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Nov 16, 2006 07:22 PM

What to use instead of alcohol while cooking.

I have a dilemna. I'm cooking different recipes asking to use brandy in a sweet potato recipe, bourbon in a pumpkin-pecan recipe, and white wine in a cornbread,wild mushroom and pecan stuffing recipe. I'm hosting for a family of alcoholics, and I do not want to use alcohol, what do I use instead? And what is Calvados? Please help, asap, before Thanksgiving day. Thanks.

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  1. Calvados is a French Apple Brandy. You could look to the de-alcoholized wines for the white wine.

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      1. You can EASILY find recipes for pumpkin/pecan pie, sweet potatoes and cornbread stuffing that don't call for any alcohol in the first place. It would be a much better bet to find new recipes rather than trying to substitute ingredients (which may not be very successful).

        1. Calvados is apple brandy.

          I think you're going to have a hard time substituting for any of these things, but you might try diluted champagne vinegar instead of white wine. The liquors are all mainly going to add sweetness and acid, in addition to aroma; you might try juices, particularly apple and white grape. The aroma isn't going to be super straightforward to replicate, so I wouldn't put much time into that.

          With any of these substitutions, I wouldn't advise doing a straight swap of anything--don't replace a cup of Calvados with a cup of apple juice, for example.

          On the other hand, I haven't got much experience cooking for alcoholics, but the amount of alcohol that's actually present in the food (once it's diluted by the other ingredients, and after much of the alcohol evaporates during cooking) is probably pretty negligible. The flavor will also be quite different. So you might be able to get away just using the alcohol, but that's your call. If you were doing something like a rum-soaked pudding, that would be a bad idea, obviously.

          If you go the substitution route, I'd highly recommend doing a test run before the day so you don't end up with something awful.

          Also, you might have more luck getting ideas on the Cooking board.

          Good luck.

          1. Actually, listen to Christy. None of these dishes HAS to be made with alcohol. In fact, I don't think I've ever had booze in any of these dishes. Find new recipes and you'll be much better off.