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SSSSsssshhhh! Don't tell anyone!

TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 06:41 AM

So here I was happily preparing a wonderfully rustic, beef, Tuscan stew for dinner yesterday. I diced up the beautiful beef I picked up from my favourite butcher, bought some fantastic anchovies from the shop, picked the rosemary fresh from the garden. Everything goes into the pot, everything is going so well...UNTIL..what happened to all the wine we used to have?


Being The Huntress I like to feel I am resourceful and head to the liquor cabinet (ie. The Cupboard Under The Stairs). There are 4 lonely bottles of wine - 2 are inappropriate and the other 2 are definitely off limits. What else can I use? Blueberry liqueur is out and 25 year old scotch is probably a little extravagent. Sooooooo, I grabbed what I thought was the next best substitute and put half a cup of Hennessey XO into my stew.

Please don't tell Mr. Huntress.

Please tell me you've done something equally questionable in the heat of the moment and just can't quite bring yourself to say anything.

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  1. mamachef RE: TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 07:44 AM

    I won't tell him, but there's a tradeoff. I want to know how that stew was, 'cause I'm betting it was delicious. And for your part, you can't tell my ex-boyfriend it was me who poured his 130-year old bottle of some Scotch or another down the sink and said I had no idea what happened to it. How's that?

    5 Replies
    1. re: mamachef
      BobB RE: mamachef Jul 21, 2011 08:53 AM

      I'm shuddering at the very thought of that. If it was really 130 year old stuff, you could have sold it at auction and bought yourself a new car.

      1. re: BobB
        mamachef RE: BobB Jul 21, 2011 09:04 AM

        It was really that old - a gift to him from a very wealthy student who did a lot of travel abroad. And, had I not been so angry that particular morning, you're right: I should by all rights be driving my dream car, a Shelby Cobra. Oh well. The revenge was still kinda sweet. Speaking of horrible tweaky things to do with alcohol though, me and my dubious set of college girlfriends used to make quite the day out of freezing Boone's Farm Apple "Wine" and drinking slushies. Definitely not on a par with Scotch Stew, though. Or, um, "drain-Scotch."

        1. re: BobB
          kaleokahu RE: BobB Jul 21, 2011 11:04 AM

          I can see now why he's an "ex".

          1. re: kaleokahu
            mamachef RE: kaleokahu Jul 21, 2011 12:19 PM

            Yes, it definitely was a defining moment in the relationship we weren't enjoying.

        2. re: mamachef
          gaffk RE: mamachef Jul 21, 2011 04:26 PM

          *sniff* sob. You could have mailed it to me :(

          (Must have been a hell of a spat ;)

        3. p
          pine time RE: TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 07:55 AM

          Mr. Pine just shakes his head when I say all his $$$$ Scotches, ports, or whatever all taste like NyQuil to me. He keeps prodding me to take a sip, but I just smile and tell him it'll be wasted on me. I'm quite the peasant, I think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pine time
            EWSflash RE: pine time Jul 23, 2011 01:37 PM

            I hear you. I like Cuervo Gold tequila. Not a big fan of Patron, for instance, it doesn't have much personality to me. There are several premium ones I like, but maybe I"m a little afraid to develop my palate in that direction, so I usually stick with the cheap stuff that I like. A friend is a real scotchaholic (seriously, I think), and he's always giving us little tastes of some of the over-the-top scotches that he likes, and they're sometimes pretty dreamy, but he usually makes sure I get pretty well toasted on them so I forget what they tasted like and just remember that some tasted even better than the others. Am I going to buy some? Probably not.

            Brandy is one of those things that I think of the same way you do of scotch- mostly it tastes like lighter fluid to me.

          2. chowser RE: TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 11:46 AM

            Was it good stew?

            Not on the same scale but mine isn't even going into food--I use my husband's Absolut Vodka to spray into my ski gloves and boots to get rid of the smell. It works wonders but I should probably just go buy a cheap bottle for that.

            6 Replies
            1. re: chowser
              KaimukiMan RE: chowser Jul 21, 2011 11:54 AM

              febreze isn't that expensive, works pretty well. I don't think it comes in Vodka, Scotch, or vermouth scents though.

              oh, yeah... no one needs to know about that pyrex brownie pan that shattered on the way to the picnic.

              1. re: KaimukiMan
                chowser RE: KaimukiMan Jul 21, 2011 11:57 AM

                LOL. The added bonus is I can take a swig if I want.;-) My daughter wanted febreze for her locker at school and the first thing I told her was to bring the vodka spray and use it. On second thought, don't. Does febreze have a smell? The thing I like about the vodka is that there's no artificial odor.

                1. re: chowser
                  KaimukiMan RE: chowser Jul 21, 2011 12:02 PM

                  febreze does come in various scents. the neutral or whatever they call it is pretty innocuous and fades quickly. but then i don't have the most senitive nose in the world. and yeah, i can see some problems with spraying a high school locker with vodka.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                    EWSflash RE: KaimukiMan Jul 23, 2011 01:46 PM

                    "No, I wasn't drinking it, I was just spraying it in my locker>" "Suuuuuuure you were."

                    i got something at bed Bath and Beyond (I think) that works really well, a trigger spraywhite bottle with a label on an elastic collar arounf the neck that reads 'because life stinks'. It's pretty amazing and leaves NO odor behind that i can smell. I sprayed the back of my SUV down after buying some cheap potting soil that had a weird, really strong ammonia smell to it that lingered in the carpet. The spray completely eliminated it, I was impressed.

                    1. re: EWSflash
                      chowser RE: EWSflash Jul 23, 2011 02:10 PM

                      Thanks for the hint. My husband probably thanks you, too.

                2. re: KaimukiMan
                  srsone RE: KaimukiMan Jul 23, 2011 08:05 PM

                  i always thought vodka had no smell.....

              2. h
                hsk RE: TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 09:14 PM

                Why would you put cognac into stew? I can understand using wine but cognac being distilled is not remotely the same and just a waste IMHO.

                Although I have been known to use VSOP in Spanish coffee.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hsk
                  sedimental RE: hsk Jul 21, 2011 09:18 PM

                  Well, Huntress didn't say if it was tasty or not, but I use cognac all the time with beef....and not just in Steak au Poivre. Not unusual at all.

                  1. re: sedimental
                    hsk RE: sedimental Jul 21, 2011 09:40 PM

                    Interesting. A quick google shows lots who'd a thunk http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

                    1. re: hsk
                      sedimental RE: hsk Jul 21, 2011 09:51 PM

                      Yes, I have used it in the traditional french cream sauce with beef, in beef gravy, and in a pan sauce with dried cherries and balsamic...s'all good. Sometimes I put cognac in my Sangria's and I also put it in my cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving....hic.....

                2. TheHuntress RE: TheHuntress Jul 21, 2011 10:52 PM

                  Well the stew was delicious. And while some may feel it was a waste of cognac it was simply down to the fact I had no wine and it was the next best thing I could use. And I was thinking that cognac in food is generally a delicious thing, so no harm done. I just can't bring myself to tell Mr. Huntress - he got upset when I started using my 70 year old, 3 generation port to pour over bacon - but it just made the bacon taste so good!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TheHuntress
                    buttertart RE: TheHuntress Jul 22, 2011 01:53 PM

                    Dorie Greenspan's annoyingly-named but tasty "Go-to beef daube" in Around My French Table uses cognac, and dang tasty it is, too. (I hate the term "go-to".)

                  2. l
                    LauraGrace RE: TheHuntress Jul 22, 2011 02:31 PM

                    I only say something if the desperation-moment substitute turns out to be delicious. Many a dollar has gone into the swear jar when I open the cupboard to discover that the ______ I was absolutely certain I'd bought the last time I was at the grocery was nowhere to be found.


                    1. Rodzilla RE: TheHuntress Jul 23, 2011 12:13 AM

                      reminds me of the time I put Remy Martin Cognac Louis XIII into my dinty moore stew.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Rodzilla
                        kaleokahu RE: Rodzilla Jul 23, 2011 07:47 PM

                        Fascinating! White truffle Spam musube with a La Grande Dame-infused wrapper works too.

                        You must start a new thread about the most lavish ingredient anyone's put into a trashy dish. This could be very, very funny...


                        1. re: kaleokahu
                          mamachef RE: kaleokahu Jul 23, 2011 08:23 PM

                          kaleokahu, I wish one of you would do it; I surely do. Pretty please? With whipped cream and macadamia nuts on top?

                          1. re: mamachef
                            kaleokahu RE: mamachef Jul 23, 2011 09:41 PM

                            Hi, mamachef:

                            Let me be the first to push Rodzilla onto the stage. His (?) association of The Dint with Remy 13 perfectly captures what I think would be truly hilarious.



                      2. twyst RE: TheHuntress Jul 23, 2011 10:05 PM

                        One night behind the bar at a really upscale place someone asked for a handmade top shelf margarita. Got the drink 90% made then reached for the bottle of grand marnier and the person on the previous shift had put the bottle back on the shelf empty. It was extremely busy so that lucky customer got a top shelf margarita made with the 150 year anniversary grand marnier that goes for about $75 a shot.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: twyst
                          mamachef RE: twyst Jul 24, 2011 01:56 AM

                          Love this. Love love love it. (tiptoeing away, finger over lips. Your secret's safe with all several thousand of us. :)

                          1. re: twyst
                            TheHuntress RE: twyst Jul 24, 2011 05:38 AM

                            I promise I won't tell!

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