When I first started thinking about a dessert for red wine week, I was going to do something with chocolate. But then I thought that I’d try a red wine glaze on a simple pound cake, and it turned out great. I used Zinfandel (a red, not the blush stuff) because it has a lot of berry and jam flavors. The pound cake recipe is one from Southern Living that I use (the only change is that I added more vanilla). The glaze recipe is my own. Enjoy!
POUND CAKE WITH ZINFANDEL GLAZE
1 1/3 cups butter (1 stick plus 5 1/3 tablespoons), softened
2 ½ cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup buttermilk (see Note)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup butter (4 tablespoons)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
Zest of 1 lemon or of half of an orange
2 tablespoons Zinfandel
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; grease and flour a Bundt pan. Beat the butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour to the mixture alternately with the buttermilk, making sure you begin and end with the flour. Beat at low speed until just blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the batter (it will be thick) into the Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.
Make the glaze by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the melted butter into the powdered sugar in a medium-size bowl, add the milk, zest, and wine and whisk until combined. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute. Simply add a dash of white vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and let sit for a few minutes before using.
The picture for this recipe just shows one of the many uses for this compound butter…it’s fantastic on crusty French bread. You could also use it on roasted vegetables, a baked potato, or on grilled steak or chicken. It’s easy to make, super flavorful, and very versatile. Make some this weekend!
RED WINE COMPOUND BUTTER
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Put the butter on a piece of parchment paper, and shape into a log, wrap in the paper, and store in the refrigerator.
I had a few ideas for this one. The first was a cheesecake with a fruity wine glaze... that would have been delicious! But then I thought of truffles and ran both ideas past my husband who said, "Just do whichever one is cheaper." So that clinched it: truffles it is! (Plus, he loves chocolate with orange!) I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I only spent money on the chocolate! Talk about cheap! In total, assuming you already have eggs and butter, I'd say this would cost you about $6, plus the cost of the wine. I used a wine called "Chocolate Shop - The Chocolate Lover's Wine", but if you choose not to use a chocolate wine, I would suggest a sweet fruity wine like Ernest & Julio Gallo's "Cafe Zinfandel" or a Beaujolais. Maybe even a Syrah...
Regardless, this one is definitely on my "repeat" list!
CHOCOLATE WINE & ORANGE TRUFFLES
18 oz semisweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 bags) OR baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate wine, or sweet fruity wine
1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 egg yolks
1-2 tsp freshly-grated orange peel
Melt chocolate over very low heat. Stir in wine and cream.
Beat egg yolks, then stir a small amount of chocolate mixture into eggs, then slowly add the eggs to the chocolate mixture. Mixture will thicken. Add butter and orange peel. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Spoon out onto wax paper and coat with ground nuts or powdered sugar. You could also do a mixture of coffee, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Put them all in a coffee grinder and pulse a few times to blend well.
I'm a bit schizophrenic when it comes to wine. I've been heard saying I don't like Merlot because it's too dry, and yet, I absolutely love my favorite Sangiovese (also a dry wine). Sangiovese usually has an oaken, fruity taste but with a deep, dark something to it. I love it with a good steak!
As for this appetizer, I thought I'd reduce the wine and add a bit to a cheesy bruschetta spread. Turned out great, especially with a little bite of prosciutto!
CREAMY SUN-DRIED TOMATO & SANGIOVESE BRUSCHETTA
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
1 cup dry red wine (I used a sangiovese)
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1-2 tbsp Mrs. Dash's Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning
prosciutto, if desired
Bread for bruschetta, sliced on the diagonal and drizzled with olive oil
Begin with pouring the wine into a shallow pan and heat on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced to about 1/4 cup. In a saucepan, heat over medium heat the cream cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes and seasoning. Add 2-4 tablespoons of the wine reduction and stir in.
Bake bread slices at 350 for about ten minutes, until crisply toasted. Spoon spread over toast and top with prosciutto, if desired.
This idea literally came to me last night right before I went grocery shopping. I could not think of what main dish to make for red wine week, and then, I suddenly thought about lamb chops. Even though I’ve eaten lamb chops, I’ve never made them before. I was really pleased with how these turned out. I was cooking for just two last night, so I wrote the recipe accordingly. If you’re feeding more people, simply increase the number of chops and the herbs to season them. I had a ton of sauce left over, so you probably wouldn’t need to double that.
PAN-SEARED LAMB CHOPS WITH RED WINE MUSHROOM REDUCTION
3 lamb loin chops
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ onion, thinly sliced
10 oz package (about 1 ½ cups) sliced baby portabella mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup beef broth
¼ cup dry red wine
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Press the fresh herbs onto both sides of the lamb chops and season with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, cook the lamb chops for 6-8 minutes per side (depending on their thickness and the level of doneness that you want). When the chops are done, remove them from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the pan (add more olive oil if necessary), and cook, without stirring or seasoning for 4-5 minutes, so they can develop a nice golden color. Add the onions and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the beef broth and wine, and salt and pepper to taste; bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer 5 minutes. Serve the sauce over the chops.
This one took very little forethought for me, since I put wine in every pasta sauce I make. Pizza sauce IS pasta sauce, in my opinion, so I made this one pretty simple, since it was going to be one of many ingredients in this dish. If you LAYER flavors, that's when the whole thing tastes incredible as it rolls around in your mouth. Since this is a pizza, you can do any theme you want, but Italian and Greek work best. I also chose to do a gluten-free crust, because I'm trying to eat less wheat. I bought a bag of Pamela's Products Bread Mix and Flour Blend and followed their directions for their pizza crust, minus using the high-powered blender. I used my high-powered hands. Worked just fine.
GREEK PIZZA WITH ROSEMARY & RED WINE SAUCE
Pamela's Products pizza crust, prepared
add 1 clove garlic, minced
10 Kalamata olives, minced
2 6-oz cans tomato paste
1 cup red wine (I used a syrah, zinfandel, barbera blend)
1 cup water
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
salt to taste
Red, orange and yellow bell pepper, half of each - roasted and cut in strips
2 breasts of chicken, prepared and cut in bite-size pieces
Greek seasoning (I used Spice of Life's Greek Blend)
4-6 oz Feta cheese
3-4 cups mozzarella cheese
Prepare crust according to directions, add garlic and olives and bake. In a shallow pan, reconstitute tomato paste with wine and rosemary, and add water and salt as desired. Simmer about 30 minutes to allow rosemary to permeate sauce and wine to lose a bit of it's yeasty smell. Spread over crust.
To roast peppers: slather with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15-20 mins. Remove skins and cut into strips.
To save using lots of pans, I poured off the sauce into a bowl. I put the chicken into the previously used pan and added a bit of water with the bit of leftover sauce. Sprinkle generously with Greek seasoning. After cooked, slice into bite-size pieces and sprinkle over sauce that has been spread over crust. Sprinkle pepper slices and cheeses, and bake another 10-15 minutes to melt cheeses.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg