The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215 Message #3975198
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
06-Feb-19 - 06:11 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
This discussion got me thinking about all of the okra I have in the freezer, so I pulled out a gallon ziplock bag (about 5 pounds?) and took it next door. Her husband isn't allowed okra now (he loves it fried) due to kidney stones, but she can eat it. She really likes it boiled and he can easily resist the boiled version—you had to grow up with it fixed that way.
Alcohol in wine used for cooking adds a harsh edge to the dish.
I don't cook often with anything other than regular table wines, but I've had a bottle of Marsala unopened forever because I hadn't thought about how long it would last once opened. There aren't that many things I would make to use the rest of it in a week. But this is what I learned:
What’s the difference and similarities among Marsala, Sherry and Port? They all are fortified wines, but differ in origin, flavor, alcohol by volume levels, and ways of usage.
These are among the best wines to use for cooking. They pack the most intense flavors and—because they’re fortified with a little more alcohol than table wine—have the longest life on the pantry shelf.
Marsala has a medium-rich body that is great for sauces, marinades, meats and seafoods
Port has a rich sweetness and depth that’s especially good in meat-based casseroles
Sherry’s complex roasted nutty flavors can enhance just about any soup, stew, or sautéed dish
And from another site, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in New York State, this one with clinical studies into the question:
Alcohol can be found as an ingredient in many recipes. It can be added as an ingredient to add specific flavors or it can be part of an ingredient, such as extracts. Many cookbooks and cooks tell the consumer that the “alcohol will have burned off," however the process is more complicated than this simple statement implies. Alcohol does boil at a lower temperature than water - 86 degrees centigrade vs. 100 degrees C. for water, though one may have to boil a beer for 30 minutes to get it down to the NA or nonalcoholic category, which by law means it contains less than .5 percent alcohol.
Nutritionists from Washington State University, the University of Idaho and U.S. Department of Agriculture experimented with cooking with alcohol, though not with beer, but with wine and sherry. They cooked two Burgundy-laden dishes similar to boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, plus scalloped oysters with sherry. Depending on the method (simmering or baking), the temperature, the time and even on the size of the pan anywhere from 4 percent to 49 percent of the original alcohol remained in the dish. Long simmering in a wide pan was the most effective way to remove alcohol; baking appeared to be the least.
I am happy with the way food tastes with no extra effort to remove alcohol beyond the natural cooking time and low boiling point of alcohol. I do use it to deglase, so there it has been happening unconsciously. But last night's delicious teriyaki simmered for 30 minutes so no doubt still contained some alcohol. I'll pass on the boiled beer.