I just love wine! White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cooking wine….. Speaking of cooking, I’ve been trying out some favorite recipes using wine in place of other liquids, and the results have been intoxicating! For the two I’m sharing today, I chose a Chardonnay. It’s light enough for a refreshing cocktail but has enough body hold its own in a recipe.
One food that seems to find it’s way on the table a lot when we’re trying to eat light is shrimp. It’s versatile, cooks very quickly and is great by itself or in just about everything! I like to serve it on skewers when we’re serving it at parties, so my wine experiment for shrimp was to poach it in chardonnay. Ridiculously easy and so wonderfully tasty, too!
All you need is a couple of bottles of wine (one room temp to poach in and one chilled), some large, fresh or frozen shrimp in the shells – I like Tiger shrimp – and some herbs. I have Basil, mint, thyme and lemon balm growing in my yard, so that’s what I used, but you could use an Italian blend, an Asian blend, or even go French with Herbs de Provence – it just depends on what you’re going to serve them with and what you have on hand – like I said, shrimp are incredibly versatile!
To prepare, put 1-2 cups of the room temp Chardonnay in a large saucepan or skillet along with the herbs and bring to barely a simmer. Add the shrimp and poach 3-5 minutes until they’re just cooked through, then take them out of the wine immediately so they stop cooking, put them a bowl, cover them in some of the chilled wine and lemon slices if you like (I did) and pop ’em in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
I set aside a bowl of cherry tomatoes and left them to soak in some of the wine while I prepped and cooked the shrimp. Leave them soaking right until you’re ready to skewer, then, nesting the tomato into the curve of the shrimp, assemble them together on large toothpicks or skewers, and serve on a bed of fresh herbs (or lettuce) with some lemon or lime wedges. For a fruitier take, you can soak grapes instead of tomatoes. Delish!
If you soak grapes in the wine, make extras! These can be chilled (or frozen) and served in bowls by themselves, or added to the fabulous wine cocktail you’re also going to make. For mine, I used 2 bottles of Chardonnay (one of the bottles was the one I’d soaked some grapes in – wine recycling!), a bottle of carbonated water, 1/4 cup of Triple Sec, and some fresh raspberries. If you have a large enough container, mix all these together, if not, it’s easy to cut the recipe in half. I made the mistake the first time of putting ice into the pitcher, but if you don’t drink this fast enough, it gets watered down so I wouldn’t recommend it. I have one of these, and it worked perfectly the 2nd time around!
Chardonnay is such a versatile wine, the possibilities are endless! Give these recipes a try or make up your own – We’d love to hear what you come up with. Cheers!