Posts tagged wine
Martha Washington's Great Cake - American Cake -
Slices all lined up. 
I had to backtrack in the book to make this one. For lots of reasons I had to skip forward, but here it is.

This cake reminds me of fruit cake but a 100 percent better than what would show up at Christmas time as a kid. It should taste better, it's full of wine soaked currants, lots of spices and baked slowly. There are no nuts or citrus. It's flavors are direct and good.

On a scale of 1 is never again and 10 is I can't wait to make this for the people I love. This falls right around 7. The most notable thing about this cake is that it takes hours. Soaking the currants then baking it low takes a long time.

3 cups currants
.75 cup white wine
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cup flour
.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and mace
3 ounces of reserved wine from the soak

Soak the currants in the wine for at least an hour. Pour off the wine and reserve it.
Prepare a 10x5x3 inch bread pan. Spray it with oil spray then line the pan with parchment and spray it again.
Preheat oven 275 degrees.
Cream the sugar and the butter together. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix the salt and spices into the flour. Add one third of the flour to the eggs and butter. Mix, add half the reserved wine. Add the second third of the flour then the second half of the wine. End with the flour. Mix thoroughly. Fold in the currents. Pour into a prepared 10x5x3 bread pan.
Bake for 2+ hours or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

As a side note It looks like I'm not going to make the Hickory Nut cake. The nuts are EXPENSIVE and hard to find. They are $28 a pound on the internet and I genuinely don't want to spend that. And sure, I don't need a whole pound, but I'd have to buy a whole pound and it's just not worth it to me. Sorry Anne Byrn.
Mussels with Fennel and Cream - Cooking Club
Mussels, Rosemary Flatbread, Zucchini Salad

I've gain entry into a cooking club.

Doesn't that sound exclusive? Really, I put a request out on the facebook neighborhood page to start a club and some like minded people showed interest. We had our first to do and it was a smashing success.

Our main dish was Mussels with Fennel and it was creamy and oh so good. We as a nation should do fennel so much more. We made a quick Rosemary Flat Bread, because we are doing this after work and making a yeast bread seemed to be too time consuming. Plus we made a zucchini salad. Of the three the mussels were the hit.

Frankly it all could have tasted like soap and I'd still be saying it was fantastic because the company was delightful and the conversation non-stop. I will happily spend more time with this group. So yeah!

Mussels with Fennel

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
0.50 teaspoon salt
1 bulb of fennel, about a cup and half
2 cups white wine
3 pounds mussels
1.5 cup heavy cream

Clean the mussels. Discard any broken or dead, opened mussels. Knock them together just in case they are sleeping with their shells open. Remove the beard. In a large bowl soak the mussels in water to which a couple tablespoons of water has been added. Change the water a few times.

In a skillet which has a tight fitting lid, saute the shallots and garlic. When it they are fragrant and soft add the fennel seeds. Let cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bulb and salt and cook 15 minutes letting the fennel get a little color. Add the white wine and and reduce down by half or more. You can off the heat and wait until everything else is ready to serve at this point. The mussels go quickly now.

With medium-high heat add the mussels and cover with the lid. After 5 minutes stir and check to see if any are still unopened. Stir and return the lid for 3 more minutes or until all the mussels are open. Add the cream and stir. Bring the pan to light boil, basting the mussels with the pan sauce.

Serve immediately with wine and new friends.
Beefy Wine Stew or Beef Bourguignon
Twenty years ago I fell in love with beef cubes cooked in wine. I can't remember where I saw the recipe probably a cooking magazine. It is definitely not the kind of thing my parents would have cooked. There wasn't wine in the house. Beer? Yes, but wine? Nope.

So it was quite a revelation to me to cook with stuff, let alone drink it. Anyway, this has become my tried and true way to go about cooking the stew. It's not Beef Burgundy because that's actually a thing. I used a Tempranillo in this go round.

Beef in Wine Stew
.25 pound bacon, cut into 1inch pieces
2 pounds beef cut into cubes
kosher salt
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
2 onions
1 shallot
2 carrots
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken broth
white pepper

In a big cast iron skillet fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon, and pour off the fat. Reserve the fat. Toss the diced beef generously in kosher salt. Add 1/3 or 1/2 of it to the skillet to brown. Don't over crowd the pan. Brown on 4 sides best you can. Remove the beef and deglaze the pan with some wine. Scrap the wine and bits into a bowl, save. Cook the remaining meat and deglazing the pan and using a bit of the bacon fat for the next go round. When the meat is cooked, sautee the onions in the skillet. Just after they lose their water, add 1/4 cup of wine. Sautee until it's reduced nearly gone. Reserve the mushrooms separately from the beef and bacon. Add the last bits of bacon grease and onions to the skillet. Cook 8 minutes or so. Add the shallots and carrots. Cook 5 minutes more then add back to the skillet, the meats and the wine deglazing liquid, add thyme and white pepper. Add chicken broth. Most everything should be under liquid, but just.
Place the skillet in a 350 degree oven and cook covered for 2-3 hours. Check that it isn't running dry, add water if needed. Reduce the heat to 275, add the mushrooms and cook for an additional hour. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to reduce the liquid. Serve over mashed your favorite starch.