After my poor Huskies were defeated last night, I set in to my fun task of the evening. I had some friends over and we made a dinner designed just for Washington Merlot. The Fidelitas 2007 Champoux Vineyard Merlot I was tasting is a great example of a complex, rich Merlot. Tons of earthiness, herbal tones and bright fruit make it an excellent pairing for a dish with the same qualities. I decided to make a Red Wine, Mushroom Risotto to highlight that earthiness and added a ton of fresh herbs to compliment those notes in the wine as well. The match was phenomenal! We were all floored. On the side were Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts, a rich vegetable dish, powerful enough to stand up to the wine, and a simple green salad with pears and toasted hazelnuts to cleanse our palates.
All of these recipes were fairly simple, and worth the stirring time over the stove. Enjoy!
Red Wine, Mushroom Risotto
adapted from AllRecipes
serves 4 as a vegetarian main course
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
4 tbs butter
1 ½ lbs cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and quartered
¾ c chopped onion
1 tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh sage, finely chopped
1 ½ c Arborio rice
1 c dry red wine
4 cups vegetable broth, brought to a simmer
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for serving.
1 c grated parmesan, plus more for serving
Place dried porcinis in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain porcinis, reserving the soaking liquid, and roughly chop.
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add cremini mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and herbs, cooking until herbs are fragrant and onion is softened. Stir in rice and cook for about 1 minute. Add red wine and cook, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed. Add porcinis and soaking liquid and stir until absorbed.
Begin to add simmering broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly. Be sure that each cup of liquid is absorbed completely before adding the next. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.
Stir in parsley and parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with additional parmesan and parsley.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
serves 4 as a side
½ c fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus ½ tbs
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 lb small brussels sprouts, trimmed but left whole
2 tbs minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c balsamic vinegar
1 ½ vegetable broth
2 tbs chopped parsley
Heat ½ tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and thyme. Toast bread crumbs until lightly golden and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Allow butter to foam slightly, then add whole brussels sprouts. Sauté, tossing frequently, until browned and slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 2 minutes.
Increase heat to high, then add the broth and balsamic vinegar. If you have an overhead fan, now is a nice time to use it. Cook the brussels sprouts, tossing frequently, until they are glazed and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and stir in parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with toasted bread crumbs.
Slightly large pieces of shaved parmesan but oh so good.