Cooking with ruby port?
I have some Dow's late vintage port that I'd like to try cooking with. Does anyone have a favorite recipe? I've never cooked with port, marsala, or madeira, so I'm not sure where to begin cooking with sweet wine. Red wine and white wine I've cooked with before.
I'm wondering if there's a way to thicken the port for use in salad dressing. The port itself is a bit one dimensional and very sweet, so I think it would be nice in a sweet red wine vinaigrette with dark salad greens and baby spinach. I just have no idea how to go about thickening the port for such a use.
My favorite sauce additive!
I Always have a bottle of port laying around for sauces & poaching desserts!
First favorite: adding a splash to any pan sauce- especially lovely with a nice ribeye with blue cheese crumbles.
2nd favorite: I make my own demi glace. Why use wine when you can use port? The reduced stock-based sauces neatly solve the consistancy issue.
3rd favorite: Poached bosc pears. I like to use Taylor's Ruby port for this (really cheap stuff about as complex as a block of wood, but oh so tasty) and I use chinese 5 spice powder instead of straight cinnamon... yum yummy!
Port reduction: as mentioned by junglekitte- ya gotta keep your eye on a wine reduction- because it is fortified with extra alcohol, port likes to flame. start it over LOW heat and gradually bring it to the boil. if you have the time, reduce it at a simmer- if you have to go faster, start testing for consistancy when you've reduced the port to 1/4 volume- you'll have to reduce it down to 1/6 or 1/7, but start checking early so you can keep your eye on it- it can go from red syrup to brown sludge to black crust in about 90 seconds when you get that low...
Oh- just because no one said this yet- NEVER add spirits (or fortified wines) to the pan while it's on the burner- take the pan off the stove, add the happy juice, then put it on the heat. If you get a flare-up, reduce the heat and let it burn off.
yes, you can thicken it. if you put it in a pan and slowly reduce it...once it starts to get low in the pan keep an eye on it...it can burn very quickly.
it turns very sweet and would make a delicious sauce by mounting LOTS of butter at the end. you swirl the pan around as you add chunks of cold butter while it melts (on low heat) to create an emulsification. once you add lots of butter to the correct taste of a sauce for you (and trust me, it will seem like a lot) you can use it on fish or meat.
I love this recipe!
It does take a bit to reduce and even then the sauce will be slightly thin
Also, I did something similar to this sauce when roasting some Brussel Sprouts recently. (Just covered the bottom of the dish with port and balsamic and placed halved Brussel Sprouts fave down and then flipped halfway to tender) The sweetness of the wine worked REALLY well with the greeniness of the brussel sprouts. :)