Bolognese sauce

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OK, who doesn’t have a soft spot in their hearts for spagetti bolognese? It was one of my favorite things to eat growing up and usually consisted of canned spagetti sauce, some ground beef and frozen (amazing!), greasy garlic bread. It was delicious. My roomate in college raved about her Mom’s famous spagetti. It was a big deal when I finally got to try it for myself during a weekend trip home with her. And now, guess what? I get to rave about my very own spagetti recipe. After years of trying to find a good canned sauce for bolognese and lasagne, I’ve learned to just use canned tomatoes, building flavors and seasoning myself to find the perfect salty/spicy/sweet/herby balance. This sauce also has red wine in it, which gives it tons of body and depth. It’s best when you take your time, but it can be made in a pinch and do the trick. Continue reading

Fresh pasta and classic beef bourguignon

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Beef bourguignon, a classic French beef and red wine stew, is easily my all-time favorite winter comfort food. The absolute best part is that while the recipe does require a bit of work and time, it gets better with age and you’ll have enough stew to feed two people at least 3-4 times. Another plus? Your house will smell absolutely amazing on the day that you make this dish and it will warm you up on a cold winter day. Continue reading

Red wine chocolate cake with whipped marscapone

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I love experimenting. I will admit to spending an ungodly amount of time each week skimming over recipes on the web, either in my reader, on various recipe sites or in my Epicurious app. Everytime I come across a recipe that seems worthy of my time, I send it to my Evernote and archive it for later. Some recipes have been waiting patiently for years and still haven’t been tested, while others are made the same day. I remember around the holidays seeing lots of recipes for fancy sounding chocolate combinations of brownies made with champagne, and I believe it was around this time that I came across the Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe for red wine chocolate cake. Continue reading

Sweet and spicy pork loin with red wine pomegranate reduction

Pomegranates. Who doesn’t feel a little rush of excitement each time they peel open the rough exterior to reveal those blood-red, shiny little orbs of juice, sandwiched between tough white membranes and soggy pulp? I know I do. It had been awhile since I’d experimented with this exotic fruit, and it wasn’t until finding some at my local supermarket recently that I decided to delve into the goldmine of pomegranate-based recipes online. I knew that I wanted to try chocolate chunk cookies with pomegranate arils. That, was a given. But what else would I do with them? How could I incorporate the sweet bursts of refreshing red juice into a savory dish?

The answer, it seems, was right in front of me. By incorporating them into my all-time favorite versatile dish, filet mignon de porc, or pork loin. After a quick search, I didn’t find any one recipe that suited me to the tee, nor one for which I had all of the ingredients. So, I threw in a bit of what I had, forgetting whatever I didn’t have, and made it up as I went along. Unfortunately my pomegranates were a bit odd; under and over-ripe at the same time, leaving me with mostly light pink arils and several white ones, and a few brown ones. The flavor was still there but seemed like a fraction of what it should have been. Which simply means that while this dish was very good, I’ll be excited to try it again with proper ingredients.

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