Hi, Yowie here! Welcome to a story about one of my favourite topics – cooking with wine. Not only is wine the nectar of the gods, I firmly believe it is the key ingredient that transforms a dish from ‘good’ to ‘phenomenal’!
Today I’m going to share with you the three ways I love to use wine when I’m cooking. Three ways that may just surprise you. (And yes, I may be known to have a little drinkie as I’m cooking – it makes the process just a little bit more enjoyable. I always manage to save enough for the actual dish though!)
Now, we’re all familiar with the ubiquitous ‘beer batter’, but have you ever tried wine batter? It’s just a little bit fancy. One gourmet Japanese tempura restaurant in NYC swears by adding chardonnay to the batter for their seafood tempura. For the vegetable options, cold sauvignon blanc is the secret ingredient that elevates the meal from average to extraordinary.The good news is, you don’t have to travel to Japan or America to add this deliciousness to your life, you can make your own! Simply take your favourite tempura batter recipe and experiment with replacing some of the water with wine. Don’t have a favourite tempura batter recipe? You might like to try this one.
Alcohol helps to prevent gluten in the flour from binding, so the more alcohol, the lighter and crispier your batter should be. Experiment a few times and find the percentage that works just right for your unique palate. For the star ingredient, Woongooroo Estate have a 2012 Unwooded Chardonnay, or a 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
Note: Whether you’re using water or wine, make sure it’s chilled before you add it to the batter!
Now, we’ve all heard of dessert wines… But how often do we make wine desserts?! Adding wine as an ingredient when baking is surely a stroke of genius for any true wine lover.Not only that, but replacing some of the typical liquid ingredients such as melted butter or cream in rich desserts reduces the fat content. So, adding wine to cakes actually makes them better for us! (Don’t rely on me for dietary advice though, I’m a Yowie, not a nutritionist.)
For starters, delight yourself and any lucky friends with this Red Wine Chocolate Cake. Red wine, chocolate, and cake! Altogether! First prize in the annual bake-off has your name written all over it.
I recommend trying Woongooroo Estate’s Shiraz Cabernet Merlot in this one.
Yes, wine smoothies. It might sound like a terrible idea at first, but give it a chance. After all, it’s close to a sangria, just blended! And what are cocktails, if not alcohol smoothies?With the scorching Australian summer in mind, here are 7 Wine Smoothies To Beat The Summer Heat. Try some and let me know what you think!
So, there are the 3 surprise ways I like to cook with wine. Were there any revelations? And let’s not forget the staples – wine marinades, risottos, pasta sauces, and the simple classic of fresh fish simmer in wine and herbs. Wining and dining indeed!
Until next time, may your culinary adventures be inspired! Yowie
Image source: Rachael Gorjestani