If you are a passionate cook, you would agree that of the many things you have on your kitchen shelf, one that you definitely cannot do without is white wine.
This acidic ingredient does a perfect job of keeping meat tender and moist while, at the same time, giving the dish a perfect combination of sweet and savory.
But then, there are times when you would perhaps want to experiment with something more.
In that case, try vermouth. It’s stronger and makes your dishes more savory by adding a kind of herbal flavor.
Now, if you are curious, read on, for this article is all about how and why you need to substitute vermouth for white wine in a recipe.
A Background To Vermouth
There are some readers who are new to this ingredient, so here is a brief introduction.
What is vermouth? This is more of a kind of fortified wine, often served as an aperitif for its aromatic quality and rich flavor. It contains herbs, roots, and spices and is often popularly used in gin martinis.
Vermouth is derived from the German word wormwood. Having originated in Italy, it also has many dry variations that are today more common in recipes fact that they contain much less sugar than when served as a drink.
With 75 percent of wine and a blend of sugar and herbs, this is one savory drink, often added to cocktails for the magic that it can do to the drink.
Sweet Vs. Dry Vermouth
Dry vermouth is often referred to as French vermouth and is very popular in cocktails like margaritas and negronis. This is also known as white vermouth, which is clear and comes with a pale yellow shade, unlike the Italian red vermouth, which is often rich and sweet.
Both of these have a taste profile that is similar to night and day. That said, while red vermouth is perfect for drinks, white vermouth is the best choice for your cooking.
Why Should I Use Vermouth?
Sauces, pickles, desserts, there is no end to the many items that vermouth can be used in.
Of these, the most common is seafood, thanks to the mix of spices and herbs that vermouth comes with to take that plate of mussels and shrimps to the next level, so much that the next time, you simply won’t want to do without it.
Cockles, clams, crabs, and squid are just a few of the many kinds of seafood you should try using vermouth with.
But it does not end with seafood. Omelets, breadsticks, and ham are just a few of the many things that, when fried with vermouth, go on to make a dish all the more savory.
One dish you can’t miss cooking with vermouth is steak, a favorite of most non-vegetarians. With a pinch of cream, this ingredient can do wonders for your steak dish.
There would you like to try it? Don’t forget a bit of lime juice and black pepper, two of the most common ingredients to work wonders with this dish.
Vermouth Gets Your Pan Ready
Vermouth plays an excellent role in deglazing your pans. Ever found yourself frustrated, clearing all those bits from the last dish stuck to your kitchen pan?
There are times when you would consider adding oil, but then you think twice as you wonder what this would do to your dish. Try vermouth. It will give you a clear pan and add to the flavor of your dish too.
In other words, vermouth can be one of the best ingredients to saute your veggies with, thanks to the many herbal notes that it comes with, making it perfect to complement all the veggies that are soon going to go into the dish.
Eggplant, mushrooms, and spinach are just some of the most common veggies that you could perhaps start with, and before you know it, you will be reaching out for that bottle of liquid from your kitchen shelf each time your pan is ready to cook veggies in.
Now that’s a good idea, isn’t it?
Vermouth Is Inexpensive
And then, there is the fact that vermouth is a lot less expensive, which means you will be spending a lot less money.
So, if you are someone who can’t do without wine in your recipes but can’t afford it at the moment, try vermouth, and you will soon discover that this is a better option in your recipes.
The Thing With Vermouth
And just as every other ingredient comes with its good and bad, so does vermouth. While it can really work its magic on your dish, there is one thing that you need to keep in mind if you do not want to ruin it.
Know that vermouth is strong, at least when compared to white wine; the flavor here is strong.
Keeping this in mind, you would perhaps not want to be too generous with it. This way, you could also have that bottle on your shelf lasting for all your other recipes.
Vermouth Can Be Your Kitchen’s Fussiest Baby
The one point of concern when it comes to vermouth (dry vermouth) is its shelf life.
To begin with, vermouth comes with a very low level of alcohol and hence can’t be stored for as long as one would leave a whiskey bottle on the shelf.
But the good part is that this is an ingredient that can be used in almost anything from dishes to drinks.
And so, if you promise to acknowledge that bottle on the shelf and give it the regular attention that it deserves in your many recipes, go ahead and adopt this new baby.
If not, chances are it is going to take revenge on you in the long run when you suddenly decide to use it in one of your recipes or many drinks.
So now, it’s up to you to decide whether to bring this fussy but very useful baby into your kitchen.