Friday, March 23, 2007

Julia Child Was Wrong?

Julia Moskin in the New York Times put Julia Child's commandment not to cook with cheap wine to the test, with surprising results: dishes cooked with less expensive wine sometimes turned out better than those made with much more expensive bottles.

My husband and I are nondrinkers but a couple years ago, when I began a serious effort to improve my cooking skills, I began cooking with wine. I was inspired, in part, by a fabulous red wine reduction sauce served at Disneyland's Club 33, plus Rachael Ray assuring me repeatedly on TV that the cooking process kills the alcohol (grin). (My research since then tells me that may not be entirely true, but close enough.)

Bewildered by the many unfamiliar choices in the grocery store's liquor department, I started out with nonthreatening Holland House cooking wine, but a friend who is a gourmet cook encouraged me to move up to some $8 bottles, with which I've enjoyed great success. There is nothing like red wine for instantly deglazing the bottom of a pan.

Roast Beef with Red Wine Pan Juices is a favorite recipe which includes wine.

Nice to know that perhaps I don't need to consider one day graduating to more expensive bottles!


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