Wine, Lust, and Introductions

There are a couple of recipes that I am dying….DYING to try out, and it just so happens that many of them include wine! I don’t know that much about wine, aside from the fact that I like to drink it 🙂 but if you were to ask me what wine pairs well with what dish, I could tell you whites are better with white meats, and reds with red meats but beyond that, I have no idea.  I figured that one of the best ways to find out what wines pair well with dishes is to cook with them.  Besides – food, wine, friends?  I’m pretty sure that’s the trifecta of awesome.  Here are a few of those recipes featuring wine that I want to try out, or have already tried:

The first of these recipes is for french onion soup.  Gooey, cheesy, and sweet, what’s not to love?  Or so I’ve heard.  While I’ve been dying to make this soup for over a month now, I’ve never actually had french onion soup, but I’ve heard it’s good!

This recipe by Ina Garten sounds particularly delicious.  Plus, not only does it call for a good dry white wine (such as chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc), but also sherry and cognac too! (Not that I’m a lush or anything).  Because many recipes call for beef broth, red wine is often times used as well, such as in this recipe.

Another recipe I would really like to try is for coq au vin which is essentially chicken braised in red wine.  Again, I’ve never actually had this dish but it doesn’t it sound awesome?  Besides I think it would be a good recipe to work on techniques and test my mad culinary skills.

Last Sunday, Fiona, Katie and I made Pasta Bolognese with garlic bread.  Um… DELICIOUS!  Thank you William Sonoma cooking class!  The recipe is as follows:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 lb. ground beef

2 oz. pancetta, finely chopped

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste

1/2 C. dry white wine (we used Sauvignon Blanc)

1 can (14.5oz) whole tomatoes in juice –> since you have to break up the tomatoes, I imagine diced would be easier

3/4 C. low–sodium chicken broth

1-2 Tbs. heavy cream

1/8 tsp nutmeg

12 oz. pasta (we used fettucine)

1 Tbs.. minced fresh thyme – we couldn’t find fresh thyme so we omitted this ingredient

Grated parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large fry pan over medium heat, saute onion until tender and beginning to brown (~5 min).  Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef and pancetta.  Season with salt and pepper and saute breaking up beef until no longer pink.  Add the wine, and boil until almost evaporated (~3 min).  Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, cream, and nutmeg.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes and stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened (~30 min).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.  add the sauce and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese and thyme. Makes 4 servings.

Finally, the last two recipes I have made using wine are both deliciously creamy risotto dishes.  The first recipe was for a fontina risotto with chicken. If ever a foodgasm were had, it would be with this dish.  I know a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of risotto, but it’s not at all hard to make.  I highly recommend you try this recipe, I’m not kidding it will blow your mind!  I used Pinot Grigio for this recipe.

The second risotto recipe I tried was a lemon risotto.  If you’re a lemon lover, then this dish is for you!  Rather than using white wine, I used a dry vermouth.  I chose not to add the lemon segments to this dish (mainly because I didn’t know how to supreme a lemon), but the added lemon juice and zest made this dish quite lemony.  While the fontina risotto made a nice main dish, this lemon risotto makes a great side-dish (perhaps with fish).

As for the lust?  I (as well as Katie and Fiona) have absolutely been lusting over this:

Isn’t gorgeous?  A candy-apple red, kitchenaid mixer.  Yes Please!

As for introductions?  My name is Tope.  I’m in college.  I’m Fiona and Katie’s friend.  I’m trying to be all domestic or whatever.

Stay Hungry SLC,

Tope

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