Hooray! The rain has finally stopped and the sun is back! Outside my window I’m looking at a glorious blue sky, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to make good on last week’s promise of white wine recipes.
The thing I like most about cooking with white wine is how easy it is! Unlike red wine, which can sometimes require a couple of steps to develop the flavor you want, white is an absolute cinch. All you really need to create a luscious white wine sauce is butter, salt & pepper, and maybe some aromatics and fresh herbs – the wine will do the rest of the work, picking up and enhancing the flavors already in the food you’re serving it with. So without further ado, here are a couple of white wine recipes that are sure to impress.
First up is one of my all-time favorite date night dishes, Mussels in White Wine Garlic Sauce. It’s light, elegant and utterly delicious – and served with crusty artisan bread it’s just filling enough without weighing you down (*wink*). It also has the added bonus of being really quick and easy to make, and some say Mussels are an aphrodisiac, so…
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Onion, Finely Chopped
- 3 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 cup of dry White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Unoaked Chardonnay are perfect for this dish)
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme (or if dried, use about ½ teaspoon)
- 1 pound of fresh Mussels
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 1 loaf of Crusty Artisan Bread for dipping
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent.
- Add white wine, thyme and mussels. Stir and cover the pot for about 8-10 minutes.
- Discard any unopened mussels. Season with salt and pepper.
- While mussels are cooking, heat the bread in a 350F oven for 8 minutes. Slice.
- Pour the Mussels and broth into a bowl and serve with the bread – it’s delicious dipped in the broth!
BOOM – Dinner is served! See how easy that was? It always helps to have a few “quick & easys” in your recipe arsenal – especially when they’re this good.
Another recipe I adore is the Southern classic, “Shrimp & Grits.” Just about every restaurant in Atlanta serves their own version of it, but it’s so easy to make at home I don’t order it out any more – especially since (if I do say so myself) my grits are way better! This recipe is not for the faint of heart – the grits have butter, heavy cream and cream cheese in them – in other words, it’s VERY Southern.
Shrimp & Grits
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- Chopped chives (for garnish)
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 2 cups of chicken stock and the heavy cream up to a low simmer.
- While simmering whisk in the grits and a heavy pinch of salt. Stir constantly and return to a low simmer.
- Cook until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
- Stir in the butter, cream cheese and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender and translucent.
- Add the shrimp and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add white wine and diced tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve over the grits. Garnish with chopped chives.
Because these are both seafood dishes, a Roussanne or Viognier would pair well with either of them, but if you choose a Sauvignon Blanc or an Unoaked Chardonnay for their preparation you could also serve them with that – just remember to pick up an extra bottle or two!
Cheers, and happy cooking!