Cooking with Wine
When I was little, I would watch my mom cook lasagna or meatballs. There was never a recipe, and there was never any measuring. It was always a little of this and a little of that until it looked and tasted just right. Often when my mom cooks, whatever is in the house and needs to be used up is added to what she’s making. This is my theory on cooking too. I’m never really sure what I’m making until it’s done, but usually whatever I come up with is pretty good. I won’t lie though — there have been some misses!
My two secret weapons of flavor are garlic and wine. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong throwing some wine into the mix. Whether you add a little red wine into a marinade or sauté some veggies with white wine and pour them over pasta, it usually is yummy! As a bonus, whenever you cook with the wine you drink, you know the wine is going to go well with the food you’ve made because the same flavors are already in the cuisine.
Tuesday I had no idea what to make for dinner. I really didn’t have much in the fridge. No veggies or fresh herbs, but I did have a cheap bottle of chardonnay and some frozen shrimp in the freezer. I decided I would make a shrimp scampi type meal. The entire meal, including boiling water and cooking pasta, took about 20 minutes. It was simple, fast and delicious! The finished dish consisted of 6 ingredients — shrimp, wine, garlic, a little butter, olive oil and pasta — plus some salt and pepper. I couldn’t ask for a simpler meal, but without my trusty wine, it wouldn’t have been possible!
I also tend to add wine to recipes that don’t call for it. A few weeks ago I made pasta that had fresh herbs, cheery tomatoes and olive tapenade as the sauce. I didn’t have tapenade, so I followed the recipe, but poured in some white wine instead of the tapenade.
This made a completely different dish, but it was absolutely amazing, especially with the feta cheese that the recipe called for on top of it.
I tend to use whatever wine I have on hand to whip up meals regardless of whether it is red, white or rose. Chardonnay, however, is one of my favorite wines for cooking. I like the oaky, nutty flavor that the Chardonnay gives to the food.
Cooking should be fun, so experiment and cook with wine! Even if you’re not adding wine to the recipe I promise cooking with a glass of wine in hand makes everything better!