Category Archives: Recipes

Columnist reveals personal recipe for tasty libation!

For those of you who went out and bought the Nouveau Beaujolais 2015 – after my pre-Thanksgiving column — it is the best in about five years with a great aroma and a ton of fruit.

The only big box store that had this wine was Harris Teeter and they sold about 600 bottles thru last week. The price for 750 ml was $10.99, which was in line with last year, but was a little higher than I had hoped for in light of the strength of the U.S. dollar.

There were still a few cases left last week in case you missed it. However, I would call before driving to the store.

My last column was all about the pairing of food and wine for Thanksgiving.

This time of year, with so many people visiting friends and neighbors, I thought it might be interesting to stray from the usual and offer a seasonal drink with a long history. This drink, with innumerable variations, was very popular in Colonial America and is still popular today all over Europe. It is well suited to the colder weather, which we are now “enjoying.” It is not meant to be fancy and is served with various types of cookies, such as sugar or gingersnaps. Pick your favorite cookie and sit back and relax.

The drink is Mulled Wine, also known as Gluhwein or Glogg, depending on what country you happen to be in. Mulled Wine is very popular in England during the Christmas season and often a host is judged on the quality of his Mulled Wine.

Although made predominately with red wine, there are non-alcoholic versions made with sweet (not hard) cider. Though often made with Cabernet Sauvignon or Port, Mulled Wine can be made with other wine varietals such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel or Syrah (which adds a spicier note!)

The basic recipe is much the same no matter what country you are in, with just a few minor changes in the spices. This recipe makes 10 servings and may be doubled.

MULLED WINE

PAGE-B-10-WP-Adrift-imageTwo 750 ml bottles of red wine. Choose something relatively inexpensive such as Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, which is widely available for about $9 per bottle.

1-orange peeled and then juiced

2-large strips of lemon peel, say 1 by 3 inches

1-cinnamon stick

12- whole cloves

1 pinch of nutmeg (go easy) a little goes a long way.

1-cup of granulated sugar — more if you really like sweets

Take one cup of wine and put it in a saucepan. Add all the other ingredients and place on medium heat until hot but not boiling. Take off heat and let flavors infuse for about 30 minutes. Pour this mixture into a slow cooker, add the rest of the wine, and put it on the low setting.

Add some orange and lemon peel for garnish and you are done.Serve directly from the slow cooker. This is so popular I would make a double batch!

For the Glogg version, add 1 cup of good vodka or Aquavit. For non-alcoholic drinks, substitute apple cider for the wine and cut the sugar in half.

I will be writing with more regularity over the coming year! As there are now thousands more copies per week of the County Compass being distributed, I intend to write about the origins of wine, different wine varietals and various producing countries, and in our case about the up and coming North Carolina wineries. This should take the first half of the year or more.

I really want to have more interaction with my readers this year; so, please send in your questions as the basic reason for this column is to make the wine drinking experience more enjoyable. The more you know about wine the easier it is to order in a restaurant and to purchase for home consumption.

In addition, the County Compass editor and and I have been discussing how we might bring more attention to restaurants in the four counties around here: Pamlico, Carteret, Craven and Beaufort. More on this later.

As usual, I welcome thoughts, suggestions and questions. I can be reached via e-mail as follows Justin@compassnews360.com Happy New Year to all.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor

This is a soup that I have made for many years. If you are like me and enjoy soup all year around, I hope that you find it as tasty as I do.

I save the bone and some meat from cooked pork butt or a bone in city ham. I generally freeze them until needed. If you are BBQing country style ribs make 3-4 extra with no sauce and use those.

I usually prepare this with beans that I have soaked overnight but if this is a spur of the moment meal use canned beans, store bought low sodium stock and grated cheese not the stuff in the green container.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

This is a soup that I have made for many years. If you are like me and enjoy soup all year around, I hope that you find it as tasty as I do. I save the bone and some meat from cooked pork butt or a bone in city ham. I generally freeze them until needed. If you are BBQing country style ribs make 3-4 extra with no sauce and use those. I usually prepare this with beans that I have soaked overnight but if this is a spur of the moment meal use canned beans, store bought low sodium stock and grated cheese not the stuff in the green container

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts Chicken stock (use low sodium if you don’t have home made)
  • Meat (from above)
  • 1 head Garlic (remove skin and finely chop all of the cloves or 3 tablespoons of minced garlic from a jar)
  • 1 Large Onion (sliced in half and then thinly sliced or 2 medium onions sliced the same way)
  • 10 Peppercorns whole
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 1/2oz Liquid hickory smoke (or to taste)
  • 2 cans Cannellini beans (white kidney) (drained or 1 pound of Cannellini beans soaked overnight and then cooked per directions on dried bean package)
  • 1 packet Baby spinach leaves (5 oz. or so)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large 10 quart or so pot, place the chicken stock, meat, peppercorns, bay leaves, onions, hickory smoke and garlic bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the meat let cool; take the pot off the heat. Skim fat and any froth from the top. When meat is cool dice it and return to the pot; throw away the bone.

Place the pot back on the stove on low to medium heat. Add diced meat and spinach. It will look like a lot but the spinach cooks down fast. When spinach is totally wilted add the drained canned or cooked beans, the cheese and serve. Garlic bread goes well with this as will a valpollicella wine, a Syrah or any other fruity red wine.

Delicious Beef Stew

Delicious Beef Stew

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients

  • 3lb chuck (cut into one inch or so cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Medium onions (chopped coarsely)
  • 3 Medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low sodium broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 Medium potatoes (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 4 Large carrots (cut into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 14-15 oz can oz stewed tomatoes
  • 8oz quartered mushrooms (cooked separately and put in the pot in the last 10 minutes with the peas)

Directions

Take flour and combine with salt and pepper. Dredge beef cubes and shake off excess. Heat 2 tbs. oil over medium /high heat in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Brown cubes on all side and place on a dish. Do in two batches. Take onions and sauté until soft 5 minutes or so add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and scrape up any brown bits stuck to pan; bring to a simmer; add meat and bring to simmer again. Place cover on pot and put it in a 250 degree preheated oven for one hour. Add potatoes and carrots and cook for 1.5-2 hours until meat tender. Add stewed tomatoes and peas cook for 10 minutes in oven. Remove bay leaves; adjust seasonings; serve and enjoy with a glass of the same Merlot you cooked with. If you wish, substitute a bottle of Guinness Stout for the wine. Then the dish is called a Carbonade.

Ragu Bolognese

Keeping with the Emilia Romagna spirit, the following is a classical Ragu from Bologna or Ragu Bolognese. This should be served with a semi sparkling Lambrusco which is served ice cold and with no elaborate ceremony. Think family or close friend and cheap wine glasses. This wine is usually around 11% and can cut through the intense flavors of this dish. The Ragu can be paired with Linguine, Fettuccini or egg noodles.

Ragu Bolognese

Serves 4 - 6
By author Justin Manjorin
Keeping with the Emilia Romagna spirit, the following is a classical Ragu from Bologna or Ragu Bolognese. This should be served with a semi sparkling Lambrusco which is served ice cold and with no elaborate ceremony. Think family or close friend and cheap wine glasses. This wine is usually around 11% and can cut through the intense flavors of this dish. The Ragu can be paired with Linguine, Fettuccini or egg noodles.

Ingredients

  • 1lb Pasta uncooked Fettuccini, Egg Noodles or Linguine
  • Kosher salt and Black pepper
  • Grated parmesan for sprinkling
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken or beef stock (divided)
  • .5 cup dry red wine
  • 3oz thinly sliced pancetta (finely chopped)
  • 6oz ground beef (85% lean) and ground veal
  • 2 carrots (peeled and finely chopped about .75 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks (finely chopped about 1 cup)
  • 2 Medium onions (finely chopped about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Take a large heavy pot over medium to high heat add oil. Add onions, carrots, celery and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the meats- veal, beef and pancetta cook about 15 minutes while breaking up the meat with the back of a large spoon. The meat should be browned. add wine and boil for 1 minute. stir often and loosen brown bits. add 2.5 cups of the stock and stir to blend. reduce heat to very low and simmer for about1.5 hours. add salt/pepper to taste. taste the Ragu and adjust seasoning (if needed) and taste again.
Bring milk to simmer; gradually add to Ragu. cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer stirring occasionally until milk is incorporated. about 45 minutes. add more stock .25 cupful at a time if needed.
Bring large pot of salted (2 tsp) water (at least 4 quarts) to a boil. add pasta cook until 1 minute before al dente.
Save .5 cup of pasta water. Take ragu and place in a large skillet over medium high heat. add pasta and stir to coat.
Add pasta water if ragu seems dry; divide amongst plate sprinkle Parmesan to taste.

CHICKEN MARSALA

This is an elegant dish when presented at a restaurant. They just don’t tell you that it is very easy to make. Plus, you can get the whole thing done in less than 45 minutes. This meal goes with rice, pasta, noodles or mashed potatoes. All of these can be made at the same time you are working on the main dish.

THIS RECIPE FEEDS 4 AND CAN BE DOUBLED

Chicken Marsala

Serves 4
By author Justin Manjorin

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced horizontally in half and pounded to 1/4 inch thickness)
  • flour (seasoned with salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper same amount for dredging)
  • 3/4lb mushrooms (thinly sliced or you can buy pre sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons canola or olive oil (for frying you may need a little more)
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Note

This dish can be served with mashed potatoes and carrots or pasta or rice. A fruity simple red wine can be served with this such as a Beaujolais, Valpolicella or a Merlot would be fine.

Directions

After the chicken breasts are pounded to 1/4 inch thickness, dredge them in seasoned flour-salt and pepper to taste. Shake off the excess. heat half the oil in a non stick skillet and slid the cutlets into the pan. cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden. make sure the heat isn't too high as the cutlets will burn before cooking thru.
Place the4 cutlets on a platter to keep warm. Add the remainder of the oil and add the mushrooms and cook until they are brown. about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala to the pan and bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol. this should take less than 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and reduce the volume of the liquids to thicken the sauce. 2 minutes should do. Add the butter and stir until melted about a minute.
Put the chicken back in the pan and simmer for about 1 minute. Garnish with the chopped parsley.