It’s that time of the month when the talented group of bloggers, cooks and chefs mash-up and create a dish based on a theme picked by Natasha and Lazaro for the 5 Star Makeover.
This month’s theme: wine. How perfect, considering I recently sipped on roughly 25 wines at an annual wine event, conveniently 5 minutes from my place. 7 hours of tastings wines ranging from South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Mexico and Napa will convert anyone into a lover. At minimum, it will overwhelm you as you try to discern the difference between this red and that red. At most, it’ll pique your interest and you’ll leave wanting to learn more!
Ironically for me, wine was not a drink that was kept or offered to our guest in our home as a child. The only time I saw any variety of vinos, was when Mami would pull out an enormous bottle for cooking most of our beef dinners. Those dinners were never coupled with a nice glass to accompany our robust meal.
As I got older, I still hadn’t realized that wine was a missing element to our entertaining. And we did a lot of it.
It wasn’t until My mom turned 50 that my parents, in earnest started toying with the idea of getting to know different wines to drink every now and then. Plus, friends would always gift us a bottle if there was a fiesta en la casa. Ultimately, there was no escaping great wines, both for cooking and sipping.
Now, my parent’s and my own collection of wine has exceeded any reasonable stash a family and single person would need. Admittedly, my home bar looks like it was designed and stocked by a sommelier. I’m not a lush, but I could put it down over here! My friends oft-time tease that I’m clearly not an alcoholic. See, the bar as full as it is, is just that— full. I have 4-7 year old bottles have I forget are even there.
One could make a fair argument for depleting my stash in a single weekend, but I defend it by duly noting that I travel entirely too much to ever really settle long enough to host a sexy wine tasting.
That being said, I probably use more wine to cook with than actually drink. Given that I’m not the biggest red fan, it’s easy to use it in just about anything I prepare. Maybe a culinary faux pas or even sacrilegious, but I love the thought of knowing that a good bottle gave my dish a refined taste. And, I prefer white, anyway.
So, my initial thoughts for using wine for this month’s challenge, I thought of ice cream! Yes, helado! Crazy notion considering fall has officially arrived. But, we’re still having 85F + plus weather and a wine ice cream makes perfect to enjoy as a transitional dessert. I started making it and then thought that I’d reserve it for another post–one were I could really get you excited about making ice cream at home….
I’m thinking most have our minds and palate set on fall flavors. I finished the ice cream and froze it. This just last night! Not feeling inspired to write about it after all was said and done, I remembered having made a super simple wine reduction with rosemary–the very herb I used in the ice cream!
Talk about synchronicity!
I made this just one year ago and it’s been one of the top 5 visited posts on my blog! Yes, a simple wine reduction sauce has been the subject of many emails asking for an alternate wine or a nice word saying they loved it and that the recipe would be added to their repertoire. Based on some honest feedback, I’ve since made it a few times and tweaked it…. it’s now perfect!
Red wine. Mushrooms. Rosemary = Fall perfection!
Think of the many things you could pair this with. The options are endless. So many wines you can experiment with to yield different aromas and flavors. The perfect excuse to treat yourself to a sexy evening at home doing your tasting. Go ahead, it’s okay to be selfish in this case!
If you’ve never made wine reduction, this one is inviting and easy enough to make all fall. and spring. and summer.
Read the original post here to really understand how this deliciousness came about. It was a perfect evening at my parents’ house.
RED WINE REDUCTION SAUCE WITH MUSHROOMS & ROSEMARY
*this recipe has some minor tweaks from my original one. Better, I'd say!
- 16 oz. portobello mushrooms, sliced (crimini is a great alternative)
- 3 cups of good red wine (a Rioja and Malbec have proven to be amazing!)
- 2 cap fulls red wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt, parted
- black pepper to taste
Wash and pat dry mushroom. In non-stick 10″ skillet, heat olive oil and add mushrooms and bay leaf. Add pinch of salt to mushrooms and cook them on medium heat. Cook mushrooms, stirring slowly for 5 minutes or until semi-cooked. In separate sauce pan, add wine, remaining salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly. Stir in mushrooms. Whisk in sugar and red wine vinegar. Add rosemary sprigs. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes until sauce has reduced to 2 cups or wine has thickened up to semi-thick sauce. Remove from heat.
To serve, pour over steaks or make liquid bed on individual plate and place steak on top.