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Angry at the Cookbook

Old 10-27-2009, 10:55 AM
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Angry at the Cookbook

Hi guys,

I'm on day 2, and am trying to plan my evening for when I get off of work. I was looking around for some tasty food to cook, as I enjoy cooking quite almost as much as eating. I saw this amazing recipe, and realised it calls for white wine in cooking. Now, I know it is a bad idea to buy wine and cook with it, as I would probably end up drinking the rest of the bottle, so I won't do this. But I got so irrationally angry at the thought of not being able to make most of my favorite french dishes, when, ever?! It's funny because this would have not bothered me a few days ago, say if I didn't have any wine to cook with, I'd just make something else. Now I have become obsessed. It's like now that I've told myself I can't have something, I want it all the more.

Anyone else been here?
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:07 AM
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Yep. It gets better...
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:12 AM
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Yes, and it sucks.

I love to cook. I don't think you are supposed to use that cooking wine either.

I substitute Chicken stock or broth for white wine. I have no idea what to do about red wine. I guess no Coq Au Vin for me.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:16 AM
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i choose not to cook with any alcohol.but you do realise that the alcohol itself is cooked off in recipes? so,its up to the individual.like i said,i dont.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:35 AM
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As someone who loves to cook and to eat, I know this problem and have felt the same. I can only agree with those who say it gets better with time.
In many recipes, you can substitute the red wine trough blackcurrant and purple grape juice, or a mix of 1/2 cup purple grape juice + 1 tbsp. rice vinegar, or even grape jelly or beef broth.

Edit: I also found this blog entry from a pregnant lady who made coq au vin with apple juice and it looks and sounds delicious: this little piggy went to market...: Barefoot Bloggers: Coq Au Vin
I think I'll try this.

For most (salty)white whine dishes, broth is also an alternative, as well as white grape juice/apple juice for sweeter dishes and it still tastes as good. Most of the french people I know don't even use that much alcohol in their cooking

Also there are plenty of really good recipes that don't even require alcohol. you just will get used to it. If you were, let's say lactose intolerant, you would also adjust your cooking to it. We're alcoholics, so we have to adjust our cooking to that. And with all the hundreds of recipes that exist, you won't even be missing out on anything, even if now it looks like you have to give up something.

Last edited by Lionne; 10-27-2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:36 AM
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Yes, been there.. it gets better
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:06 PM
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I decided to go with comfort food instead - spicy bean tacos! It's a treat cause refried beans are way out of price here in jolly old England.

Little stranger - thanks for the advice. I do think that if I had to give up both wine and cheese (lactose intolerant), it would be an extremely bad thing for me. My now estranged husband is French, and so I learned all the cooking with wine from him. A year ago I had no idea! And his parents do indeed cook with a lot of wine. And they even put some in the food as the joke goes.

Maybe I'll try to learn some new cuisine. Would be a nice distraction anyhow.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:07 PM
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The alcohol is burned off during cooking. In rehab we were served pheasant in red wine sauce believe it or not.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:20 PM
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Ok, Cambridge, I'll be the first smart ass to say that if this is the biggest concern you have in your recovery then you're doing pretty good. Now having said that, and since I'm a Certified Chef by trade, go to Ochef Home Page and it'll tell you the approximate times it takes for alcohol to evaporate depending on the cooking method. You'll be suprised.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:26 PM
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The alcohol is not cooked off.. however the bigger concern seems to be the worry of buying a bottle of wine, using a splash for a recipe, and having wine in the house. There was no way I could do that in early recovery! I've loosened my 'food with alcohol' stance for myself a bit since then but I sure as hell wouldn't buy a bottle of alcohol to cook with.

I think we all need to figure this stuff out for ourselves.. while I have no issue eating penne alla vodka a few times a year, I sure as hell wouldn't drink an NA beer with much less alcohol content, it's a psychological thing for me.

It is good however to be aware of alcohol content in foods/drinks that you don't expect. Many people are trying to live completely alcohol free, and you wont get in any 'ut oh' trouble if you're aware

Glad you're doing well.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:34 PM
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I think that you should just avoid having any wine around. Google "wine substitute for cooking" and it seems to come up with a fair bit.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:34 PM
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It is cooked off otherwise we wouldn't have had it at rehab.
I quote:
"If you heat it long enough, the alcohol will leave," says Dr. Mark Daeschel, a food microbiologist at Oregon State University".

Alcohol evaporates at 172°F (78°C), any sauce or stew that is simmering or boiling is certainly hot enough to evaporate the alcohol.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:48 PM
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Am there; though less than I used to be... At three months I get periodic rage/anxiety episodes that I don't act out on. Short meditations and or quick breathing exercises work for me. When I come back down to earth I try to say "hello and good by PAWS" and laugh. Your body and mind is healing and it will take some time to recalibrate to something noticeably better IMHO. Eventhough all the alcohol is usually burned off when cooking with wine, the taste alone seems to be a dangerous trigger for some, try subing some nice vinegar or juice and have a laugh... Best of luck, do we have a "recovery" recipe thread any where? That might be fun. If not I'll start one next time I cook as I've been trying to be healthy and also flavorful.

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:51 PM
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I've used white 'cooking' wine - the stuff that's so salty it's not really drinkable - & I didn't have a problem. However, just the smell of the alcohol can be a trigger for some people. Like the time I took a dose of Vicks Formula 44 & ended up chugging the whole bottle for some insane reason.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sikkisirus View Post
It is cooked off otherwise we wouldn't have had it at rehab.
I quote:
"If you heat it long enough, the alcohol will leave," says Dr. Mark Daeschel, a food microbiologist at Oregon State University".

Alcohol evaporates at 172°F (78°C), any sauce or stew that is simmering or boiling is certainly hot enough to evaporate the alcohol.
With respect, but so that no one is misled into believing this who truly want to live alcohol free (from ochef and many other sources):

The conventional wisdom accepted by just about everyone in the food world is that all the alcohol you add to a dish evaporates or dissipates during cooking. It’s wrong. In fact, you have to cook something for a good three hours to eradicate virtually all traces of alcohol. And some cooking methods are less effective at removing alcohol than just letting it stand out uncovered overnight.

A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:


Preparation Method Percent of Alcohol Retained

alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
alcohol flamed 75%
no heat, stored overnight 70%
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
15 minutes 40%
30 minutes 35%
1 hour 25%
1.5 hours 20%
2 hours 10%
2.5 hours 5%
Just a 'be aware' chunk of information for those who might be concerned about consuming alcohol.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:01 PM
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One more thing. If you go to Ochef Home Page, search alcohol. You'll find out the evaporation times (2.75 hrs for boiling, Sikkisirus) but also the alcohol content in various extracts, flavorings, etc.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:02 PM
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Worse things can happen to people on day 2....
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:12 PM
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Thank you Smacked and Joedris. I agree, those wanting completely alcohol free lives are better off without cooking with booze
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:07 PM
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Sounds like on a per serving basis you get about as much alcohol as a no alch beer... I would haVe no prob cooking with it in the future. And I would think alot of people would not have an issue at all, but be careful and aware that it can be a nasty trigger for some. Also I would be careful testing a potential trigger too soon. For me at 90 days it is something I will avoid for the forseeable future. Great hard research everyone... No Bannas Forster for me.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:09 PM
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I didn't realize this was such a controversial topic. And yes, there are worse things that can happen in day 2. It is just the thing that made me feel the most pissed off today, among about a zillion others.

I'm not even going to weigh in on if one can use alcohol in cooking or not - there are too many who have been here longer, and I'm sure as with many things it differs from person to person.

But I am sure that at this point it is best to avoid the temptation. I am now happy with my burritos.
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