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Cooking with Sherry


Shel_B
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I've just recetly started to use sherry in my cooking, and thus far it's been to add flavor to soup, stock, and sauces, and to deglaze pans. I know there are different styles of sherry, and certainly a wide range of prices and, perhaps, even quality. However, for the described purposes, does the style, price, and quality make much, if any, difference. Rightg now I'm using a bottle of Amontillado that I picked up at TJ's for about $7.00 or so, and it seems to be OK. Any comments would be very welcome. Thanks!

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I use cream sherry, typically Christian Brothers because it's usually cheap. I'll also use sweet Marsala for Italian dishes instead of sherry. I usually buy what's on sale.

OK, that's one vote for inexpensive being OK What's cream sherry? How's it different from non-cream sherry, like the Amontillado?

 ... Shel


 

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Cream sherry is a type of sweet sherry, so unless a recipe specifically calls for sweet sherry, it might not be the best choice (certainly if the recipe calls for dry sherry it won't give you the intended result). I use Osborne Fino, which is about $10, mostly because it's about the only inexpensive but decent choice I can find around here. Your Amontillado sounds like a good choice as well.

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I second the notion that sweet sherry is not the best choice for any savory dishes and I also agree that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money for cooking sherry. PS don't get anything labeled 'cooking sherry' though. Just get an inexpensive sherry intended for drinking, not 'cooking'. :) I sometimes use a dry port in place of sherry.

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I subscribe to the notion that "cheap" wine or sherry serves tends to have lesser flavour and is typically used more as an alcohol delivery device.

In cooking you are going to, mostly, be removing the alcohol. All that you are left with is the flavour.

My recommendation would be to stay away from anything that has obvious flavour faults such as being corked, containing sulfides, etc. I wouldn't use anything in cooking that I wouldn't drink outside cooking: it wouldn't be my preferred tipple but at least I know the flavour is something that will add to the dish.

It should be emphasised that unlike winemakers, you have free scope to add other components such as sugar, salt, and acids that can do a lot to correct the base flavour of the wine/sherry. You could thus take a sherry that is slightly too sweet for normal consumption and us it as both flavour component and a form of sweetness; similarly, you could take a too acidic wine and add it towards the end of cooking as you would a vinegar.

If you're into sherry flavour have you considered sherry vinegar? It gives the complex flavour plus an acid burst that really brightens up dishes when added at the end of cooking.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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