Tag Archives: wine

Orange and Pomegranate Sangria

Orange and Pomegranate Sangria

Orange and Pomegranate Sangria

 

My posts always strictly focus on a recipe, but with 2014 coming to a close, I thought it was important to reflect on the past year. Continue reading

Apple and Sage Brined Turkey

Roast Turkey

With Christmas just around the corner, I spent some time this past weekend working on my menu for Christmas dinner. This is an event all on it’s own for me and it’s where my inner food geek really starts to shine through. Every year I get ridiculously excited dreaming up new ways to play around with my recipes. My one exception to that is my turkey brine recipe. The turkey is the centrepiece of Christmas dinner and I like to lavish a little extra love on it to ensure it turns out perfectly. I’ve kept the recipe the same for the past few years and it always turns out moist and flavourful. Why mess with a great thing? If you’ve never brined a turkey before, you should definitely give it a go. It’s one of those things that seems complicated, but really it only takes 15 – 20 minutes to throw together and the results are amazing. Basically, it’s a salt water solution, sometimes with a bit of sugar added. From there you can add whatever additional flavours you like. The trickiest part of the whole procedure is figuring out how or where to store your turkey while it’s brining. We have a turkey deep fryer so I usually use the pot from that, but you could use a cooler or buy a brining bag. Really, whatever works for you. Once you’ve brined, rinsed and patted your turkey dry, you can carry on with roasting it as you typically would. Continue reading

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

 

With Christmas only a few weeks away, the month of December is full of celebrations. We’re always entertaining or going to someone else’s house to be entertained with an appy or treats to share. I love appetizers and would eat most of my meals this way if I could. One of my favourites has always been stuffed mushrooms. I have a few variations that I’ve made in the past, usually seafood or veggie based, but this time I decided to play around with a meatier version and used italian sausage. I used the mild variety but you could use hot italian sausage if you like things a bit spicier.

Most of the timeΒ I like having my kids help me in the kitchen, but if I’m playing around with a new recipe idea I like to work on it when my kids are at school. It makes it a bit easier to focus on what I’m doing. Let’s face it, this whole baby brain thing doesn’t seem to ever fully go away. If I don’t act on a thought quickly, it could be lost forever. For this recipe that meant I had to uncork a bottle of red at 10:30 am since my daughter gets home from preschool at 11:30. I’m not shy around wine (obviously, given the name of my blog), but it did feel really weird opening a bottle of red wine that early in the day. Maybe it’s just that it felt odd to cook with it while not being able to drink it. In any case it might be time to change things a bit and start cooking later in the day.

Mushroom caps with italian sausage stuffing

 

24 mushrooms, stems removed

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Cup fennel, diced small

1/2 Cup red wine

1/2 Cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/4 – 1/2 Cup bread crumbs

1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Remove the sausage from the casing and add it to the skillet with the onions, garlic and fennel. Continue cooking, breaking the sausage up as you go, until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables have softened. Stir in the roasted red peppers and then add in the wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a minute or two. Mix in the breadcrumbs a little at a time until any liquid is absorbed. Gently toss in the parsley and basil.

Italian sausage stuffing for mushroom caps

Fill the mushroom caps with the sausage mixture and place on a baking sheet. Top each cap with some parmesan cheese and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

 

French Onion Soup

I’ve been making a lot of soups lately and comfort food, in general. It’s been cold and rainy outside and I’ve been huddled up inside wandering around my kitchen. It’s my favourite place to be and is the centre of our home. French onion soup has always been one of my favourites. I make it fairly often throughout the fall and winter. Obviously it tastes great, makes your home smell amazing and warms you up, but I think one of the overlooked Β benefits of making this recipe is that you absolutely, must open a bottle of red wine. And, if you must open a bottle of wine, you really shouldn’t let it go to waste. One glass for the pot, one glass for me…….

French Onion Soup

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 large onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp sugar

1 Cup red wine

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 Cups beef broth

2 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp rosemary

salt to taste

1 Cup gruyere cheese, grated

1 baguette

 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook until softened and beginning to brown. Stir in the red wine and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add in the balsamic vinegar, beef broth, thyme and rosemary. Stir well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding salt if necessary.

While the soup is simmering, slice the baguette. Brush lightly with olive oil and broil until lightly toasted. Set aside

To finish, ladle the soup into an oven safe bowl. Top with a slice of the toasted baguette and a handful of cheese. Place the bowl in the oven and broil until golden and bubbly.

 

 

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