28 September 2010

Cooking with Wine

I'm no wine connoisseur, but I do occasionally enjoy a glass or two of wine with dinner or while winding down at the end of a long day.  Usually, sharing a bottle with friends ensures that there won't be anything left to take care of later, but I recently opened a bottle only to enjoy a single glass that night, with little expectation that anyone would drink his or her way through the remainder in the following day or so.  Averse to waste, I began to think up alternative uses for the newly-opened red.  I can't recall having cooked with red wine before, but I knew that it was frequently used for robust, meaty applications, or dishes at least containing beef stock.  Of course, I wasn't about to cook with anything animal-based, but the concept of having complementary elements (in flavor and strength) was something I could further contemplate.  And as a vegan cook, I'm accustomed to attempting to mimic familiar flavors without the use of animal products.

Indeed, with a little research and experimentation, I found a tasty way to use up some of that wine.  I was inspired by several dishes involving red wine, mushrooms, and beef stock.  It appeared fitting to combine those components for a sauce, using a vegan substitute for the beef stock and incorporating other elements to round out the dish.  I proceeded along those lines, cooking up a batch of red wine-braised mushrooms that I found can be eaten with pretty much anything starchy, such as pasta or bread.  Oddly enough, I am not usually very fond of cooked mushrooms--or mushrooms in general, although I do prefer the texture and flavor of raw mushrooms over cooked--but I had no issue with this dish, finding the results quite to my liking.  Miso adds savory richness to supplement the lack of beef stock and add depth to the sauce, which can be cooked down to one's preferred thickness.
Red Wine-Braised Mushrooms (printable recipe)
Yields approximately 4 servings

8 oz crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 c onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T white miso
1/2 c water
1 c red wine (I used syrah.)
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low flame.  Mix the miso with the water in a small bowl and set aside.  When the pan is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, just until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and garlic, cooking until the mushrooms begin to brown.  Reduce the heat to low, then add the miso mixture, wine, maple syrup, and thyme, stirring to combine.  Allow the contents of the pan to simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated; for a saucier result, don't simmer it as long.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot with pasta, bread, rice, potatoes.  Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. Cooking mushrooms in wine is my favorite way to eat fungi. Yum!

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  2. This recipe sounds delicious. A great way to use leftover wine. I'm no wine connoisseur either, but often have dregs hanging around.

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  3. some mushrooms when ingested with alcohol cause violent digestive reactions, and sometimes poisonings. just remember to know what kind of mushroom you're eating when using this recipe :) good call though, i'm prnting this one out!

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  4. Thanks for the heads-up--definitely good to know!!

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  5. Mmmm! Those look delicious!

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  6. I love sauteed mushrooms and have yet to combine wine and miso...this looks and sounds Vunderbar!

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  7. I love sauteed mushrooms and have yet to combine wine and miso...this looks and sounds Vunderbar!

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  8. some mushrooms when ingested with alcohol cause violent digestive reactions, and sometimes poisonings. just remember to know what kind of mushroom you're eating when using this recipe :) good call though, i'm prnting this one out!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)