Though some of us rarely have leftover wine in our house, even MissWineOH occasionally has a bottle she’s opened and either just not loved, or didn’t finish.
Since I’m a bit obsessive about not wasting things, I’m looking for ways to use wines that end up open in my refrigerator – and it hurts my wine loving heart to pour them out.
So here are a couple of ideas for ways to use that wine:
RED WINE SAUCE
This is an “easy” sauce, not going to win any awards – but will pair great with whatever meat you are serving.
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
After preparing your protein, remove meat or chicken from the pan leaving the residual fat that it was cooked in. Add the chicken stock and red wine and reduce over high heat by half (1/4 cup). Whisk in the butter, mustard, thyme and serve.
If you still have leftover wine after you’ve made your sauce – I suggest freezing the wine in ice cube trays to be used in a recipe. I freeze them, and then pop the cubes out into a container or baggie for easy storage in the freezer. Just pull out as many as you need. Usually 1/4 cup of wine is 2 cubes in MissWineOH’s house!
WHITE WINE SAUCE
This is a bulk sauce, unlike the red wine above.
Makes 5 to 6 cups
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (see note)
Pour the olive oil into a 4- to 5-quart saucepan over medium heat, then add the flour and stir with a wire whisk until all the flour is dissolved and the mixture looks like a paste. Reduce the heat and slowly add the wine; the mixture will start to thicken quickly. Continue to stir and remove from the heat, if necessary, until all the wine has been mixed in. Slowly pour in the chicken broth while you continue to stir. Simmer, uncovered, for approximately 1 hour, or until the taste of alcohol is no longer present in the sauce. Freeze in containers of various sizes, including some in an ice-cube tray to allow easy small additions to sauces. It can stay in the freezer for 6 months or more.
NOTE: Be sparing with the salt and pepper. It’s better to underseason this sauce, because you will season it again in the sauté pan.
NOTE: If this (or any) sauce ever has lumps caused by undissolved flour, just pass the sauce through a sieve or a mesh strainer. It will come out lump-free.
Recipe from Silvia Bianco’s Simply Sauté: Fast, Easy, and Healthy Italian Cooking — All in One Pan (Marlowe & Company; December 2003; $16.95/trade paperback)
How do you use leftover wine? Do you buy wine specifically for cooking? Share your tips, tricks and hints in the comments below.