Tuesday, November 27, 2012

White Wine and Herb Mushrooms

If you are ever in need of a nice, super fast and easy, mushroom side or just want to jazz up a steak, these little guys are absolutely fabulous:

1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. butter
1lb. fresh mushrooms
1/4c onion, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4c white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
2.  Add the mushrooms, onion, and Italian seasoning.  Cook and stir for about 10 minutes.
3.  Add the wine and garlic amd  cooking until most of the wine has evaporated.
4.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook another minute or two and serve hot.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beer Mac and Cheese

Oh, yes I did.  Here's the recipe:

2 1/2c pasta (I prefer the more swirly rotini to the classic elbow)
2 TBSP real butter
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1c beer ( I used a pale ale)
1-1/2c mild Cheddar, shredded
1/2c grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2c Panko breadcrumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 375*

2.  Cook the pasta until just under al dente; drain and set aside.

3.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.

4.  Add flour, whisking to form a roux.

5.  Add beer and continue whisking until incorporated.

6.  Reduce heat to low add add cheeses, stirring until melted.

7.  Add paprika, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir and remove frm heat.

8.  Pour cheese sauce over pasta in an 8x8 baking pan; toss to coat.

9.  Top with breadcrumbs and bake about 20 minutes, or until nice and golden on top.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mushroom and Vodka Soup

Getting back into the routine after a long, relaxing holiday weekend with the family.  This is the soup I referenced last week:
2c chicken broth
2c Basic Vodka Sauce - recipe here
1c half & half
2c. mushrooms, rough chopped
2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped

1.  Make the vodka sauce. 

2.  In a medium size pot, combine the broth, vodka sauce, and half & half.

3.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

4.  Stir in the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirringoccasionally, for about 15 minutes.

5.  Garnish with additional basil and serve immediately.
Served with Sourdough and Havarti w/dill paninis.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Basic Vodka Sauce

This is my second post about vodka sauce.  The original one, here, is a heavier sauce and great for a hearty pasta meal.  This one is lighter in taste and texture, which made for a wonderful base for last night's soup (that's my next post).  For now, here's the sauce recipe:

1/4c butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1/2c vodka
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1c heavy cream

1.  In a medium size pot, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until soft and aromatic.

2.  Add vodka.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

3.  Add crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to low. 

4.  Allow to simmer approximately 20-30 minutes.

5.  Pour in heavy cream and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  
Once you start making your own sauce, you'll never buy the jarred stuff again!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

White Wine and Portobello Tortellini Skillet

This was a great dinner on a cold and rainy day.  The flavors afre rich and pair really well with a light salad.

1/2 - 3/4lb. cheese tortellini
2 large portobello mushrooms
1/4c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. Alfredo sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/3c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Cook pasta accordin gto package directions, drain, and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare mushrooms by removing stems and slicing thin.         

3.  In a medium skillet over low heat, combine wine, parsley, garlic, and mushrooms; stirring frequently, saute for approximately 5 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through.               

4.  Remove skillet from heat and slowly add Alfredo sauce, stirring to blend; season with salt and pepper to taste.               

5.  Add tortellini and stir to coat.

6.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.               

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

White Wine and Herb Mushrooms

I am loving mushrooms lately and these were absolutely fabulous over grilled steaks.

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh chives, chopped

1.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.

2.  Add mushrooms and season with Italian seasoning; cook approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently.               

3.  Add the garlic and white wine.  Continue cooking and stirring another 5 minutes or so.

4.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste and sprinkle with chives.  Serve immediately.           

Monday, April 23, 2012

Venison and Tequila Chili

My husband was recently gifted two pounds of ground venison.  I made burgers with one pound and this chili with the other:

1 TBSP vegetable oil
1lb. ground venison
1 stalk celery, diced
1c white or yellow onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP chili powder
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4c gold tequila
1/4c orange juice
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
2 TBSP chili seasoning

1.  Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground venison and cook through.

2.  Mix in the celery and onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes.

3.  Add red pepper flakes, garlic powder and chili powder. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.         

4.  Pour in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tequila, and orange juice; simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 2 hours. 

5.  Add the beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.   
 Serve topped with Cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and jalapeno slices. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Red Wine and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Served these last night as an appetizer to our pasta primavera dinner:

6oz. package ground sausage
12 whole mushrooms
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/4c + 1/8c. Italian dry bread crumbs, divided
1/4c red wine

1.  Preheat oven to 325*

2.  Brown sausage in a skillet.  Drain and set aside.

3.  Remove stems from mushrooms.  Chop and set aside.

4.  In a madium bowl, combine cream cheese, mushroom stems, 1/4c bread crumbs, sausage and 1/8c red wine.

5.  Fill mushrooms with mixture and top with remaining bread crumbs.

6.  Place in an 8x8 pan and pour remaining red wine around mushrooms.

7.  Bake approximately 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Guess I could have thrown a little chopped parsley over the top before serving. 
You know, for color.  No matter though, these were yummy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beer and Cheese Dip

This dip is amazing with pretzels!  Don't think about the calories, just eat it!  But wait a day or so, if you can.  While the dip is good right away, it's even better the next day. 

The first time I made this, I used Guinness.  Today, I used a pale ale.  Both are good, which just goes to show, whatever you have on hand is probably fine.  Also, this is one of those recipes that can be very easily adapted to suit personal taste.

1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 of 10z. pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1/4c beer
1 1/4c Cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8c green onions, chopped
1.  Mix everything together in a small bowl and
(after taste testing until it's just the way you like it)
cover and stick it in the fridge.
2.  Give it a few hours (overnight is good)
for the flavors to really blend before serving.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oven Roasted Guinness Corned Beef

This corned beef has made an appearance on our dinner table every St. Patrick's Day for the last several years.  It's ridiculously easy and everyone always raves.  Bonus:  The leftovers make for great sandwiches!

1 (2-3lbs.) corned beef brisket
1/2c light brown sugar
1 (12oz.) bottle Guinness beer

1.  Preheat oven to 300*

2.  Dry the brisket and place on a rack in a medium-size roasting pan.

3.  Pat brown sugar onto bottom, top, and sides of the brisket.

4.  Slowly pour beer over the top.  (If you go too fast, all the sugar will fall off)

5.  Cover and bake until an internal temperature of about 160* is reached.
(My brisket was 2 1/2lbs. and it took between 1 and 1 1/2hrs.)

6.  Allow to rest about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Served with colcannon and carrots.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

White Chocolate and Amaretto Frosting

I love the flavor of Amaretto but this was actually my first time combining it with white chocolate.  We had these cupcakes for dessert last night and will be having them again tonight. 

6oz. white baking chocolate
1/3c. Amaretto liqueur
1/2c. butter
1c. confectioner's sugar

1.  In a small saucepan, add white chocolate and Amaretto.  Cook over Low heat, stirring continuously, until chocolate is melted.

2.  Add butter and stir until melted.  I cut the butter into Tablespoons and added it that way to cut down on cooking time.

3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  I just put the whole thing in the refrigerator for about an hour.

4.  1/4c at a time, stir in the confectioner's sugar, adding more or less until your desired consistency is achieved. 

Yields enough to frost 12 regular-size cupcakes.
Served over Devil's Food cupcakes.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Red Wine Oven Roast

This roast, served with garlic mashed potatoes and the rest of the red wine, was a delicious dinner for a cold and rainy day.

1/4c olive oil
1 (2-3lb) beef round tip roast
black pepper
garlic powder
1 medium yellow onion
8 oz. pkg. baby carrots
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/8 tsp allspice
1c red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 1/2c beef broth
  1. Preheat oven to 325*
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.   Dredge the roast in the flour, shake off the excess, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste.
  3. Sear in the hot oil on all sides. Remove to roasting pan.
  4. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and allspice; cook till lightly browned. 
  5. Add the red wine and bring to a simmer before pouring in the beef broth. 
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 2 to 3 hours.      
7.  When the meat has finished cooking, remove to a cutting board, and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving. 


Fun Facts About Champagne

This is a sponsored entry but it's also the most interesting and fact-filled one I've ever posted here.  There's a litt;e bit of history, a little bit of trivia, and a few things that are just plain useful.  So, read on, you might learn something!

By the way, Champagne is not just for drinking.  I plan to experiment with a Champagne pasta dish as well as a cold Champagne soup soon!  Cheers!
wine.com infographic
Brought To You By Wine.com, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Red Wine Baked Olives

This is a simple and classic dish that is great as an appetizer by itself
or served alongside a cheese platter.
1c Kalamata olives, unpitted
1/2c red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/4 tsp. fennel seed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. olive oil.
1.  Preheat oven to 325*.
2.  In a small bowl, combine olives, wine, fennel seeds, garlic, and olive oil.
3.  Transfer mixture to a small baking dish.
4.  Bake uncovered approximately 20 minutes, until olives are heated through.
 Allow to cool for a few minutes as these are best served warm.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beef Marsala Pot Pie

I served this hearty pie for dinner with biscuits on the side.  If you really want to get fancy, you could make your own pie crust.  I totally cheated though and used the good store bought ones.

2 pie crusts, deep dish
4 TBSP olive oil
1c onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1c mushrooms, chopped
1c carrots, sliced
1/2c celery, cliced
1 large russet potato, diced
1 pound steak, cubed (I used top round - it was on sale)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1c Marsala wine
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg white

1.  Preheat oven to 350* 

2.   In a large skillet, onion, mushrooms,bay leaf, and oregano in olive oil until soft and fragrant.

3.  Stir in garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, and meat.  

4.  Cook and stir until meat starts to brown. 

5.  Add wine and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer about 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 

6.  Pour into prepared pie crust and top with parsley.

7.  Cover with remaining pie crust and crimp edges to form a seal.

8.  Brush with egg white.

9.  Bake approximately 45 minutes.  Check the pie periodically and, if it's looking a little crisp, just lightly cover with foil until finished baking. 
Don't cover it the whole time though because you want a pretty, golden crust.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baked Brie with Coffee Liqueur

Possibly one of the easiest appetizers I've ever made.  Served this on New Year's Eve with crackers and had no leftovers!

8 oz. Brie
1/2c brown sugar
1/2c coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)
1/2c pecans, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  Slice rind off top of cheese and put it back on top.

3.  Bake 15 min.
(Best to bake this in whatever you're going to serve it in because, if the cheese gets really melty, it could ooze out into the dish.  Not a bad thing, just something to to watch for).

4.  Meanwhile, add Kahlua and sugar to a small sauce pan. 
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
     Stir until nice and syrupy (about 10 min.).

5.  Add pecans and stir to coat.

6.  Take Brie out of the oven, remove top,
and pour the mixture over the top.

Serve immediately.  Cheers!
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