Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple Pairings: Dinner Ideas with Red Wines

Photo: My job was SO hard today.  I had to taste the new LaCrosse, over and over again, so I could get it ready to release.  I hope tomorrow  isn't so rough!An additional note to our earlier post regarding pairing Fireside white wines with dinner menus: our recently released LaCrosse, made with Iowa-grown white grapes, would pair well with most of the suggested recipes from the June 10 blog. It is an off-dry white which pairs nicely with food and provides a refreshing respite from summer heat. 

CoCo and Cordovan are both dry red wines made from grapes that cannot grow in harsh Iowa winters. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used for CoCo, and red Zinfandel grapes are primary in our Cordovan.
CoCo enhances the flavor of any red meat, but we have a recipe for rib eye steak you may not have tried before. Choose sides of potato halves and green beans with mushrooms to round out your meal.

Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Pan Sauce  (CoCo)
(if grilling is not an option, use ½ cup of CoCo for the pan sauce.) 

Baked Potato Halves 
1 potato per guest, scrubbed and halved lengthwise  Butter                                                                        Seasoning salt
Dried or fresh parsley                                  Parmesan cheese, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees (can be higher or lower to accommodate other dishes in oven). Melt enough butter to cover bottom of appropriately-sized baking dish. Sprinkle desired amount of seasoning salt and dried parsley over butter.  
Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in buttered baking dish. Dot tops of potatoes with a little more butter. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes to 1 hour, depending on oven temperature, number of items in oven and rack location.

Remove when fork tender. Flip each potato over. Add cheese if desired. Just before serving, set oven to broil and brown the cut sides. Can serve with sour cream or ranch style dressing.

Green beans with mushrooms (or bacon or other favorite preparation) and the zucchini medley both make nutritious side dishes for the rib eye or the marinara dinner. The garlic bread loaf featured below is also a tasty accompaniment to either main course.

Marinara (Cordovan)
Use Cordovan for the red wine listed in this recipe.

Zucchini Medley

Zucchini            Fresh tomatoes             Mushrooms               Minced Garlic

Choose at least 2 other fresh vegetables to blend with the zucchini (carrots, green beans, onions, yellow squash, kale, spinach etc)

Sauté most dense vegetables and garlic first in small amount of olive oil. When they approach tender crisp, add at least 1 tomato with its juice. Add more tomatoes, mushrooms and squash last - unless you are using kale or spinach, both of which should be last - and cook until they have reached desired tenderness. Freshly grated parmesan can be sprinkled on top.

Garlic Loaf
1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
Butter                                                              Minced garlic
Italian seasoning (optional)                             Cheese, if desired

Place loaf halves side-by-side on a cookie sheet. Butter them. Spread or sprinkle minced garlic over them. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (optional). 

Put in oven to warm. Remove to add cheese if using it (parmesan, mozzarella, Italian blend, rounds of provolone). Cut into slices or chunks to serve.

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