Cooking with wine can be an adventure: It is creative, an art … and a science!
Using wines to prepare dinner is, above all, about taste. What wine you decide to use will clearly enhance the flavors of the dish(es) you serve because it combines both the taste of the wine the foods are being prepared with and the flavor of the meat, chicken or fish you are cooking. And that is usually an inviting combination.
It helps, too, to know the type of wine to use with what type of meat you are preparing. – and don’t use a wine you would not drink by itself. A pino grigio white wine, for example, contains enough acids in it from the grape to enhance the flavor of most sea foods, eliminating the need for a wedge of lemon to prod out the fishes flavors.
From Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s website: “For delicate fish or vegetables, a dry non-oaked wine works best. If your recipe is packed with onions, carrots and tomatoes, there will be plenty of sugars in the pot, so cooking with a fuller-bodied, less dry white wine can integrate perfectly.”
While cooking wines are thought to add too much salt to the cooking, other wines, such as marsala and sherry, are known for bringing out the flavors of veal and chicken. Fruity red wines are also known to enhance chicken dishes.
Ports are good for stews and other dinners that will feature plenty of red meats, and for stews, for example.
But do make sure to burn off enough of the alcohol in wine, which will help create the more delicate and balanced flavors you are working to attain. The longer the wine is allowed to settle into the dish, the more flavorful and exciting to the palate it will be. Leaving less time for the alcohol to burn off may result in a stronger alcohol taste to the overall dish.
This month the Merrick Weekday Girls Recipe facebook group offers a diverse sampling of recipes – and desserts! – put together using wine, recipes you can use ‘year round. Check ‘em out!
PAN-ROASTED BAY SCALLOPS WITH BREAD CRUMBS AND LEMON
Carol Schmertzler Siegel
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, preferably from brioche or challah
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 small Meyer lemon
1/4 cup white wine, Sauvignon Blanc
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring so the crumbs don’t burn, about 3-4 minutes. When the crumbs are golden brown and crisped, remove them to a plate.
Wipe out the skillet. Add the oil and heat on high until it shimmers. Add half a tablespoon of the butter and let it melt. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper and brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the shallots and the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the juice of a small Meyer lemon and the white wine. Cook over moderate heat until the liquid has reduced, about 4 minutes.
Check for seasoning. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs on the plates, add scallops on top of the crumbs and serve.
Sherri Ann Trapp-Coots
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Packet of Dried Onion Soup Mix
8 oz Port Wine
Put about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
Cover your Chuck Roast on all sides with flour.
Sear all sides of your Roast.
Put in the over at 350.
Mix together your Cream of Mushroom Soup, (I use Campbell’s), One Packet of Dried Onion Soup Mix (I use Lipton) and One Cup of Port Wine (I just pour it into the empty soup can) into a bowl and mix well. ***I usually double or triple the recipe depending on my size of the Chuck Roast.
About 1.5 hours into cooking (again, depending on size) I add my soup and wine mixture into the Dutch oven. I let it cook for another two hours or until done, stirring occasionally. The Port Wine will reduce and you will get a nice, thick rich gravy.
Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles, salad and some nice crusty bread.
Robin Niad Canarick
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry white wine
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ¾ pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
⅓ cup chopped parsley
Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.
SHRIMP WITH HOT BRANDY SAUCE
Elizabeth Schulman Kranz
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (size is unimportant)
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tblsp. brandy
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (use less or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (can substitute dried parsley)
(Optional: 1 lb. pasta, as linguine)
1. If making pasta, cook as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and bay leaves; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add shrimp; saute 3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove bay leaves. Add chicken broth, brandy, hot red pepper flakes and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
3. Drain pasta. Place in serving bowl. Add shrimp sauce; toss. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
CHICKEN CUTLETS & MUSHROOMS
Debra Eiberson Gordon
8 chicken cutlets
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup cold water
– 2 cups bread crumbs/matzah meal
– 1 cup white wine
– 4 large eggs
Beat eggs and add a dash of water. Dip cutlets in bread crumbs, in beaten egg and water mixture and in bread crumbs again
Sauté cutlets in oil, remove and set aside
In same pan, sauté sliced mushrooms
– Place cutlets in baking dish – cover with mushrooms
– Mix white wine and chicken broth together and pour over chicken and mushrooms
– Bake 20 minutes covered at 350 degrees – then bake uncovered for 30 minutes
– Can be prepared 1 day in advance and baked the next day or prepared up to 2 weeks in advance and frozen
4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, seasoned and cut in half
1/2 cup flour in a large Baggie for dredging
2 T minced garlic
3 large onions sliced
1 lb sliced baby Bella mushrooms (optional)
3 peppers sliced
1 cube or packet chicken bouillon
1 4-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 cup white wine or cooking wine
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder
Begin by prepping your onions and peppers and setting them aside. Heat up a good amount of olive oil in a large frying pan. Take the flour and put it in the Baggie. Add salt, pepper, parsley and a little garlic powder to the flour (to taste… No measurement). Shake up well. Place chicken on a cutting board or large surface and season well with salt and pepper on both sides before cutting.
Take chicken pieces and shake a couple of pieces at a time gently in flour mixture till well coated. Place each piece in the frying pan making sure it is on a medium heat. You don’t want to cook the chicken, just braise it to sear in the flavor and juices. It may take 2 or 3 batches.
Cook about 3 1/2 minutes per side. Put “cooked” chicken aside when done. When all the chicken is done, add more olive oil to the same pan and stir a little to get the nice bits off the bottom.
Place onions in the pan. Cook about 5-7 minutes, mixing often till slightly softened. Add garlic and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add peppers and mix well.
In a separate cup/Pyrex, mix bouillon with hot water to make broth.
Add chicken broth to veggie mixture. Immediately add wine and tomato sauce. Mix well.
Cook this mix for a good 5 minutes till simmering to cook the alcohol off. Add chicken and mix.
Now, give a good sprinkling of pepper, crushed hot pepper, garlic, parsley, oregano and basil. Mix well, turn down and allow this to simmer for half an hour. I leave it uncovered so it thickens.
Serve with pasta, rice, nice crusty bread or whatever makes you happy! Enjoy. Serves 4
2 lbs thin cut chicken cutlets
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T parsley
6 lemons juiced (3/4 cup lemon juice)
2 T olive oil for sautéing
1 lb sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 T butter
2 T flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
baggie for shaking the chicken
In baggie, add quarter cup of flour, seasoned salt, pepper, and shake well.
Taking one piece of chicken at a time, shake each piece of chicken in the flour dredge and place on a plate. Meanwhile put oil in a pan and begin heating the pan to a medium Heat.
When all of the chicken is coated, begin sautéing two minutes per side. Remove chicken to a casserole dish. When all of the chicken is done, you should have about two layers. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper overall.
In the same pan, add a little more oil and start sautéing the mushrooms. Cook them until they release liquid. Turn off and pour the mushrooms over the chicken. Preheat oven to 275.
While pan is still hot, add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted add two tablespoons of flour and mix very well to make a roux. Cook for about a minute, stirring well. Add chicken broth, lemon juice and wine. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently ans xook off the alcohol. Turn off and pour sauce over chicken and mushrooms.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. (Or turn up to 375 and cook 30 minutes.
Carol Schmertzler Siegel
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
9 to 12 tablespoons butter, divided (I use olive oil)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (I use more)
3/4 cup Marsala wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup shredded Italian Fontina, or Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dredge chicken lightly in flour. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Place several pieces of chicken in the pan, without overcrowding them. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. When browned, place chicken in a lightly greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat browning procedure with remaining chicken, adding a little butter each time. Reserve the drippings.
Saute mushrooms in the same pan with a little more butter, and then add chicken stock into the pan, scraping to deglaze the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes or more until sauce is reduced and thickens a bit. Spoon sauce over chicken.
Combine Fontina and Parmesan cheeses and sprinkle over chicken. Bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Place under broiler until cheese has melted and bubbly or in my case usually, extremely browned!
My notes: I browned the chicken, removed them to a plate, sauteed the mushrooms, then returned the chicken to the pan, added the stock and the Marsala, and reduced the sauce. Then I put the chicken in a baking dish, poured the sauce and mushrooms on top, and baked it in the oven for about 10-15 to make sure chicken was cooked thoroughly. Then sprinkled with just shredded mozzarella because I forgot the Parmesan and broiled it until the cheese was brown and bubbly! This time I used boneless, skinless thighs. I’ve also used a package of chicken tenderloins!
Debra Eiberson Gordon
§ Yellow cake mix with pudding
§ 1 cup chopped pecans
§ 3 eggs
§ 1/3 cup oil
§ ½ cup cold water
§ ½ cup dark rum
§ ½ lb butter
§ ¼ cup water
§ 1 cup sugar
§ ½ cup dark rum
Preheat oven to 324
Grease and flour 10” tube or 12 cup bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans over bottom of pan
Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour. Invert on serving plate.
For Glaze: melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum
Prick top and sides of cake. Pour glaze into holes of cake. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until glaze is used up
Carol Schmertzler Siegel
1/2 cup blanched and sliced, slivered or chopped almonds
2 1/2 cups amaretti cookies (I used a 7 oz. bag of Lazzaroni Amaretti Snaps Cookies)
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (more or less to taste)
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 quart homemade or premium quality vanilla ice cream, softened (I used a pint)
Maraschino cherries, drained and halved for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chopped almonds on small baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden. Set aside to cool. Or you can toast them in a nonstick skillet (no oil, dry) on the stove over medium heat. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn.
Put the cookies in a Ziploc plastic bag and crush the cookies into small pieces with a rolling pin, a meat pounder or your hands. Be careful not to turn them into tiny crumbs. Place crumbled cookies in a medium bowl and toss with the almonds. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until thickened. Pour in the amaretto and whip until medium peaks form. Spoon the cookie mixture into the whipped cream, reserving 3/4 cup or so for topping.
Add the almond extract to the softened ice ice cream and stir until blended and very smooth. Fold the cookie/whipped cream mixture into ice cream.
Spoon into little pastry cups or ramekins. Sprinkle each cup with some of the reserved cookie mixture and top with a cherry. Freeze until firm.