Traditional recipes

5 Ways to Use Leftover Red Wine (Besides Making Sangria)

5 Ways to Use Leftover Red Wine (Besides Making Sangria)

If you have any leftover wine, that is.

Let’s be honest: we all need to be a little better about repurposing our leftovers. Whether it’s a holiday ham or just a bunch of mashed potatoes, sometimes it’s a struggle to find something creative and yummy to do with what’s left behind after a big gathering or dinner.

A friend recently to ask me (an ex-bartender) a question: What could she do with about a third of a bottle of red wine? I was about to parrot the ubiquitous “sangria solution” that’s usually recommended for leftover wine, but then I realized what makes sangria delicious is fruit and brandy and, above all, time for all of the flavors to meld. If you don’t have time, your sangria will require additional sugar or liquor to make it delicious—and wouldn’t you rather save your calories for something, you know, good? Sangria also doesn’t lend itself to making one or two portions—there’s a reason it’s a perfect party drink.

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Additionally, my friend doesn’t really even like red wine; it was truly a leftover from a dinner party. So, with that in mind, here are a few ways to use up a small quantity of red wine that have nothing whatsoever to do with sangria.

Got about a half cup of wine? Then you’ve got the beginning of a killer pan sauce. We love this cherry-red wine sauce. Start with sauteed pork medallions; the rich drippings from the cooked pork, combined with a scoop of cherry preserves and fresh herbs, will make you glad your Aunt Linda didn’t finish that bottle you got her.

If you’re not into a cherry pan sauce, you could also use a half cup of red wine for a rich mushroom sauce that will bring full-bodied flavor to a tenderloin of beef, a seared pork chop, or even spooned onto a baked potato with cheese.

If you’ve got about a cup, go ahead and get cheffy with it! Make a red wine reduction with this easy guide. It’s heavenly drizzled over seared steak or pork. Don’t want to use it right away? Freeze the reduction in ice cube trays until you need a pop of flavor, then swirl it in to enrich a sauce or add depth of flavor to a stew.

Now, if your leftover wine bounty is around two cups, we’ve got a killer marinade for you. You’ll reduce the wine a bit; adding in aromatics while it reduces. It will produce an outrageously flavorful bath for steak to soak in—the final product is succulent and stunning. Bookmark this one for grilling season.

Do you really only have a tiny amount of red wine? Well, we’ve got a recipe for that, too! Anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth will know what a delicious end to a meal poached fruit can be. Three tablespoons of red wine will get you fragrant, richly-spiced poached pears.

So no, you really don’t have to resort to sad, slapdash sangria if your boss didn’t drink the bottle of wine you got for him. You’ve got better things to do.


The Best Red Sangria

Life is good! Let’s celebrate with this classic red sangria recipe. Sure, I love a glass of wine at the end of a long day, but sangria is best shared with friends.

Sangria is festive, fruity and fun. It’s a perfect party punch to pair with Spanish tapas or Mexican food. Cold sangria is undeniably great on hot summer days. The red wine base and versatile seasonal fruit options make it appropriate for cooler days, too!

Sangria hails from Spain, although funny enough, my friend Ali lives in Spain and says they don’t drink it often over there. I visited Barcelona with friends in college and we bought cheap cartons of sangria from the convenience store by the beach. I don’t recommend that stuff.

We’re going to make real sangria with good wine and fresh fruit today. Through research and trial and error, I’ve learned how to make the best red sangria. Ready?!


Test Kitchen Tip: If you don't care about smooth surfaces for presentation purposes, a serrated peeler's sharp-toothed edges quickly and easily peel soft fruit.

The color-coded salad is one of Babylonstoren’s signature dishes and always features a mix of fruits and vegetables on the same plate. Chef Maranda Engelbrecht says produce that looks good together tastes great together, too, and she’s developed specific vinaigrettes to complement the red, yellow, and green options.


More Things to Keep in Mind

Juice produces ethanol, not methanol: Making homemade wine, or alcohol in general, is simple because of the simple fact that yeast converts sugar to ethanol (alcohol). There is a misconception that drinking homemade brew is not safe, but that&aposs only if you drink methanol. Brewing with fruit juices and yeast cannot produce methanol. It can only produce ethanol.

This process can be done in as little as three days: My attempts at wine making usually take around 7 days, but some people who have tried this method have reported that the fermentation (yeast completely stopped making bubbles) stopped in about 3 days. So this method can actually produce wine with a moderate alcohol content in about 3 days.

You might need to add sugar: Since this fermentation method produces wine that isn&apost very sweet (because the yeast converted all the sugar in the juice to alcohol), I am updating my recipe by saying that you should add one cup of granulated or cane sugar or corn syrup to a one gallon batch or half a cup to a half gallon batch before adding the yeast. This might produce a sweeter wine, if that&aposs what you want. It might be best to pour the juice into a large saucepan and heat it up slightly (not over 110 degrees F) so the sugar will dissolve properly. Then pour it back into the bottle using a funnel and allow to cool to room temperature.

A hydrometer will tell you the alcohol content: I&aposm not sure of the alcohol content of this brew, but you could buy a hydrometer to measure it. They are cheap and readily available online or at any brewer&aposs store.

Get winemaking yeast, if possible: If you live in a city that has a home-brewing supply, I advise buying yeast made just for winemaking. Active baker&aposs yeast from grocery stores works ok, but the real winemaking yeast is formulated better for wine, doesn&apost peter out as fast, and will add a few days to my "one week" method. I have never experienced a "bread smell" using baker&aposs yeast.


Inspired by a style of cake from California’s Miette bakeries, we frost the top and middle layers of this stunner but leave the sides naked to showcase the almond cake. Don’t have a pastry bag or star tip to frost the layers? Fill a resealable plastic bag with the frosting, snip off a corner, and pipe away.

Before using the cherry cola, pour it into a bowl and allow it to stand at room temperature until no longer effervescent, about four hours. Start with a relish platter, then serve.


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5 Ways to Use Leftover Red Wine (Besides Making Sangria) - Recipes


If you opened my fridge right now (please don’t!) you’d find that 1/3 is stuffed with condiments, 1/3 is filled with fruit, and the rest of the space is devoted to veggies, meats, and dairy. I am a self proclaimed condiment queen, I love to make sauces, dressings, salsas, dips, spreads, gravies, and preserves. So its no surprise they consume so much fridge (and cabinet) space. To me, these things can make or break a dish by adding the perfect complement of flavor, whether its a bit of tang, spice, or sweetness.

Many of you may have wandered how in the holy heck I was planning on using the multitude of things in my canning inventory. to tell you the truth I was starting to wonder myself!
So I racked my brain for a couple of days, got creative, went crazy, and finally made this list. I even scoured the internet and found links to provide a few examples and recipes. Enjoy!

1. preserves make a great crepe filling, raspberry crepes with nutella anyone?
2. swirl preserves, jams, and fruit butters into plain yogurt (or applesauce!) for a custom flavor
3. use jam or fruit butter as a glaze on a fresh fruit tart, how about an apricot tart glazed with apricot honey butter.
4. mix jam with cream cheese and use as a filling for stuffed french toast
5. glaze a ham with pineapple and apricot jams


6. make these jammy oatmeal crumb bars (photo via Blue Ridge Baker)
7. spoon warm preserves over ice cream, pair with a brownie or sponge cake, and top with chopped nuts and whipped cream for a decadent sundae
8. use preserves and fruit butters to top off a plain cheesecake
9. mango butter (or any fruit butter, really) makes a delicious cake filling, its a great way to liven up plain yellow cake
10. turn a pint of sweet potato butter into sweet potato pie by adding an egg to make the filling set


11. make berry lemonade
12. use a spoonful or two of your favorite preserve in a fruit smoothie to add sweetness and fruit flavor
13. use a bit of jam to fill a cupcake (cut out a round peg from the top, fill with jam, replace the cake, and frost for a sweet surprise)
14. make this baked brie appetizer
15. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (duh)
16. spoon warm preserves over pancakes for breakfast (or dinner!)
17. fill a macaron with jam
18. if you're running low on fruit for mixed berry mojitos, add a bit of blackberry or raspberry jam and omit the sugar

19. make a fruity vinaigrette (photo via Allrecipes.com)
20. try this tasty flavored margarita
21. fill a kolache, empanada, turnover, or danish or sweet roll with jam (hey, thats 5!)
22. hot jam breakfast sandwiches
23. jelly doughnuts anyone?
24. make thumbprint cookies
25. homemade pop tarts are gaining popularity
26. add a tablespoon of hot pepper jelly to stir fry just before serving


27. make sweet peach bbq sauce, combine 2 parts peach jam and 1 part bbq sauce. OR try a spicy pineapple variation: substitute pineapple jam for the peach jam and add fresh minced jalapeno pepper for a spicy sweet sauce that’s delicious on chicken wings.
28. how about some fruity, frothy punch?
29. these sound delicious. fruit preserve chocolate truffles
30. hide a layer of jam in a meringue pie, how about raspberry or strawberry with lemon meringue? (spread the jam on the prebaked crust, freeze for a few minutes to set the jam and then add filling) ooh or swirl blackberry jam into key lime pie! how gorgeous would that be?
31. try this devilish steak sauce
32. make fancy flavored butter or cream cheese (2 parts room temperature butter with 1 part preserves, beat until thoroughly combined, chill if desired)
33. how about some spicy sweet jezebel sauce?
31. make a jam cake


32. bake a bit of jam into muffins, try these or these (photo via Good Things Catered)
33. turn those yummy drippings from pork or chicken into a delicious pan sauce with a cup of preserves and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar (try cherry or strawberry preserves, season with salt & pepper to taste)
34. fold in 1/3 - 1/2 c of preserves into your favorite brownie mix for a new twist on the traditional
35. hot pepper jelly (or any preserve really) spooned over a block of cream cheese and served with crackers is always a hit
36. make sweet & sour sauce (puree, then bring to boil, stir until thick)
¼ c peach preserves
¼ c apricot preserves
5 tsp white vinegar
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp soy sauce
½ tsp yellow mustard
pinch of garlic powder
4 tsp water
37. spoon your favorite jam over baked apples or pears
38. make a fresh fruit pizza, use a bit of jam for the sauce, add fruit and sprinkle with ricotta or bits of cream cheese, bake!
39. lil' smokies swimming in equal parts warm grape jelly and chili sauce, strange but good
40. have a tea party, serve your favorite tea blends, crumpets, and an assortment of preserves
41. have a tasting party, put out a cheese plate with jam pairings, crackers, and wine
42. how about a grilled cheese with hot pepper jelly?
43. combine hot pepper jelly with a bit of mayo and horseradish for a unique sandwich spread
44. add preserves to a sweet noodle kugel


45. make this chicken tagine (photo from Gourmet)
46. thin jam with a little water and warm to make a syrup, poke holes in a still warm cake, pour syrup over the top to infuse the cake with flavor
47. try an orange marmalade ale
48. fold preserves into fruit fluff desserts, like this one
49. layer preserves in a trifle with fresh fruit, pudding, and whipped cream
50. oh yeah, and you can spread it on toast!

I wish I had as many uses for pickles and relishes. I’ll have to think hard on that one. Tell me, how do you like to use your home canned goods?


The Secret to Restaurant-Quality Braised Short Ribs Is in the Sauce

I had one goal when developing this recipe for red wine–braised beef short ribs, and it was under no circumstances to churn out a copycat boeuf Bourguignon recipe where the beef just happens to be short ribs. Since boeuf Bourguignon is, in its simplest sense, beef braised in red wine, that may sound like a distinction without much basis. But there are a handful of things that to my eye signal boeuf Bourguignon territory—prime among them the not-too-thick stew-like braising liquids and an assortment of braised-vegetable accoutrements. A lot of red wine–braised beef short ribs lean too far in that direction, and I didn't want any part in it.

What I was after was something very different. I wanted pieces of bone-in beef short ribs braised until fork-tender, and I wanted them glazed in a deeply reduced sauce that's thick, glossy, and sticky. I also wanted the sauce's flavor to have clarity, so that what shines through is an intense red wine flavor, underpinned with a rich meatiness. What I wanted, in essence, is the kind of braised short rib dish you'd normally find only in a good restaurant.

What became clear after several rounds of recipe-testing is that if I braise the beef solely in red wine or a combination of red wine and stock, no amount of reduction could get me to the place I wanted to go. The braising liquid will reduce in volume, but its consistency will remain thin to the very end. (And oh god, the number of recipes I've seen that show a picture of a beautifully thick sauce but employ cooking methods that experience proves can't possibly yield those results is enough to drive me to abandon my mission entirely and just start drinking straight from the bottle.)

Beyond just the consistency and basic flavor profile of the sauce, I also wanted to make sure it wasn't too harsh. Aiming for a strong red wine character that's further concentrated through reduction can lead to a sauce with sharp edges from the wine's acids and tannins. Something has to round it out.

What Kind of Beef Short Ribs to Get for Braising

Before braising beef short ribs, you have to buy them. This can be a frustrating experience. Short ribs run a range of quality levels, and some of them aren't worth the trouble. I had several failed shopping excursions while developing this recipe because I couldn't find good ones. (I even had to cancel a photo shoot the first time around after wasting too much of the morning bouncing from butcher counter to butcher counter until finally giving up. And this was in New York City, a place where it's generally very easy to find great ingredients!)

What you want are short ribs that are meaty, with a solid inch and a half or more of meat on top of the bones. That meat should be visibly marbled with fat there can be a thin cap of fat on top of that, but it shouldn't be excessive. If you get short ribs that have striations of muscle that look extremely lean and then a thick fat cap on top, you're going to end up with meat that's tough and dry, not tender and melting.

Short ribs can be cut two different ways: flanken- and English-style. The flanken cut yields strips of beef with the cross-sections of multiple rib bones in it. That's what you see in the photo above, and it's the cut used in Korean barbecues for LA-style galbi. English-cut short ribs, conversely, divide each portion such that the slab of meat sits atop a single rib bone that runs the length of it.

Either cut works for a braise like this, though keep in mind that flanken-style are often portioned into much thinner slabs. If you get flanken-cut ribs, make sure they're about two inches wide, so that you get nice, thick hunks of meat. Flanken ribs can be sliced between the cross-cut bones to make individual bone-in portions, as shown in the photo above.

English-style short ribs don't need any special treatment. They're naturally thick enough because the width of each rib bone determines the thickness of each piece. I'd recommend getting English-cut ribs that are about four inches long each.

My preference for this kind of braise is English-style, only because I find it more visually impressive on the plate. Assuming you get sufficiently thick pieces of either kind, there's no other significant difference as you can see from the photos, the ones I used were flanken-cut, and it all turned out just fine.

Red Wine–Braised Short Ribs: The Secret in the Sauce

Most of this recipe follows the same basic template for beef stews and braises: brown the meat and aromatic vegetables, add the braising liquid, cook gently until the meat is tender. What I had to figure out for this recipe were the essential details: how much wine and how much stock to use in my braising liquid and then how to handle those liquids after the braising step, so that I ended up with the sauce I wanted, one that's thick and rich and intensely wine-y but without tasting harsh.

For liquid ratios, I started from a very practical place: I was going to use a single 750ml bottle of dry red wine for the braise itself. It's a sufficiently large quantity to give the sauce a predominantly red wine character, while still leaving room for just a little more liquid in the form of stock to bump up the savory base of the braise (exactly how much stock depends on whether you're cooking it in a Dutch oven or a pressure cooker a pressure cooker's max-fill line means there's less space for stock than a Dutch oven).

There are all sorts of ways to thicken a sauce. You can use starches like flour or cornstarch, rely on the gelatin from a good stock, use vegetable or fruit purées, gently cooked eggs (think custards and Greek avgolemono), or rely on emulsified fats, such as in a vinaigrette. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and some methods are more appropriate than others depending on the situation.

My goal here was to braise the short ribs and then serve them with a sauce made from their braising liquid that had a very clear, very clean red wine character. I wanted it to glaze the meat too, with a richness that thinner, lighter broths can't deliver.

Using a starch-like flour or cornstarch was definitely on the table—I'm not opposed to them the way some people are, as I don't always mind the subtle starchy quality they add to a sauce. They can dull flavors, which isn't great, though I think this phenomenon is sometimes over-exaggerated by critics.

Of those two common household starches, flour is the guiltier party in terms of adding a distinct starchy taste. Cornstarch is cleaner, but when leaned on too heavily, it can lead to sauces that have a viscosity that's slightly slimy or even jelly-like, not thick in that lip-sticking kind of way. I knew I might use one of these thickeners in my sauce, but I also knew that if I relied on them alone, they wouldn't deliver the results I wanted.

I've turned to puréed vegetables before in a braised beef shank recipe, and it's delicious, but the sauce has a consistency that makes it pretty obvious there's some kind of purée doing the thickening. All that puréeing can also incorporate air into the sauce, lightening its color. Once again, that wasn't the rich, clear effect I wanted here.

What I really wanted was the thickening power of gelatin, which gives exactly the kind of viscosity I was after without adding any unwelcome flavors. In the world of sauces that means using a really good homemade stock, the kind that sets like a jelly in the fridge. You can also use store-bought stock, which is completely devoid of gelatin, and then add a packet of unflavored gelatin to it to compensate.

My challenge here was that the only way a good stock could sufficiently thicken the sauce was if I used a lot of it, reducing it down until the gelatin was very concentrated. Not only is that not practical at home, but it works against another of my goals: a sauce with a very clear red wine flavor, since more stock in the pot means less room for red wine. I wanted plenty of red wine.

That meant that the stock could only be a part of my solution, but not the entirety of it.

My secret weapon to get my sauce all the way to where I wanted it to be: a bottle of port. While the beef is braising, I take an inexpensive bottle of ruby port and gently simmer it in a saucepan until reduced to a mere 1/2 cup. This concentrates the port's jammy wine flavor along with all its sugars, creating a viscous syrup that tastes kind of like wine honey.

After the ribs are braised, I remove the meat from the pot and set it aside, then strain out all the aromatic vegetables. I reduce the braising liquid down as well to concentrate the wine and gelatin from the stock (and any additional gelatin that the short ribs added). Then I stir in the half cup of reduced port wine. Its honey-like consistency thickens the sauce, its jammy flavor makes the sauce taste even more intensely like red wine, and its sugars round out the red wine's sharper acidic and tannic edges.

At this point, if you want any additional thickening, you can add a small amount of cornstarch slurry to get you the rest of the way there, just enough to ensure your sauce coats the back of a spoon but not so much that it's obvious cornstarch has been used.

Adapting Red Wine–Braised Short Ribs for the Pressure Cooker

While developing this recipe, I also worked on a pressure-cooker version. The pressure cooker saves some time, which is always welcome, though it doesn't turn this recipe into a 30-minute weeknight meal.

The time-savings a pressure cooker does offer are during the beef-braising portion of the recipe, which trims two to three hours of standard braising time down to about 45 minutes. Otherwise, you still have to spend some minutes browning the beef, and all of the reduction of the port wine and braising liquids still has to happen as well—a pressure cooker only works when it's sealed, making evaporation (and thus reduction) impossible.

I learned the hard way that you also need to spend a few extra minutes before sealing the cooker to boil off most of the wine's alcohol. If you don't, your short ribs will come out smelling strongly of alcohol, and no amount of reduction at that point can get rid of it. A strong red wine flavor in the sauce is great, but a strong punch of ethanol is not.

No matter which method you choose, the result can not be mistaken for boeuf Bourguignon. These short ribs are their own dish entirely, and they're delicious.


33 Delicious Recipes Using Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

Blueberries are one of America's best-loved berries and a favorite for everything from muffins, breads, and cakes to ice cream, yogurt, and dessert sauces. Because blueberries are grown in all kinds of climates—from Canada to South America—fresh blueberries are available in stores year-round.

If you can't find fresh blueberries, then frozen blueberries are an excellent substitute. Frozen berries are quite wet when thawed and if used right out of the bag, they will tint everything an unattractive blue-gray. To keep tinting to a minimum, there are a few tricks to using frozen blueberries in baked goods. First, put them in a colander and run cold water over them until the water is light blue, or nearly clear. Dump the berries onto a few layers of paper towels and gently pat with more paper towels to dry them as much as possible. If you are folding blueberries into a batter, toss them with flour. Another option is to leave the berries completely frozen right up until you're ready to add them, then toss them in flour and blend them in quickly.

Whether you are using fresh-picked wild blueberries, store-bought cultivated varieties, or frozen, you're sure to enjoy them in anything you make. Here are some excellent recipes to choose from.


Have a Head or Wedge of Lettuce? Grill That Mother

This is one of my favorite ways to use up lettuce before it goes bad. Cut into wedges or thick slices, dressed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and a few herbs, lettuce grills like a dream.

Romaine is the popular choice, but iceberg does well, too, since it has a relatively high amount of natural sugars, which caramelize in the heat. The char marks are just a bonus. If you've got fresh blue cheese dressing or grated Parmesan to drizzle on top of it, you are now in Flavor Country, Population: You.

Check out the video below to get ideas about how to grill lettuce. Do remember to wash the lettuce before you grill it, though, unlike the demonstrators!

To paraphrase Thug Kitchen, any dope can grill a hamburger, but it takes a real gangsta to know that the grill brings out unknown levels of flavor in lettuce.

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