How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Cooking with Wine

This post is a two-fer. This week I found two recipes from two different recipe books that called for wine, and prepared them over two days. One was from a cookbook called Cooking Seafood and Poultry with Wine, so I was certainly not surprised by the use of the ingredient. 

The recipe actually calls for Vermouth. I knew we had a bottle of such at our beach house, and since that is where we generally prepare any kind of seafood, this recipe for Salmon Steaks seemed like a good one to try. We bought a pound of fresh, wild-caught salmon from our favorite fish-monger Kyler's Catch in New Bedford, Massachusetts  and assembled the rest of the ingredients. Then I read the instructions, which said to marinade for four hours. It was already six o'clock p.m. and we were not going to wait until after ten to eat, so I made an adjustment and put all the ingredients into a pan making the following variations - I used scallions instead of chives, and also added lime juice, and a few red pepper flakes. Once the liquid was simmering I added the salmon, turned down the heat and covered the pan for about 12 minutes (turning once about half-way through). The fish was perfectly cooked, and the flavors were all evident. I've learned a lot about cooking since I started this blog. The most important thing I've learned is that just about any recipe can be adapted to just about any situation.

The other wine recipe came from an old favorite cookbook - The Well-Filled Tortilla. This may very well be my favorite cookbook. We prepare many of our favorite recipes from it, and still find new ones to try even after two decades of use. I don't know how we never noticed the "Good and Plenty Wine-Simmered Vegetables" before. This was easy, and relatively quick and made for perhaps the best veggie wrap I've ever had. The recipe calls for a dry white wine, so I used a Sauvignon Blanc. I used about 1/2 cup to start and added 2 chopped potatoes, a small chopped yellow squash, one chopped tomato, one sliced jalapeno, and a half of a chopped onion. The recipe also called for frozen lima beans, in lieu of which I put in a small amount of mystery beans from a CSA that I found in the freezer labeled simply "Beans 8/14" in my own handwriting. They were fine and I was glad to finally use them. I also added a bit of dry oregano and some garlic salt. Once everything was in the pan, I splashed a bit more wine in and simmered for about 20 minutes. When the potatoes were soft I declared it done and warmed two tortillas on the stove top. We filled the tortillas with the vegetables and added some fresh cilantro and sour cream. Quite delicious and easily made vegan by skipping the sour cream.

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