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Posts Tagged ‘red wine’


We survived the hurricane without any damage beyond getting a little stir-crazy, so I have to feel pretty grateful. We didn’t lose power or have any terrible flooding, but all we could do for days was watch the damage on TV. Of course, one of my first plans of action was to get to work on hurricane food.

Naturally, my first inclination was for mac & cheese, which was so delicious that it was gone before I could take pictures. For those curious, my mac & cheese is basically my tuna noodle casserole without the tuna. Next up, tomato soup and grilled cheese. I had some cherry tomatoes that were ready to be roasted, and combined them with some canned tomatoes to round out the soup. Perfect cold, rainy weather food. And it’s always a good time for a grilled cheese.

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 sprigs thyme

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed or pureed

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 slices whole grain bread

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

thin slices apple, a tablespoon apricot or fig jam, etc (optional)

Roast the cherry tomatoes with half the olive oil and half the thyme at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and allow to rust for another minute or two. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Allow to cook together for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the grilled cheese. You may choose to puree the soup with a stick blender, but we wanted it chunky this time.

Toast the bread in a pan with olive oil or in a toaster until light brown. Add the cheese and any toppings you may like. Cook in a saute pan with a little olive oil or butter until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Make sure to flip halfway through and a lid can sometimes help the cheese to melt. Use medium heat so that the bread does not burn before the cheese has finish melting. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting, so that the cheese does not run out.

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I think this may be my favorite salmon recipe. It’s certainly one of the most memorable ones, and I’m already craving it again. The ginger and sweet glaze is such a perfect complement to the salmon, and it’s surprisingly easy. Roasting it at a low temperature keeps the fat from rendering out of the fish, so the fish stays moist and succulent.

The one thing I will stress though, is get the best fish you can find. That goes for all fish. You will notice the difference if you go out of your way to find a fishmonger. I will always choose a cheaper variety of fish from a reputable fish store over a more luxurious fish from a grocery store. In a recipe like this, where I recommend cooking the fish to medium rare, it makes a big difference.

Ginger Glazed Salmon

1 pound salmon (preferably wild, but whatever looks freshest)

4″ piece of ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup mirin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 scallion, sliced for garnish

Combine the soy sauce, red wine, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and 3/4 of the ginger in a sauce pan. Cook for 10 minutes, until it reduces by half. Remove from heat and add the remaining ginger and the lime juice. Let cool.

Rub the bottom of a baking dish with the olive oil and place the salmon in it, skin side down. Spoon a tablespoon of the glaze over the fish and wait 5 minutes. Spoon another tablespoon of the glaze over the fish.

Bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Spoon another tablespoon of glaze over the fish and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Continue to do this until the fish is cooked to medium rare (gives a little more resistance when you push it). Garnish with the scallion and serve.

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I have been making this recipe for almost 10 years, which says a lot. It’s simple enough that I never have to look it up, and it’s always delicious. You could riff on it and add things like chicken or red pepper flakes or anchovies and it would totally work, but I like to keep it simple. I sometimes pair it with some chicken or veal saltimbocca and a side salad, but the options are endless.

Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe

1/2 pound spaghetti

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 bottle of a big red wine like primitivo or zinfandel

1/2 cup grated pecorino

2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil

Blanch the broccoli rabe in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes and then remove to a frying pan. Saute the broccoli rabe in a little olive oil. Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute or two. Remove to a bowl for later.

Meanwhile, start cooking the spaghetti in the salted, boiling water. Start reducing the wine in the frying pan. About halfway through the spaghetti cooking, add it to the wine with a little of the pasta cooking water. Continue to cook in the wine until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has cooked away. If you need more liquid to finish the pasta, you can add more of the pasta cooking water. Add the broccoli rabe back in and the pecorino and stir through. Serve with a little extra pecorino and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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I’m not a big fan of going out for Valentine’s Day because restaurants typically overcharge and it feels a little forced. Plus, my favorite evenings are ones spent at home over a delicious meal– why do something different? I see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be reminded how good we have it every other day of the year. And when I think about what my favorite meal is, and what I would like to share, it always comes back to pasta. Of course.

I love a simple bolognese, and some fresh spinach linguine makes it even better. We had this with a 17-year old brunello that my parents gave us, and it was a perfect evening.  Full disclosure: I decided to take the evening off from blogging, and I took these pictures the next day with leftovers. No distractions. But it’s just as good the next day, even more reason to make some tonight.

Linguine Bolognese 

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped oregano or marjoram

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and grind into a chunky paste. Brown the meat in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure to really brown the meat well and don’t move it until it starts browning. This is the best opportunity to develop flavor.

Once the meat is browned, move it to the side of the pan to add the vegetable paste and allow it to start browning as well. Season everything with salt and pepper and the oregano. Once the vegetables have softened and browned a bit, add the tomato paste and let it rust for a few minutes. Add the milk and wine and stir through. Add the sugar. Let the whole thing simmer for an hour until it thickens and the flavor deepens. Toss with pasta in a saute pan with a little of the pasta water and some parmesan and enjoy!

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Pappa al pomodoro is an Italian tomato soup that uses up old bread to thicken it. I usually make it vegetarian, but you can add in some bacon or pancetta if you want something heartier. This was a special request for the blog a long time ago, I just haven’t made it in about a year. It’s great with a grilled cheese or just on it’s own for lunch on a rainy day. I keep my leftover parmesan rinds in the freezer, but if you don’t have any, you can just sprinkle some grated parmesan over the top.

Pappa Al Pomodoro

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 slices bacon or pancetta, diced (optional)

1/2 cup white or red wine or water

1 cup cubed bread

2 leftover parmesan rinds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil and the bacon if you’re using it. Once it has softened, add the wine or water to deglaze and then add the tomatoes. Add the bread, rinds, and sugar and let simmer for 20 minutes until the bread disintegrates. If you are having trouble getting the bread to break up, whisk it for a minute and that should do it. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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Arancini are a traditional bar snack in Italy and they are usually made earlier in the day and sit at room temperature on the bar until they are eaten. I usually don’t get around to making them because I rarely have leftover risotto. In fact, for my party I made a whole batch of risotto just to make these. Be warned, they do take a bit of work and I probably won’t make them in such a large batch again but they are great. With some homemade marinara, they’re a perfect, filling snack.

Arancini

1/2 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch saffron

2 cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup pecorino, grated

2 eggs

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, and saffron for a minute. Add the rice and toss in the oil to coat and toast for a few seconds. Add the wine and reduce. Add the chicken stock as the liquid gets reduced in stages. Season to taste. Once the rice is al dente, let the risotto chill until cold. Add an egg and the pecorino and mix together. Roll into small balls and refrigerate at least an hour. In separate bowls, place the flour, 1 egg beaten with a splash of water, and the panko. Dip the balls into the flour, then the egg, then the panko. They should be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Put the rest of the olive oil in a pan and fry the balls, rotating them on each side as they brown. They are cooked already, so you really just need to brown them.

Marinara

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 carrot, grated

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the oregano and carrot and cook for a couple minutes. Season with salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender if you wish.

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This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken and it’s so quick and easy. It makes a great weeknight dinner and you probably have everything you need in your pantry. I made this last night with my sauteed zucchini and quick berry pie and it was so yummy. This sauce is similar in method to the pomegranate raspberry glaze I made on some scallops a couple months ago.

Herbed Chicken with Black Current and Red Wine Sauce

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon herbes de provence

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons black current jam

2 tablespoons red wine

Pound the chicken using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer between two pieces of plastic wrap until they are uniformly 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the panko and herbs on a plate. Dredge the chicken in the mixture to coat, and make sure to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken so they stick. You can also do a 3-part breading if you wish, just dredge them in flour and then egg before the breadcrumbs for a heavier breading.

Saute in the olive oil for 3 minutes each side.

Meanwhile, heat up the jam and wine in a pan or in the microwave. Once they are combined, the sauce is done. Plate the chicken and spoon the sauce over.

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