Tag Archives: wine

Coq au Vin with Gourmet Mushroom Risotto


jillpickle: After watching an episode on PBS of Martha Stewart making stews, I knew I had to try one.  I tried this recipe – Coq au Vin. It turned out very well!  A good ‘comfort’ meal!  I also made  Gourmet Mushroom Risotto to serve under or with the stew as recommended by Martha.  It was a great choice!



Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala 1 (Large) cropped2

Katie:  This was a great weeknight meal!  Ken happened to have couscous and asparagus, and I brought over a few extra ingredients to make this delicious Chicken Marsala recipe from Cooking Light, with a side of steamed asparagus.  The combination of mushroom-garlic couscous, topped with tender chicken breast, mushrooms, peas, and a savory marsala sauce was perfect!  We had to cook the chicken longer than called for, since a frying pan wasn’t quite as effective at flattening chicken as a rolling pin, but otherwise we didn’t make any major changes.  It was a nice meal to enjoy on a busy Monday!

Chicken Marsala 2 (Large)correct

Irish Beef Stew

Matthew:  Even though the weather has been unusually warm, I’ve been busy making lots of winter foods, especially stews.  I love making stews because everything goes in one pot and once you get them simmering, you are practically done.  I found this recipe for Irish beef stew and the result was very good.  It uses Guinness and red wine, making it extra flavorful.  I found some nice grass-fed organic beef and beef stock concentrate at the co-op to use in the stew.  The end result was delicious and I could have eaten it every day for weeks.  I’ll have to make some more soon!

A Tale of Two Desserts

Katie:  I was in the mood to bake this week, and I ended up making two very different desserts:  Sweet Potato Cookies and Red Wine Chocolate Cake!

While making roasted sweet potatoes for dinner, I ended up having an extra sweet potato which I decided to bake.  This recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies from Skinnytaste looked really good, so I pureed the sweet potato and substituted it for the canned pumpkin in the recipe.  I also toasted the oats in a pan to enhance their flavor and added chocolate chips.  These cookies turned out well and were a yummy, yet fairly healthy, treat!

For my second dessert, I turned to something much more decadent.  When I saw this recipe for Red Wine Chocolate Cake from Smitten Kitchen, I was definitely smitten.  I was intrigued to see what chocolate cake with 3/4 cup red wine would taste like.  I prepared the recipe as written, but didn’t make the whipped mascarpone topping, since I didn’t have those ingredients.  I ended up baking it for 30 minutes, just until it was set.  I almost had a cake disaster trying to flip it over, but I was able to hide most of its scars with some powdered sugar.  This cake tasted great!  It was rich and moist.  The wine was subtly noticeable and complimented the chocolatey flavor well.

Vegetable Lentil Stew

Matthew:  I wanted to make something healthy for dinner, so I went to the Willy Street Coop and just started getting good things that I thought might go together.  My grocery list included 3 beets, 2 parsnips, an onion, a can of roasted tomato sauce, and French green lentils.  At home I also had some vegetable stock, some red wine, and some herbs and seasonings (fennel, basil, oregano, salt, pepper).  The result was strikingly scarlet and really delicious!  I simmered the ingredients for about an hour, so the beets could cook and everything could meld together.  This is the first time I’ve used French green lentils and they turned out to be really good.  They are a bit more refined than those other lentils.  I liked this dish so much that I ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday.  I will definitely be making something like this again.

Cheese Fondue

Matthew:  I was having a party with some work friends and I decided that I should try making cheese fondue since I hadn’t ever made it before.  The photo above shows the cheese that was used along with the other food and beverages for the evening.  I only ended up using the Emmenteler and Gruyère, since that was enough, and saved the Jarlsberg for later.





I used the simplest fondue recipe which called for:

1/2 garlic clove

1 pound Gruyère

8 ounces Emmentaler

1 1/2 cups dry white wine (I used an Italian chardonnay)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons kirsch (I didn’t add this)



You just rub the garlic clove in the saucepan (and to the fondue pot), then add all the ingredients to the saucepan and stir in a figure 8 motion over medium heat.  Then I just transferred it to the fondue pot and it was ready.  To dip in the fondue, we used chunks of bread, summer sausage, pretzel crackers, tiny pickles, and broccoli.  I thought it was really good and I think my friends did too.  It was definitely worth splurging on the fancy cheese.  Later in the evening, we enjoyed the salted caramel cocoa with some Baileys and the Toblerone chocolates while playing a couple intense rounds of Skip-Bo!