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When was the last time you used wine in a marinade? If you cooked a steak or a barbeque recently, then most likely you drizzled the meat with some gorgeous wine, didn’t you? Well, even if you didn’t, you might want to use a sumptuous dosage of wine in your marinade the next time you decide to grill, bake or even fry some meat. Apart from great taste, you will also have a healthy plate of food in front of you. How, you ask? Wine actually goes a long way in making your food a lot healthier. Read on to know more.
Before we dive into the health benefits, let us begin with the taste factor. Wine, which is known for its distinct flavor and aroma, is one of the most common marinade ingredients and especially so when meat or fish is being cooked. Any marinade functions to penetrate the meat and add the flavors to every part of the meat. Quite understandably therefore, when you marinate with wine you make the meat tremendously delicious.
How let’s get to business. Did you know that certain kinds of red meat, most commonly beef, could give you cancer? Health experts say that a compound known as heterocyclic amines, is released when grilling beef and some kinds of fish. Heterocyclic amines are responsible for increasing the chances of cancer in human beings. But don’t let this scare you. Just marinate the meat in red wine for about 6 hours and the levels of heterocyclic amines will reduce dramatically in the meat. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
Apart from these, there are some other healthy advantages of marinating with wine. Like mentioned above, the wine marinade breaks down the meat and so you don’t need to cook it with a lot of oil to get the perfect taste and texture. So a piece of meat that has been marinated in wine can easily be shallow friend in oil or butter as opposed to deep frying of an un-marinated piece of meat. And as we all know, lesser the consumption of oil and butter, healthier the meal.
Effects of alcohol
People who love wine, but for some reason are not allowed to consume alcohol, can rely on wine marinades to savor the goodness of wine, without worrying about the effects of alcohol. When you marinate with wine, the spectacular flavors of the wine penetrate deep into the meat and with every bite you get a strong taste of the wine as well. However, you do not end up consuming any alcohol at all, since when cooked or baked, the alcohol in the wine evaporates, leaving behind all the awesome goodness of the flavors and aroma of wine. The best of both worlds, isn’t it?
Now we all have heard about marinating meats with wine, but what about the veggies out there? Can we marinate a vegetable with wine? Well, you’d be happy to know that some of the most flavorsome veggie dishes have generous dashes of wine in them. If you want to make a vegetable kebab, blend the veggies and mix some wine along with the other spices and let it rest for a few hours. Later, when you serve the kebabs, your guests won't be able to compliment you enough! Apart from this, you can even marinate some fruits in wine and serve them in a salad. There really are very few pleasures in life as enjoyable as having a strawberry dunked in white wine!
Finding the right marinade
Before we make you really hungry and have you running towards the kitchen, let us tell you that finding the right wine marinade is very important. You cannot just pour any wine in any proportion into the meat and expected to score a point! For example, for cooking certain dishes, like a grilled salmon, the acidity of the wine plays a vital role. So opt for a Chardonnay which is dry and acidic. On the other hand, when you are marinating some chicken wings for a tangy barbeque, opt for a sweeter red wine. Always mix the wine with some olive oil, garlic, herbs and any other spice you may deem suitable. It really is very easy to make a wine marinade, provided you know which bottle to grab.
Go for it!
So now that you know all about the wine marinates, save every last drop of wine from those opened bottles. Remember that an opened bottle of wine that cannot be stored can result in you having a fabulous meal the next day! So be creative, throw in the healthy quotient and you will have the most mouth-watering, heavenly treat in front of you in no time.