View Full Version : Cooking emergency--no sherry!

04-14-2004, 09:12 PM
Okay, so I decided to make onion soup. I've got some home made stock simmering on the stove. The onions are cooking. I've got everything I need...wait a minute, where's my bottle of sherry?

The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sherry, and I don't think it's going to come out quite as nice without it. And I must have run out and not replaced it, damn it. And the kids are in bed, and Mr. Cameron won't be home until well after midnight.

So I hit google, and come up with links that tell me to substitute oj or pineapple juice for sherry or bourbon. Hey, I've got a bottle of Jack Daniels--will that do the trick? And then there's a link that recommends using vanilla extract as a substitute for either bourbon or sherry. Are they serious???

Can anyone help? I've got a bottle of shiraz, I've got the aforementioned JD. I do have OJ, and could probably dig up some pineapple juice. The vanilla...I'm still sort of bewildered by that idea. I do have some, though. Any thoughts? Help???

Mrs Milburn Drysdale
04-14-2004, 09:18 PM
I'd do the shiraz before the jack in a second. The joy of cooking also has a list of substitutes, but you are in a hurry. got any apple juice?

04-14-2004, 09:21 PM
Nope, no apple juice.

I didn't think of Joy of Cooking, I'll dig my copy out and see what that gets me. thanks!

04-14-2004, 09:26 PM
Mrs. Rombauer has failed me--no sherry in the substitutes list. The section where she does talk about sherry (the drinks section) wasn't helpful.


Green Bean
04-14-2004, 09:38 PM
I use dry vermouth and sherry more or less interchangably when making sauces or stir fries. I'll also use dry white wine if I have part of a bottle to use up. I've never done this kind of substitution when following a recipe, though.

Sounds more promising than pineapple juice, though. Pineapple juice? Tha hell?

John Mace
04-14-2004, 09:40 PM
I'm no cook, but here are my thoughts:

Isn't Sherry just a type of wine? I'd throw in some wine.

But isn't there a difference between cooking sherry and regular sherry?

BTW, I like the JD idea. A little bit coudn't hurt!

04-14-2004, 09:45 PM
Sherry is fortified wine. Which means it's had brandy added to it, and it's been aged after that. Sherry that's labelled "cooking sherry" has, so I'm told, added salt. I've never used it, and most advice I've run across says to avoid it. I usually cook with the same wine or sherry I'd drink.

I don't have any vermouth, unfortunately. Yeah, the pineapple juice seems odd. I mean, I don't usually think "Hmm, this tastes like sherry!" when I eat pineapples. Even weirder is the vanilla extract thing.

Currently, as the crisis approaches, I'm torn between the JD and the shiraz. I wonder what both would be like--it would be fortified wine....

Laughing Lagomorph
04-14-2004, 09:45 PM
FWIW some of my Chinese cooking sources indicate sherry itself is an acceptable substitute for Chinese style rice wine in Chinese recipes. I'm guessing you probably don't have that on hand though.

My two cents are if you do decide to substitute the Jack Daniels don't use the full amount, i.e. don't substitute 1 for 1 in terms of volume. Seriously, dry white wine is probably your best bet.

04-14-2004, 10:03 PM
The only wine I have is red--a shiraz. No rice wine on hand, unfortunately.

So. In the end, I decided to go with the wine, with a little JD added. It's not perfect, but it's fairly close. It did make the soup an odd color, since the recipe I use calls for chicken stock (and it was a collection of chicken bones I used to make the stock). It's a sort of purplish brown now. I'm sort of afraid of what it will look like by daylight, but it tastes pretty good.

Thank you all! You saved my soup! :)

Green Bean
04-14-2004, 10:15 PM
FWIW some of my Chinese cooking sources indicate sherry itself is an acceptable substitute for Chinese style rice wine in Chinese recipes.
Yeah, that's what Florence Lin recommends. My stir fries only started tasting "right" after I started following her methods.

04-15-2004, 01:06 AM
Wine and JD? Ugghh... or yum? I would have just left it out, this sounds like a killer bad for a beefy onion soup. Might as well add mouthwash!

04-15-2004, 12:24 PM
Well, it wasn't a beefy soup--it was a chickeny one. And it tastes pretty darn good.

I ate a bowl or two last night, and then...I canned the rest. With my new pressure cooker. That was an interesting experience. It was the first time I'd ever used one, and I was kind of nervous about it. But it worked out fine, and now I'm wondering what else to cook in it.

And my jars look so lovely...I can have my own onion soup any time I want, without taking up freezer or fridge space.

Thanks again, everyone! :)

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