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Making The Best White Wine Sauce
White sauce is one of the most common of all sauces currently used in food preparation. It can be used with a number of different types of entrees and side dishes to enhance the food's flavor. Looking for a little change to your cooking, try spicing up your plain white sauce with a little white wine to add a very unique flavor. Not all wines are going to be the right choice when it comes to putting it in a white sauce.
When it comes to selecting a good white wine to be used in preparing a white in sauce, it is highly recommended by the top chefs to use a crisp, dry wine. If you choose one that is too sweet, you will end up with a sauce that is too much on the sweet side and if you select a more bitter wine you sauce will reflect that bitterness.
When to use a white wine sauce in your cooking?
Wine is typically used in cooking for a number of reasons; reducing sauces, deglazing, steaming, and adding acidy to a specific dish. White wine is one of the most preferred of all types of wines that are used in cooking. It is, however, important to know the correct way and time to add any wine to your sauce. The following step by step method describes a chef’s preferred way to prepare a proper white wine sauce.
8 Simple step to making the best white wine sauce
Step #1 It all starts with a heated pan - Any good white sauce begins with a pan or skillet heated on medium heat. Start out with a tablespoon of olive oil and follow it with either a ¼ to ⅓ cup of shallots or onions, you may also add carrots if you prefer. For a more flavorful sauce be sure to use the same pan or skillet that you used to prepare meat (protein) for the meal. Adding the leftover fats that cooked out will enhance the taste of your white sauce.
Step #2 A good smelling pan is necessary - A good smelling sauce is a definite plus and adding a couple of cloves of garlic will definitely do the trick. As onions or shallots begin to brown or carmelize you can add ⅓ to ⅔ cups of chopped celery. The aromas that are given off during the cooking process are really important when it comes to making a good white wine sauce. When preparing a sauce there two distinct methods French and Italian. Each way has its own unique way of cooking the food.
Step #3 Adding the wine (One for the pan and one for you) - Always pour two glasses of wine, one for the chef and one for pan. When everything in the pan has a nice brown color it is time to add the wine. Pour half to ¾ of a glass of wine into the pan and this is to help in deglazing the bottom of the pan. The wine will help to loosen up anything that could be still stuck to the bottom of the pan and it also helps to ensure that it mixes thoroughly into the sauce. White wine is best for a lighter or cream sauces.
Step #4 Decisions decision, (recipes vary at this point) - At this point, the total volume of your sauce has been reduced in half and you are ready to add the fat part of the sauce. This is where the second real decision is made if you prefer a French-style sauce you would add a tablespoon of butter, however, if your preference is an Italian-style sauce then you would add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once you added the fat, using a whisk to stir in a tablespoon or more of flour. The actual amount of fat and flour will depend greatly on whether you want a thicker or thinner sauce.
Step #5 What herbs to use - This step is actually totally optional and you can skip it altogether if you are not partial to adding herbs to your cooking. However, if you do like cooking with herbs, now is when you would add them to your sauce. You should be adding 1 tablespoon to ¼ cup of herbs.
Step #6 Add volume (if you prefer) - If you are good with a concentrated or reduced sauce then you can skip over this step, however, if you prefer more volume to your sauce then you will want to add some additional liquid to the pan. There are two ways you can reduce a white wine sauce, by adding ½ to 1 full cup of milk or heavy whipping cream. You can also use ½ cup to 1 cup of broth. If you are making this white wine sauce to go with pasta, now is the time to add your pasta to the pan.
Step #7 Cheese sauce anyone? - Depending on the dish that you are making you can add cheese to the pain to create a cheese sauce. This is typically done when you are making an alfredo sauce. The type of cheese you use is strictly up to you and will alter the taste of the white wine sauce. This is also when you want to add the protein (meats) that you prepared before the sauce. If you undercooked your meat it is recommended that you simmer it longer to ensure it is thoroughly cooked before serving.
Step #8 Final touches - Just before you take it off the burner you want to season to taste. Adding a small amount of pepper and salt at a time to add the right amount flavor. You may all add an additional amount of your favorite fresh herbs. You can also at this time correct some possible problems including incresing volume or reducing or adding a bit of acid. Lemon juice is perfect for adding acidity and molasses can be added for a touch of sweetness. You are now ready to serve your meal.