No, no . . . I’m not talking about having a margarita instead!
I’m talking about substituting for wine in cooking — basically as an ingredient in a recipe. It may be that you don’t have any, you don’t want to open a bottle, or you just don’t drink alcohol or use it in cooking. But the recipe looks good . . .
For example, tonight I’m making pan-seared chicken breasts with a tarragon sauce. But the recipe calls for 1/4 cup white wine and I don’t have any.
Luckily, I know of number of substitutions that will work. There isn’t one perfect substitution for all recipes. Instead, think about which of these would be best considering the other ingredients:
- grape juice (same color as the wine specified)
- apple juice for white wine; sometimes will work for red
- cranberry juice often works for red wine
- beer (generally, the milder the better — if using a dark beer, think about the flavor!)
- chicken or beef broth (you’ll need to decrease the amount of salt in the recipe)
- red wine vinegar for red wine (you may want to dilute it)
- rice vinegar or white vinegar for white wine (again, you may wish to dilute it)
- dilute lemon or lime juice (generally, about 1/4 juice and 3/4 water works well)
- liquid drained from canned veggies (particularly mushrooms), often with a slight bit of lemon or lime juice or vinegar for tartness
For the recipe I’m making — and with what I’ve got on hand — I’ll use a bit of chicken broth (made from bouillon powder) and a squeeze of lime juice.
UPDATE later that evening: Yum! Tasted great!