By Eileen Goltz
In order for wine to be considered kosher every step
of the winemaking process from the picking of the grapes to the bottling
of the wine is done under strict rabbinic supervision. Otherwise a kosher
wine is essentially no different from any other wine. There are actually
two kinds of kosher wine.
The first includes the restrictions included in the
previous few sentences, while the second, AKA "mevushal" utilizes an
additional process. This is important process since Jewish law stipulates
that in order for a wine to retain its 'kosherness' once opened and poured
by a non-Jew, (such as a waiter, for instance) the wine must be "mevushal."
Mevushal wine is simply a wine that has been "flash pasteurized". A wine
that is produced in this manner retains its religious purity, regardless of
who opens or pours it. A case study that was done at UC Davis concluded
there was no consistent taste difference between non- mevushal and mevushal
No matter how much or little wine I open at any given meal there always
seems to be some left over. Rather than pour it out I use it for cooking.
So, what happens to wine when you cook with it? Like cooking with any other
liquid, some parts of it boil off, leaving behind a thicker, more
concentrated substance. Water boils at 212 but alcohol boils at 172. When it
hits the 172 degree mark it starts to cook off the alcohol. You're left with
the flavor of the wine, and a small amount of sugar (if it was a sweeter
wine) and definitely the acidic sharpness. This is why you should cook with
a relatively good wine - if you start with a not so good wine, you'll end up
with that not so good wine being the core flavor of your dish!
The most common uses for wine in cooking are to use it
in a sauce, or to marinade in it. Red sauces appear to work best with a
red-blend wine in them. The following recipes use wine in fun and unusual
ways and they are special enough to fit right in to any holiday meal.
TURKEY MEATBALLS IN CAPER AND LEMON SAUCE (Meat)
|3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon whole capers
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 1/4 cups Sauvignon Blanc wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
|Strip of lemon zest,
made with potato peeler
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup non dairy sour cream substitute , light if desired
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
Salt and pepper
Parsley for garnish
In a large bowl mix together the eggs, onions, capers,
turkey and bread crumbs and form into balls that are 1 inch in diameter. In
a saucepan mix 1 cup of the wine, the chicken broth, bay leaves, lemon juice
and zest. Bring to a boil and drop turkey meatballs in. Simmer gently for
about 15 minutes until meat is cooked. Remove meatballs, lemon zest and bay
leaves. Mix cornstarch and the remaining cup wine, whisk into broth and cook
until thickened. Stir in sour cream and whole capers along with meatballs
and reheat, being careful not to boil. Serve on pasta or rice, and garnish
with chopped parsley.
Serve with your favorite Sauvignon Blanc.
RED-WINE MARINATED FRIED CHICKEN WITH ONIONS (meat)
|For the marinade
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
|8 chicken thigh or
drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
vegetable oil for frying the chicken
2 large onions, sliced thin
Make the marinade:
In a large shallow dish whisk together the wine, the vinegar, the garlic
paste, the mustard, and pepper to taste.
Arrange the chicken, pricked in several places with a fork, in one layer in
the dish, let it marinate, covered and chilled, turning it once, for at
least 3 hours or, preferably, overnight. and drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of
the marinade and discarding the rest.
In a shallow dish whisk together the egg and the reserved marinade. In
another shallow dish stir together the flour, the salt, the thyme, and
pepper to taste. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip
off, and dredge it twice in the flour mixture to make a thick coating,
shaking off the excess each time. Reserve the remaining flour mixture. Let
the chicken stand in one layer on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat 1 inch of the oil to 375°F.
and in it fry half the chicken for 1 minute on each side. Reduce the heat to
moderate so that the temperature of the oil is reduced to 300°F., fry the
chicken, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is cooked through, and
transfer it with tongs to paper towels to drain. Keep the chicken warm while
frying the remaining chicken in the same manner. Dredge the onions in the
reserved flour mixture, shaking off the excess, and in the skillet fry them
in 375°F. oil, turning them carefully, for 5 minutes, or until they are
lightly golden. Transfer the onions with a slotted spoon to paper towels to
drain and sprinkle them with salt to taste. Mound the onions in the middle
of a large platter and arrange the chicken around them. Serves 4 to 8.
GRILLED LAMB CHOPS WITH RED WINE, GARLIC AND HONEY
The honey does not sweeten the chops-it just helps them brown.
|3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
|1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick loin lamb chops (about 2 1/2 pounds total), fat
2 tablespoons honey
Mix the red wine, oil, oregano, garlic vinegar salt
and pepper in large glass baking dish. Arrange lamb chops in single layer in
dish; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning and
basting often. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Prepare barbecue
(medium-high heat). Transfer lamb to plate. Mix honey into marinade. Grill
lamb to desired doneness, turning and basting with marinade often, about 10
minutes for medium-rare. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and
made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.
ITALIAN CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM-AND-WINE SAUCE (meat)
|6 large chicken breast
halves with skin and bones
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups chopped onions
|1 large red bell pepper,
cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 1.42-ounce package spaghetti sauce seasoning mix
Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle chicken with salt and
pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 3 chicken breasts, skin side down; sauté until skin is brown, about 3
minutes. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same
skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions and bell pepper. Sauté
until vegetables are tender and mushrooms begin to brown, about 12 minutes.
Add wine; boil 2 minutes. Add broth and seasoning mix and bring to boil.
Pour sauce over chicken. Cover dish with foil. Bake chicken 25 minutes.
Uncover and bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, about
15 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.
RED WINE-MACERATED WINTER FRUIT (pareve)
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
|1/2 large firm-ripe
1 1/4 pounds mixed dried fruit such as cranberries,
prunes, apricots and figs
Remove zest from lemon with a vegetable peeler and
squeeze juice from lemon. In a saucepan bring water to a boil with zest,
lemon juice, wine, sugar, and cinnamon stick, stirring until sugar is
dissolved. Simmer mixture 15 minutes.
While mixture is simmering, peel and core pineapple and cut into bite-size
pieces. Halve figs if using. Pour hot syrup through a sieve into a bowl.
Stir pineapple and dried fruit into syrup and cool. Chill fruit, covered, at
least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Serve with mandlebroit. Serves 6.
POACHED PEARS WITH SWEET WINE AND FRUIT CONFETTI (pareve)
A Note about Strawberries
The OU recommends the following procedure to ensure that strawberries
are not infested with insects:
1. Carefully remove the green leaf of the strawberry without making a
hole in the top of the berry. If a hole was made, the strawberry
should then be cut in half, allowing you to wash both the inside and
outside of the strawberry.
2. Place the berries in cold water while adding a few drops of
non-scented concentrated liquid detergent or vegetable wash.
3. Allow the berries to soak for a few minutes.
4. Carefully wash off the entire surface of the strawberry.
5. Gently dry each berry.
|6 small firm but ripe
Anjou pears, peeled
3 1/2 cups sweet white or red wine (such as Moscato)
2 cups pear nectar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
|1 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 cup chopped peeled kiwi
1/2 cup chopped peeled seeded cantaloupe
1/2 cup quartered hulled strawberries
Fresh mint sprigs
Using melon baller, remove core from bottom end of
pears. Combine wine, pear nectar and cinnamon stick in large pot. Scrape in
seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer. Add pears (liquid should
cover pears halfway). Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until pears are
tender, about 10 minutes, turning pears halfway through. Transfer pears and
cooking liquid to large bowl. Cool completely.
SEARED HALIBUT, HARICOTS VERTS, SCALLIONS, AND WINE SAUCE (fish)
Drain poaching liquid back into pot. Mix 2 tablespoons liquid with arrowroot
in small bowl; return to pot. Boil until sauce thickens and is reduced to 2
cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool sauce to room
temperature. (Pears and sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately
and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Spoon sauce into 6 shallow bowls. Place pears atop sauce. Sprinkle kiwi,
cantaloupe and strawberries around pears. Garnish with mint and serve.
After sautéing the
halibut, the fish is removed from the pan, which is then deglazed with
white wine and fresh lemon juice. Butter is swirled in gradually to yield
a rich, flavorful sauce - punctuated by scallions, capers, and diced
tomato - that is simply poured over the fish; its pleasing citric acidity
and buttery richness make it a perfect foil for the halibut.
1. A vertical cut should be made from the top of the scallion’s
green shoot to the bottom of the bulb. Examine three scallions from
each bunch, paying careful attention to the area between the
branches that protrude from the bulb.
2. If no insects are found, wash thoroughly under a heavy stream of
water or power hose and use.
3. If insects are found in a scallion, it must be discarded.
1 pound haricots
verts or young green or wax beans
Four 7-ounce halibut fillets, each approximately 1 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh
lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 scallions, white part only, finely sliced on the bias
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 large, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
In a pot of boiling
salted water set over high heat, cook the haricots
verts for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Drain and place them in the
center of a large, warm serving platter. Cover and keep warm.
Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch sauté
pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the fish for about 3
minutes, until lightly browned. Turn, reduce the heat to medium, and cook
about 4 minutes longer, until the fish is opaque in the center and browned
on both sides. Put the fish on the platter with the beans and cover to
Pour off any oil in the pan and add the wine and lemon juice. Raise the
heat to high and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned bits with a
wooden spoon. Cook until the sauce reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat and stir in the butter, a piece at a time, to enrich and
flavor the sauce. Add the scallions, capers, and tomato. Season with salt
and pepper, and pour over the fish on the platter. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
From Gourmet Magazine
WINE-BAKED ONIONS WITH HERBED CRUMB TOPPING (pareve)
Serve these onions with pan-browned veal rib chops or roast chicken.
|2 medium onions, peeled,
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) pareve margarine
|1 cup fresh French
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Preheat oven to 350. Trim ends of onions to level.
Place onions, flat side up, in small baking dish. Season onions with salt
and pepper. Add wine to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until onions
are tender, basting with wine occasionally, about 55 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add
breadcrumbs, parsley and thyme and sauté until breadcrumbs are light golden
brown, about 4 minutes.
Remove onions from pan. Spoon breadcrumbs mixture evenly onto onions. Press
breadcrumbs lightly to adhere. Continue baking onions, uncovered, until
breadcrumbs are crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 6
hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm onions in 350. oven until
topping is crisp, about 15 minutes. Serves 4.
Goltz, a professional chef and caterer, is the author of the new
cookbook, Perfectly Pareve.
© Eileen Goltz 2003