Sherry is a Spanish white wine fortified with brandy. The wine is drunk and is used in cooking by adding salt and other additives to the original drinking wine. The wine is used in cooking to flavor the final dish. The wine should be used with discretion in cooking as it sometimes the added salt in the wine may add an unpleasant flavor to the dish in which it is added as an ingredient. Wines that are specifically made for cooking are found to be inferior to their drinking counterparts in flavor and other attributes. Sherry recipes use sherry for flavoring. The wine is made in different varieties which range from dry to sweet and creamy and they are used for flavoring foods.
Apart from flavoring, sherry is used for cooking mainly because it has high shelf stability which allows cooks to use it in small quantities as and when required in flavoring dishes. The wine adds an intense and rich flavor to the dishes to which it is added. Cooking sherry is not suitable for drinking. This wine is substituted with other white wines or red wines; or non-alcoholic substances like coffee, vanilla or soup stock. Instead of cooking sherry, an inexpensive version of drinking sherry may be used in cooking to prevent foods from acquiring unpleasant salty flavor owing to the usage of the former variety of the wine.
Types of Sherry Used in Sherry Recipes
Sherry has a roasted nutty flavor. Popular sherry recipes include soups and stews and sautéed dishes particularly poultry dishes. Amontillado and Oloroso varieties of Sherry wine are considered the best for culinary purposes. Amontillado is an amber colored full-bodied, smooth, dry wine with a nutty flavor. Oloroso is also a full-bodied, nutty flavored wine but varies in color from mahogany to amber color. These Sherries are a very good alternative to cooking wine which is inferior to these in many ways. Hence these wines can be used in cooking in place of cooking wines.
Cooking Sherry recipes
Sherry is used in cooking both savory and sweet dishes. It can be used by sherry recipes in three different ways. The wine is used as a marinade, as a cooking liquid and also as a flavoring agent. The wine is used in cooking as it specifically helps in enhancing the flavor and aroma of the dish to which it is added. However care should be taken to include optimum amount of the wine to the dishes as excess or a deficit will not flavor the dish as expected.
When using sherry it is recommended to add the wine a few minutes before removing the food being prepared from the fire and allow it to simmer with the food being cooked for a while. This will allow the food being cooked to absorb the flavors of the wine well. Adding the wine too late in the process of preparation may result in the spoilage of the flavor and taste of the food in which it is used. Sweet white wine or chicken stock can be used as a replacement for sherry in case of non-availability of the wine.
Serving Sherry foods
Sherry adds certain uniqueness to the dish in which it is used and due to this reason it is advisable for one to have only one sherry recipe at a time. Including two or three dishes made using sherry will make them lose their uniqueness.
Preserving Sherry Wine
Sherry is used in small quantities by sherry recipes and therefore the unused wine from the containers needs to be preserved well. To keep the flavors intact, the wine should be stored in a cool and dark place which ensures that minimum oxidation of the wine takes place which helps in keeping the flavors as strongly as possible. Without opening the bottle, the wine can be preserved for a couple of years, but after opening, the wine should be refrigerated to keep fresh. Sherry is one of the most easily available wines.
Popular Sherry recipes
Sherry is used in a number of recipes for enhancing their flavors. Some of them are discussed here:
Sherried Chicken- chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper, and lightly browned in butter or olive oil is simmered in sherry. A sauce is formed by reducing the volume of liquid and is spooned over the chicken breast.
Sherry marinated smoked chicken – broiler fryer chicken is marinated in a marinade of vinegar, brown sugar and sherry seasoned with garlic and onion. The marinated chicken is then smoked.
- Sherried artichoke and chicken- This is a baked artichoke hearts and chicken dish cooked in a sherry and rosemary broth. Mushrooms and green onions are added to the dish to make it more appetizing.
- Kulich-sherry recipes also include delicious desserts. In this Russian Easter, bread sherry is used for soaking currants and raisins for absorbing its flavor.
- Caramelized Onions on Baked Potatoes- Potatoes are cooked till done in a microwave oven and filled with a mixture of sour cream, potato pulp and cheese. Onions caramelized with sherry and Worcestershire sauce are put over the stuffed potatoes and cooked in microwave till done.