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Ingredient of the Week: Cooking Wine

Cook with wine you can drink, recommend chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau, and you can make a nice wine sauce. (AP File/Photo)

When cooking with wine, it’s always tempting to go with the cheap stuff. You’re not going to drink it, right? But chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau disagree.

“I do think you should buy quality wine to cook with,” Tom says. Thierry adds: “You should always be able to drink it.”

And oftentimes, the everyday wine you drink with dinner is perfectly acceptable to cook with, Tom says.

A simple wine sauce with a pork chop or chicken breast can make an excellent dinner. Start with a “nice sear,” says Thierry, and take it out of the pan when it’s ready and let it rest.

Keep the fat — if there’s not enough, Thierry recommends adding a little butter — and add chopped shallots or onion. “Give a nice little caramelization to that,” he says. Add a pinch of chopped garlic and thyme and sweat until the garlic is translucent. Add your wine, usually around a cup, “and use a wood spatula and use it to deglaze the bottom of your pan,” he says. He recommends using a stainless or ceramic pan, rather than cast-iron, to make sure the sauce has the best possible flavor.

Reduce the sauce to cook off the overtly wine-y taste, and finish with crème fraîche or a “little nugget of butter,” he says. Adding chicken stock will intensify the flavor as well.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

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