mind using but you must doctor it up with spices, garlic, onions and of course white wine.
The last couple of times I cooked up a medley of fresh veggies for my side, I sautéed them with a little olive oil, butter, shallots, Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper; just till al-dente, before they finished cooking I added a little white wine and was so thrilled with the end result. Talk about stepping it up a notch – they were so flavorful the fam loved em!
This is getting pretty “wordy” as my daughter would say so next week. Cooking with Red Wine.