Is the alcohol gone?

The truth about cooking with alcohol

     Conventional wisdom holds that alcohol cooks out of dishes. Not true! Although alcohol evaporates at a fairly low temperature, its retention in food varies greatly, depending on cooking time, the amount of alcohol used, the size of the pot and the intensity of the heat applied. According to the USDA's Human Nutrition Information Service, a sauce that contains three tablespoons of liquor (added at the end of cooking) retains 85 percent of the alcohol, while a pot roast containing one cup of Burgundy and cooked for two and a half hours retains only five percent. It all depends on what spirit you use and how long you cook. No surprise the longer food is cooked the more alcohol gets cooked off. A dish that is quickly flamed retains seventy five percent of the alcohol. USDA research shows: 85% of the alcohol in wine remains when wine is added to boiling liquid then removed from heat. 40% remains when food is baked or simmered fifteen minutes; 25% remains after an hour on simmer.
     As for the impact the alcohol in food has on recovering alcoholics, there is no scientific evidence linking food and relapse. Nonethless, Alcoholics Anonymous recommends that recovering alcoholics avoid foods cooked with alcohol.


     For a long time I threw away many recipes the looked good, but had alcohol in them. In the last few years I have learned to substitute other liquids to get needed taste.
     The first item was to look for a good Vanilla Extract without alcohol. I found mine at Trader Joe's under the name of 'Madeleine & Charlotte's' or 'Trader Joe's Cookbook Vanilla'. Another source for alcohol-free vanilla is the Frontier label available from www.Frontiercoop.com.

If recipe calls for: Substitute in equal amounts (usually):
Sweet Sherry Apple Cider
Sherry Orange or Pineapple Juice
1 Tbsp Marin 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar mixed with 1/2 tsp Sugar
Dry Vermouth Apple Juice
2 Tbsp Bourbon 2 tsp Vanilla extract
Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liquer Unsweetened Orange Juice Concentrate
Coffee Liquer Coffee made 4-6 times stronger or double-strength espresso
Other Fruit Liquers Use the syrup from canned fruit (reduced by boiling)
White Wine White Grape Juice, chicken broth, ginger ale
Red Wine Red Grape Juice, beef broth, tomato juice
Champagne Ginger Ale
Claret Grape juice, or syrup from cherry cider
Kirsch Syrup or juice from black cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, currants, grapes or cherry cider.
Cognac Juice from peaches, apricots or pears
Cointreau Orange juice, or frozen orange juice concentrate
Creme De Menthe Spearmint extract or oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice
Beer or Ale Chicken broth, white grape juice, or ginger ale
Brandy Apple cider, peach or apricot syrup
Rum Pineapple juice or syrup flavored with almond extract
Flambe's or Flaming Desserts The only substitute that might be used is a sugar cube soaked in lemon extract, then set atop a dessert and burned.

If you have found a substitute that works well, please let me know so we can publish it for everyone out there.


Ever wonder how to keep celery fresh over 1 day? I have found that if you cut the stalks off and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, they will keep for a week. To Crisp limp lettuce, trim off an inch from the bottom of the stalks, then stand them upright in a container filled with an inch of ice-water for a couple of hours; store in the refrigerator.


Wonder how to keep iceburg lettuce crisp over 1 day? I have found that you simply wrap it in a moistened paper towel as soon as you get home from the store and place it back in the plastic bag before storing it in the drawer.
OR
To keep iceberg lettuce crisp, cut the core out. Fill the core with cold tap water, then drain for 15 minutes. It will stay crisp for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.


Lemon Zest: Lightly grate just the yellow from the lemon making sure you don't go down too far. You do not want to grate the white beneath the yellow.


How many Tablespoons of bottled lemon juice is equil to 1 medium lemon: 2 Tablespoons.


The secret of slicing a ripe mango: Peel the mango with a paring knife. Cut a small slice off the stem end. Stand the mango on its cut end, a narrow side facing you. Cut one side of flesh off the pit, making a vertical slice about 1/2-inch from the center so the knife clears the pit. Repeat on other 3 sides. Now slice, dice, chop or puree.


Room temperature eggs: Most of us use eggs right from the refrigerator. But, did you know they should be warmer than room temperature before being combined in some recipes? For these recipes, remove eggs from the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before you use them or put them in a bowl of warm water (NOT HOT) for 5 minutes while you assemble other ingredients. Dry them with a towel before cracking.


Toasted or Dark Sesame Oil: I searched all over the place and finally found toasted sesame oil (or dark sesame oil) at my local Health Food Store. Made from toasted sesame seeds, this thick, rich oil is golden to dark brown in color and marvelously aromatic. As opposed to regular sesame oils, the toasted variety is used as a seasoning only (not for frying).


Cleaning a microwave: Microwave a bowl of water for a few minutes before cleaning a microwave, it will steam clean the food on the sides so it wipes super easily.


How to handle a kitchen grease fire:
Just good to know. Watch the video; we are never too old to learn something or to be reminded of how to handle a situation.
At Charleston Navy base at the Fire Fighting Training school an instructor would demonstrate this with a deep fat fryer set on the fire field. The instructor would don a fire suit and using an 8 oz cup at the end of a 10 foot pole toss water onto the grease fire. The results got the attention of the students. What happens is the water being heavier than the oil sinks to the bottom where it instantly becomes superheated. The explosive force of the steam blows the burning oil up and out. On the open field it became a thirty foot high fireball that resembled a nuclear blast.
Inside the confines of a kitchen, the fireball hits the ceiling and fills the entire room. Also, do not throw sugar or flour on a grease fire. One cup creates the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite.
(See attached file: KitchenOilFire1.wmv)


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