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You’ll Never Know Wine Can Be Cooked If You Don’t Read This

You’ll Never Know Wine Can Be Cooked If You Don’t Read This

Cooking novices often overlook the importance of using wine in cooking, but every culinary school student knows that cooking with wine is the only way to bring out exquisite flavor possibilities.

Wine can make dishes like boeuf bourguignon and Italian favorites stand out as they will be packed with flavor. The alcohol and tannins in wine react with the cooking food to break down tough meats and increase the boldness of certain flavors. Wine has been used since Ancient Roman times to preserve and tenderize meat, while adding intense aroma and flavor.

Whether you opt to add a little leftover wine into your grandmother’s spaghetti recipe or buy specialty wines specifically to use in recipes, there are many great ways to include wine in your cooking. Follow these 10 tips for how to use wine in everything from salad to desserts:

1. Poached Pears are Easy and Fun

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    An exquisitely tart and sweet dessert of French origin, the poached pear offers an opportunity to explore new culinary ideas. In France, everyone’s grand-mere has her own secret recipe for making the most delicious poached pears.

    Try this recipe for a jumping off point for your own culinary wine adventure. You can easily serve the wine you poached the pears in as mulled wine. Just strain and pour into a thermal carafe for easy serving.

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    2. Make Sangria Popsicles

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      Everyone has memories of delicious fruity popsicles on a hot summer evening. But not everyone knows wine will freeze just as easily as fruit juice. Why not spice up your life by making some delicious sangria popsicles? Adding this to the end of a summer barbeque is the perfect dessert.

      3. Leftover Wine is Perfect

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        When stored properly, wine can continue to add flavor to your dishes for days. Never toss a good bottle away when it could be put to better use. Jennifer Schaffer at BuzzFeed lists 25 reasons to never throw away leftover wine again. Try some drunken spaghetti or make wine jellies and neither waste nor want.

        4. Tannic Red Wines Make Excellent Meat Sauces

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          Tannins are microscopic particles in a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon that greatly impact the flavor and texture of wine. When added to a pan sauce, the tannins are attracted to the proteins of the meat and oil left in the pan from the cooking process.

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          Reducing the sauce with heat increases the ratio of tannins and can make for an intensely flavorful, rich sauce. Add a red wine sauce to the next steak you cook and taste the amazing results.

          5. Consider Aromas

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            Wines impart their aromas to food, which can impact the overall flavor profile of a dish. Remember to take this into account when planning your next meal. Wines like Pinot Noir have an aroma evocative of mushrooms. Sauté some mushrooms in a fragrant Pinot Noir to add earthy flavors and texture to any dish you add the mushrooms to.

            6. Try to Preserve Cooking Wine

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              No matter how expensive the wine was to begin with, if left uncorked on a counter it will start turning to vinegar. While leftover wine is useful for cooking, making sure it is well-preserved means enhanced flavors later on.

              If wine is allowed to oxidize for too long, it will begin to taste bitter and sometimes can be quite foul. Use a vacuum cork to remove oxygen from the bottle and store it in a KingsBottle dual zone wine cooler for optimal preservation.

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              7. Remember Your Health

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                Wine has many health benefits, so adding it to your diet through cooking can be a safe and effective way to get the benefits without the side-effects of drinking too much wine. When wine is heated during the cooking process, the alcohol evaporates, leaving only the health-promoting nutrients behind.

                8. Know Your Acidity

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                  The delicate flavors of less acidic wines like Merlot are overpowered by the acidity of tomatoes in a Marinara Sauce, making an acidic wine like Chianti a better choice. Think about the flavor of the wine and how it will complement the other ingredients in a dish.

                  9. Wine Can Tenderize Meat Dishes

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                    Tough cuts of beef like Flank Steak are often marinated or cooked in wine because alcohol dissolves the fatty connective tissue in the meat, tenderizing it. Wine will also release the flavors of the meat, adding delicious richness and complexity.

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                    10. Use Your Tongue

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                      Sauvignon Blanc adds a tangy, citrus flavor that complements many fish and vegetable dishes. A good rule of thumb is to cook food in a wine that you would drink while eating it, so white wines are generally good choices for seafood dishes.

                      Impress your friends and family with these advanced cooking tips. Whether you’re a novice or a Four Star Chef, wine is essential to cooking delicious food. Never let a good wine go to waste, and you’ll be well on your way to culinary bliss.

                      Featured photo credit: Tenuta Torciano via torciano.com

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                      Larry Alton

                      Business Consultant

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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