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Cooking with the Wines of Oregon Paperback – January 1, 2010
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About the Author
Troy and Cheryl-Lynn Townsin are a husband-and-wife travel-writing team who share a passion for food, wine and travel. Their previous book, Cooking with BC Wine, won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for best book on cooking.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Oregon State is home to some of the world's finest wines. From the rolling foothills of volcanic Mount Hood through the bustling city of Portland, heading east through the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley to the Walla Walla Valley, back down past historic Salem and Eugene through the forested valleys of the Umpqua, to the banks of the mighty Rogue River and along its many tributaries, there are vineyards rich with grapes just waiting to be turned into incredible wines that will win accolades from consumers and wine judges the world over.
This book pays tribute to the wineries of Oregon with a collection of 100 recipes for cooking with wine. Many of the recipes come directly from the wineries-some are family secrets being published here for the first time. Others are adaptations of old classics, and a number were created by world-renowned chefs especially for this book. All of the recipes have been tried and tested, and we're sure you'll enjoy them.
Cooking with wine can make the difference between a good meal and a great meal. But don't forget the golden rule: you must never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. Never use anything labeled "cooking wine," as these awful concoctions are full of vinegar or salt and can ruin a perfectly good meal.
You may be surprised to learn that cooking with wine also has certain health benefits. Studies show not only that wine is beneficial for the heart, but also that cooking with wine helps reduce salt intake by increasing the flavor of food. Do your health a favor and include a little wine in your cooking!
Don't worry too much about the alcohol content of the wine you use in cooking. When wine is heated, the alcohol is significantly reduced. However, it would require a lot of cooking time to completely remove the alcohol, so if someone can't consume any alcohol, it's safer not to serve him or her food cooked with wine. As you work your way through the recipes in this book, you'll discover that cooking with wine is not only easy, it's also a fun, rewarding and social experience.
We're often asked about pairing wine and food. Cooking with wine can be the answer to all your "pairing" problems. When we match wines with foods, we try to find flavors in the food that complement the flavors in the wine. Cooking with wine infuses the food with the flavors of the wine. If you serve the same wine with your meal, you'll have a perfect match nearly every time.
Oregon is abundant in magnificent fresh produce, and we wholeheartedly believe in using local ingredients when preparing meals. Oregon's hazelnuts are sought-after around the globe, and big, juicy marionberries are an Oregon specialty that visitors to the state will talk about years after their visit. Vine-ripened tomatoes, broccoli, beets, wild mushrooms, corn, melons, spinach, beans, squash, peppers, pumpkins, cherries, apples and pears are only a fraction of what is grown in the fertile soil of this state.
Its Pacific coastline gives Oregon the world's finest Dungeness crab, wild salmon, succulent oysters, razor clams, trout, mussels and other varieties of fish and shellfish. Homegrown lamb, organic beef and free-range chicken can be found in the markets, as well as farm-raised venison, goat, rabbit and quail. There are artisanal cheeses, smokehouse meats and heavenly handmade chocolates, for which Oregon is famous.
With all this natural abundance it's not surprising that Oregon's wine industry is also known for its excellence, and its flagship is without a doubt Pinot Noir. Each summer, the International Pinot Noir Celebration is held in McMinnville, where the world's best Pinot Noirs are poured alongside Oregon's finest. Each year, Oregon's Pinot Noir awes wine critics from around the globe. Oregon winemakers are also wowing the wine world with their lively Pinot Gris, fresh Rieslings, elegant Chardonnays, bold Cabernet Sauvignons and cherry red Merlots. In all, more than 40 types of wine grapes grow in the state, including some lesser-known varietals, such as Tempranillo, Marchal Foch, Barbera, Muffler Thurgau and Early Muscat.
In this book we've tried to include recipes that cater to as wide a variety of tastes as possible, although it's only fair to warn you that we do love garlic. If there's too much garlic in a recipe for your liking, feel free to tone it down. The same goes for any other ingredients you either don't have or don't want to use. The recipes are guides for your own culinary adventures, and it's often fun to experiment and substitute.
The most important thing to remember when cooking for others is that your guests are there to spend time with you. Do as much preparation as you possibly can before they arrive so you can enjoy their company. This is every bit as important as good food and good wine. Pour some wine and invite your guests into the kitchen while you finish making the meal. Make cooking a time to socialize and have fun.
You have the ingredients and you have the wine. This book was created to help you bring the two together. It's full of inspired dishes that often combine unusual yet wonderful flavors and textures. There are simple-to-prepare dishes that you can whip up after work using what you have in the pantry, and there are exquisite, more time-consuming recipes for special occasions.
If there is wine terminology you're unfamiliar with, don't be afraid to ask about it at the wineries or your local wine store. Wine lovers are usually thrilled when they get a chance to discuss their passion with someone who is interested.
In addition to being a cookbook, this is a guide to all of Oregon's magnificent wineries, making touring a little easier and more enjoyable. You will find a listing, by area, of all Oregon's wineries, complete with maps, beginning on page 198. So get out there and enjoy Oregon's spectacular scenery, visit the wineries, then grab a corkscrew and a bottle of your favorite wine and use this book to cook yourself up an unforgettable feast.
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