Do you have an open bottle of wine in the fridge just a little past its prime? Don’t throw it out! Even though it’s no longer good for drinking, it’s still great for cooking. Wine can add incredible depth of flavour to a dish. These are three of my favourite uses.
1 | Tomato Pasta Sauce
Uses red or white wine
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add onions, garlic and chili and cook until onions become translucent. Add a protein such as cubed chicken, chorizo, or beef mince and stir until cooked through.
You will notice bits have gotten stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is where the magic of wine comes in: deglazing. Add the wine and stir. All those flavourful bits at the bottom are now in your sauce.
Add a tin of diced tomato and let the sauce simmer until it has reduced to a lovely thick pasta sauce.
2 | Mushroom Stroganoff
Uses red wine
In a pot, fry onions in olive oil and butter. Add brown or mixed mushrooms cut into large pieces and cook for a few minutes.
Add worchestire sauce, vegetable stock, water, wine, dijon mustard and pepper and give it a good stir.
Turn down the heat and let it simmer (covered) for about 45 mins. This process will help concentrate the flavour of the wine.
In a small bowl, mix maizena and some of the cooking liquid until a paste forms. Add it to the pot and stir to thicken, then turn off the heat.
Finish off the stroganoff by stirring in some sour cream or full fat yogurt. Serve over rice or noodles.
3 | Basic Risotto
Uses white or rosé wine
In a pot, fry diced onion in some olive oil and butter. Once the onions have started to brown, add minced garlic and arborio rice and cook a minute more. At this point, add the wine and take in that beautiful earthy scent.
Add stock (preferably chicken stock, but a vegetable one will do just fine) and stir. Once the stock has evaporated, add more and stir again. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked.
Finish off the risotto with parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Perfect side dish to any main meal.