Keep these kitchen hints handy

Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: Sometimes we forget some of the kitchen hints we’ve learned over the years. Here are a few reminders:

— You can substitute beer for wine as the liquid in stews or soups, and you’ll discover a nice, rich sauce. But only use as much beer as the recipe calls for, and don’t forget the water that is often called for as well.

— If a recipe calls for champagne, use a fairly inexpensive brand. Or use wine instead and keep the champagne to celebrate a special occasion!

— Should the recipe call for wine, you can use nearly any kind, although a number of chefs prefer to use a good quality. They claim that it makes a superior dish, but you can be the judge. Personally, I can’t tell the difference.

— Many wines that are specifically advertised for cooking contain monosodium glutamate or salt, making them undrinkable. The rumor is that salt was added to wine to keep cooks from drinking it instead of adding it to the recipe. Use the real kind that is drinkable.

— Don’t have the red wine you need? Try using balsamic vinegar in its place.

— If you need to add sherry to soup, add it just before serving time. Use about 1 teaspoon of sherry per cup of soup.

— Tired of ordinary vegetables? Try steaming them in white wine or balsamic vinegar instead of water.

— Not all food benefits from cooking with wine. Acidic foods, like vinegar, citrus, tomatoes, asparagus, onions, pineapples and artichokes, may taste off if you use wine. — Misty H., New London, Connecticut


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