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Old 12-19-2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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De-glazing Cognac alternative

I've got a reciepe I'm trying out that requires 3 tablespoots of Cognac. The process calls for heating oil in a pan and heating 1/2 cup of red onion until translucent. Then put in three tablespoons of Cognac and reduce for 2 minutes.

Is there any way to substituate and alternative in there? I'm not going to go out and get a bottle of Cognac for just three tablespoons in a reciepe, since I won't do anything with it after that. So am I down to a bit of water and scrape the pan, or do I do something else?

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Old 12-19-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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I don't drink Cognac enough to buy a bottle at the price they ask so when a recipe calls for Cognac, I use Brandy. Many more recipes call for Brandy, and I put it in my applesauce to give it a special kick. Just as good as Cognac, no one would ever know the difference, the taste is almost the same and it's so much cheaper. You can buy the cheapest brand of Brandy and still come out ahead.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
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DramaQueen is right - brandy will work just as well as cognac.

The reason for the cognac/brandy is for the flavor it adds to the dish ... you could use bourbon or dark rum (the flavor will be different) or just leave it out.

You don't say what the recipe is - so it's hard to say how much the impact will be .... I know if it was something like Steak Diane - it wouldn't be the same without it!
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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Brandy isn't really a substitute--brandy and cognac are essentially the same thing (in principle--I'm a cognac snob so yes I understand that they aren't exactly alike).

Sherry is usually a good substitute. You can get cooking sherry incredibly cheap.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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Many liquor stores sell "nips" or single serving bottles of many alcoholic beverages including brandies, whiskeys, gins, vodkas, etc. Check out your local booze outlet for these small bottles, they're ideal for cooking.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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The Brandy is a substitude, the question is if nessin has some at home. Question was asked only because there was no cognac available at home.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Many liquor stores sell "nips" or single serving bottles of many alcoholic beverages including brandies, whiskeys, gins, vodkas, etc. Check out your local booze outlet for these small bottles, they're ideal for cooking.
We have a huge souvenier shop here in Vegas, actually the world's largest souvenier shop across from the Sahara Hotel. This is where I get my little single serving bottles. They're the size they serve on planes and it works great for me since I only use things like Grand Marnier, Sambucco, Baileys and other liqeuers like that only occasionally. I have about 30 bottles and they serve their purpose once or twice. Many liquor stores sell them.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:59 PM   #8
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I keep a cheap bottle of brandy and cognac next to my cooking oils. They are great ingredients for sauces, mushrooms....all kinds of stuff. I can't be without those two items in my kitchen.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:20 AM   #9
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Cognac is a particular type of brandy.

It is a brandy which must be made in France in or near the town of Cognac using a very specific method.

Thus, cognac is almost always much more expensive than regular brandy. There is no such thing as "cheap" cognac.

Brandy is a good substitute in cooking.

But it's there primarily for the taste, so you can deglaze with anything you think would taste good in the recipe -- brandy, sherry, vermouth, wine, rum, bourbon, broth, water ....
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppinfresh View Post
Brandy isn't really a substitute--brandy and cognac are essentially the same thing (in principle--I'm a cognac snob so yes I understand that they aren't exactly alike).

Sherry is usually a good substitute. You can get cooking sherry incredibly cheap.
I've spent a lot of time in a lot of restaurant kitchens, and when "Cognac" is called for in a recipe, the chef usually picks up a bottle of generic brandy. All Cognac is brandy, all brandy is NOT Cognac. That comes only from the Cognac region of France. I have both brandy and Cognac in my liquor cabinet, and let me tell you, I don't cook with the Cognac. DeVille is a goodie, as is E&J, and neither will set you back more than about $12. As well, they will keep "until you use them" and if you wanted to sip them, they are tasty enough to be fine drinking.

Please don't buy anything labeled "Cooking" wine. It is always poor quality, has salt added, and for the amount you are purchasing, VERY expensive. If you choose to go with Sherry, be advised that you'll need "Fino" or it will make your dish sweeter than you probably want.
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