Cooking with White Wine

Someone asked me once whether I was a “white wine person” or a “red wine person.” Tough question? For me, not really. I’ve always identified as a red wine girl. Typically in the warmer months I’ll gravitate towards crisp whites and rosés, but my favorite wines have always been red. You’d never have guessed that, though, if you’d have been at my house last month when I hosted a Mom’s Night In.

I had invited a small group of friends to my home while the boys were away camping for the weekend. I made fondue, a charcuterie board, and later we watched a movie while munching popcorn and candy. As my friends arrived one at a time, they presented me with bottles of wine (the perfect hostess gift!)… all of them were white. Good thing was that my friends know I like wine. But I suppose they didn’t know my “red wine girl” status. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, even a humongous bottle of Pinot Grigio were gifted. I was very grateful for their generosity. It being October, I was definitely in red wine mode with the weather cooling down and my menus changing to warmer, more savory dishes. I wondered just how long it would take me to get through all that white wine. Now, I’m all about draining wine the old fashioned way – by drinking it – but I’m also a fan of cooking with it. Needless to say, I’ve been cooking up some great comfort meals with a lot of white wine lately, and I still have plenty left! Here are some of my favorite white wine recipes:

Classic Fondue

If you like cheese, there are few things better than fondue. Classic Swiss fondue is made with just a handful of ingredients, including a large amount of dry white wine. Garlic, kirsch liqueur, Swiss and Emmenthaler cheese round out the small list of ingredients. Once everything is melted together, you dip in chunks of bread, apples, potatoes, salami, etc. Luscious, silky and, well, cheese. Copious amounts of cheese. Click here for the recipe I used.

Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve been using the same recipe for chicken pot pie for years. It comes from Williams-Sonoma and is uncomplicated yet delicious. I’ve made it using white wine and also without (on the occasions I’ve been without it). The wine makes all the difference. It really gives this dish a sophisticated flavor. Whatever recipe you use, be sure to use 1Ž2 cup of white wine when making the sauce.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Again, in this recipe you could substitute the wine with chicken stock (which I’ve done), but it really isn’t the same. This is the classic, Roman version of this recipe (don’t dare use heavy cream). You just need a small amount of ingredients, but be sure to get the best kind of each. This may become a staple in your home the way it is in mine. See the recipe below.

Mushroom Risotto

Eating hot risotto in the middle of winter is like giving your soul a giant hug. If done right, it is creamy, cheesy and satisfying. Wrap yourself in a blanket and turn on a great movie or your favorite show while you devour your favorite risotto. I’ve found that most recipes call for white wine. This recipe is my favorite.

So, who’s ready for winter now? If you’re like me, you’ll be stocking up on plenty of red wine, but if this article gives you any inspiration at all, pick up some bottles of white, too. Happy cooking!

–Erica Martinez

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

Derived from Williams-Sonoma

Crack 2 room temperature eggs into a large serving bowl and add 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese. Whisk until blended and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt. When it comes to a boil, cook 1 lb. spaghetti until it is tender but still has “bite” (al dente). While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/4 lb. of cubed pancetta (unsmoked Italian bacon) to skillet and fry until the pancetta is starting to crisp. Add 2 cloves of very thinly sliced garlic. Fry for about 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the bowl with eggs and cheese (you can save a little pasta water for moistening, if desired). Stir and combine the egg/cheese mixture with the pasta. The heat of the pasta will essentially cook the eggs. Add the pancetta/wine/oil to the pasta and stir to combine. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper. I also add about a cup of cooked peas or a small handful of chopped parsley for beautiful color.

 


Posted by , December 5, 2016 No comments

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