Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

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Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:19 pm

The recent change in Washington state liquor laws that closed the state liquor stores has seen a few products drop through the cracks as markets newly able but inexperienced at handling these products are so busy making room for half gallons of cheap booze that they have forgotten to adequately pick up what you might call the accessory liquors. Dry vermouth would seem to be one of them. Or at least, Noilly Pratt. Almost every place I've asked in the last month since running out, either had none or Gallo and/or some other doofus brand like the Dolin the Central Market in Shoreline reccomended as being 'close'. I'm here to tell you, it's not close. It would be like reccomending Sutter Home White Zin to someone who asked for Domaine Tempier rose. Tastes sweet, simple and artificial.

Maybe because I said I use it in cooking instead of martinis, he didn't think quality mattered. Maybe because I was a woman, he thought I meant sweet and fruity even when I said "dry". Maybe he didn't notice the Domaine Janasse CdPs or the muscadets in my cart to realize that I would know my stuff.

Whatever: I finally found Noilly Pratt yesterday so order has been restored to my kitchen. Does anyone else use it? A dash of Noilly Pratt adds a sophisticated depth to many of the soups and sauces I make without tasting boozy, and it can be added at near the end of cooking without the fruitiness or raw quality of a white table wine. It's the killer ingredient that makes the scampi and bean soups that come out of my kitchen so distinctive. I didn't grow up with it or even consider it a cooking ingredient until Julia Child suggested it in one of her old recipes. I was at first horrified--white wine OR vermouth?--no way, I thought, insulted on behalf of all white wines, NOT interchangeable, but then awhile later I bought some for a very specific dish that I wanted to replicate and my eyes were opened. I would still say it's not any more a substitute for white wine than that junky Dolin is for Noilly Pratt, but for many dishes it's BETTER than white wine would ever be. I go through about two 750's a year, though more of that's used in winter when I do more soups, sauces and braises.

Any other fans?
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:18 pm

I have not been able to find Noilly Prat in Redding. I asked at Liquor Barn a long time ago, but they did not carry it either. I do use dry vermouth all the time since the old family risotto called for Haute Sauterne. I have not been able to find that for years and dry vermouth was recommended to me. We do not drink much white wine at our house, so I rarely have it. Martini's are another story. In the summers I like them because they are cold, snappy and we love the Tom Olives. Thanks for the reminder about the Noilly Pratt. I think I will ask at the Liquor Barn again, and ask them to stock it for us. As former owners, they have been very accommodating.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Christina Georgina » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:00 pm

ALWAYS keep several bottles of dry vermouth for cooking. Noilly Prat is a constant and pick up bottles on our travels. Bought a hand crafted one in Spain that is SO good I keep it for an appertivo on ice but I'm about out. Use others to deglaze, for mussels; with mushrooms; with shrimp; with roasted meats ....almost anything that needs white wine. It is a "must have" in my pantry.
I also use a lot of Marsala, and sweet vermouth in cooking.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:01 pm

I have never used it and I don't even really know what it tastes like.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:31 pm

We use it all the time in most recipes calling for white wine. Would have use it in the flounder the other night, but used the wine we were drinking instead. Have had the same problem getting the good French kind, and have Martini & Rossi in the house right now.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Hoke » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:21 am

Couple of responses:

I used to sell Noilly Prat some years ago...in Washington state! It wasn't widely available because most times the people weren't aware of quality differences in vermouth and would opt for the cheap stuff, with an occasional foray into Martini & Rossi. Noilly is great; and you're drinking the "new" Noilly white, which is actually going back to the "old Noilly white, the original and much tastier version of the vermouth. I absolutely love Noilly Prat Sweet/Red Vermouth, mostly in cocktails, but yeah every now and then in cooking.

Jenise: Beg to differ--Dolin is NOT junky. Dolin is good. It's different, I'll admit, but not different in a bad way. Primarily for cocktails.

Karen: It's a shame that your local stores in Redding don't care Noilly Prat. They damned well should. Definitely go back and try again to get them to stock it.

By the way, Noilly Prat is actually owned by Martini & Rossi now.

Jenise: We're still on the controlled state list here in Oregon, and one of the oddities the OLCC has created...and no one can figure out why, it was just decision by fiat---is that vermouth is allowed only in full-sized bottles. No half bottles. Since vermouth can start to oxidate and go flat---loose aromatic strength---fairly quickly, that's a bitch, because unless you drink a lot or cook a lot with it, your bottle ends up going bad before you finish it. If there's one thing that should be in half bottles, it's vermouth---again, unless you drink/use it up quickly. But thanks to the oddity of the ruling board, no half bottles for vermouth here.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby John Treder » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:51 am

Julia Child said to use dry Vermouth when the recipe called for "dry white wine" and I do. :oops:
And Noilly Prat is my "regular" vermouth. (I also like martinis and manhattans.) :wink:

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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Heinz Bobek » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:39 am

Hoke wrote:By the way, Noilly Prat is actually owned by Martini & Rossi now.

Well, Noilly Prat and Martini & Rossi is actually owned by Bacardi.

I'll use Noilly Prat principally for cooking and mainly in fish and shellfish dishes.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:52 am

Christina Georgina wrote:ALWAYS keep several bottles of dry vermouth for cooking. Noilly Prat is a constant and pick up bottles on our travels. Bought a hand crafted one in Spain that is SO good I keep it for an appertivo on ice but I'm about out. Use others to deglaze, for mussels; with mushrooms; with shrimp; with roasted meats ....almost anything that needs white wine. It is a "must have" in my pantry.
I also use a lot of Marsala, and sweet vermouth in cooking.


What kind of dishes does a sweet vermouth go into? I've never acquired a taste for it. But I do use Marsala, love a good Veal Marsala. In fact, Veal Marsala with a side of tortellini in a white sauce at an L.A. resto called Little Joe's was one of the game changing meals of my childhood. I was 9. Before that day, I hated gravy and sauce was what went on Spaghetti. After that day, I wanted wine sauces on all my meat and started reading my mom's cookbooks at home to try to understand how they were made. And here I am. :)
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:57 am

John Treder wrote:Julia Child said to use dry Vermouth when the recipe called for "dry white wine" and I do. :oops:
John


Yes she did, but you must consider that she gave that advice in the bad old days when most households in America did not have dry white wine on hand and Vermouth was a far better option than those dreadful cooking wines our moms had!
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:04 am

Hoke wrote: No half bottles.


Bummer. I prefer the small bottles, too, and over the years up here bought them often. Were they half or 500 ml, though? Whatever; usually didn't have a choice--wherever I was they typically only had one size.

I don't know if I've ever tried Martini and Pratt. Gallo yes, and major thumbs down on that. I'm thinking another I tried was an Italian brand, Cinzano? Found it quite weak/dilute, and remember that I flooded a dish with it trying to get the same flavor I'd have gotten from much less Noilly Pratt.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:30 pm

Jenise wrote:But I do use Marsala, love a good Veal Marsala.

I still like Marsala in zabaglione :wink: but I have lost my taste for cooking with it. I much prefer madeira right now; it seems fuller and less sour.

In fact, Veal Marsala with a side of tortellini in a white sauce at an L.A. resto called Little Joe's was one of the game changing meals of my childhood. I was 9. Before that day, I hated gravy and sauce was what went on Spaghetti. After that day, I wanted wine sauces on all my meat and started reading my mom's cookbooks at home to try to understand how they were made. And here I am. :)

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For me, the real impetus behind it all was my 7th grade French teacher. She wanted to teach not just the language but also the whole culture. So we learned how perfumes are made and we learned about the food and we learned about the Roman invasions and all sorts of other things. For the food part, she assigned everyone to go home, cook something French, and bring it in to share. With some minimal help from Mom, I assembled a terrine with pork and canned truffles. I don't recall how it came out but that got me started looking at cookbooks. The actual breakthrough dish was Steak Diane (which we've talked about before).
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby John Treder » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:09 pm

>> you must consider that she gave that advice in the bad old days <<
I know, Jenise. And yet it does work, and I don't always have a bottle of white open to drink. I also keep a bottle of inexpensive dry sherry around. Try adding a teaspoonful to a cheese omelet sometime!
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Jenise, we have Noilly Prat and Martini in 500 ml through 1 l. bottles up here in civilization, so you can fill up next time you venture North of the line.

FWIW, I used to cook with Vermouth but have pretty much switched to a sercial Madeira instead as I like the effect of that (plus I can always pour a wee tot for the cook, and Madeira ain't gonna oxidize any time soon if kept a long time in the cupboard).
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:13 pm

Jenise wrote:What kind of dishes does a sweet vermouth go into?


I did see a chicken recipe recently that called for it, and remember thinking "Why not just use Marsala."
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:25 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:FWIW, I used to cook with Vermouth but have pretty much switched to a sercial Madeira instead as I like the effect of that (plus I can always pour a wee tot for the cook, and Madeira ain't gonna oxidize any time soon if kept a long time in the cupboard).


I adore a good Madeira, but it wouldn't be a substitute for vermouth in my case as I so often favor it, like Heinz, in seafood preparations where Madeira's color would often be a problem.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jenise » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:20 pm

Hoke wrote:Jenise: Beg to differ--Dolin is NOT junky. Dolin is good. It's different, I'll admit, but not different in a bad way. Primarily for cocktails.



Okay, I retasted it nekkid next to the Noilly Prat. It IS a bit sweeter and a little less herbal, but a lot better than I'd first thought.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:01 pm

We actually use the Dolin (the Chambry Dry) for our cooking vermouth. Fine by me, but I'm seldom using more than a tablespoon,
375, I keep in cellar, probably for too long. :)
Chambers St recently sent out an offer for a new artisnal producer of Vermouth from NY State! But I don't drink cocktails.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Hoke » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:27 pm

There are a couple of homegrown dry vermouths you can try now, Jenise.

There's VYA, in a dry white and a sweet red, made in California. Fairly full bodied and robustly flavored for a vermouth, with quite a bit of aggressive pow to it.

Another is right here from Oregon, Imbue, which has their standard dry white vermouth based on Willamette Valley Pinot Grigio. It's a bit more refined and elegant. Imbue just came out with a sorta-rose' vermouth called Petal & Thorn that is quite tasty. I've only had it straight and in cocktails, but imagine some nice cooking possibilities with it.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:28 pm

I use dry vermouth in my cooking, but must admit, I have never paid much attention to brand :oops: . Except, I don't buy anything labeled Gallo! I like the depth that it adds to anything with chicken braised or stewed, and it is excellent in seafoods stews. I will definitely look for Noilly Prat.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Bob Sisak » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:21 pm

I've been using Noilly Prat for over 30 years whenever a recipe calls for dry white wine. One of my favorite dishes is a mushroom omelette. I saute sliced shrooms in a little bit of butter and when they're just about dried out, I add a splash of dry vermouth and a splash of fresh lemon juice. After the liquid is absorbed, I fold the shrooms into the omelette. Yum!
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Bill Spohn » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:29 pm

Interesting, Bob. I always grind some coarse pepper over the shroom and add lemon juice, but hadn't tried Vermouth (partially as I don't customarily keep it around). Tell us what it does for them, if you can articulate it.

I might have to add a dash of sherry or madeira to my next omelette just for fun!
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby GeoCWeyer » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:17 pm

Dry Vermouth has been my go to dry white wine for years. I also use some left over whites. I did come across an inexpensive Austrian white that came in liter bottles with a screw top that I bought a case of. The name has slipped from this old mind.
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Re: Do you use dry vermouth in your cooking?

Postby Hoke » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:23 pm

GeoCWeyer wrote:Dry Vermouth has been my go to dry white wine for years. I also use some left over whites. I did come across an inexpensive Austrian white that came in liter bottles with a screw top that I bought a case of. The name has slipped from this old mind.


I was going to say "Berger", but they had beercap tops.
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