What’s Cooking – Wine and Dine with Friends at Home


jeannebriggs2006Matching the right wine to any dish can be the ultimate way to share a wonderful meal with friends. My new column sponsor, “Rockford Dry Dock” on Courtland St., is waiting to provide you with the wine and I’m here to give you the food to put with your choice. Dry Dock owners Bill and Sue Ten Broeke have a vast array of wines and spirits to meet your needs for entertaining. I will give you several of their new wines each time to pair with something special from your kitchen to make the meal memorable. Bon appetit!

Chicken with Fresh Pineapple

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1-1/2 cups)
Hot cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped cashews

Cut chicken into thin, bite-sized strips. Set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine pineapple and orange juices, and cornstarch. Set aside. Add oil to a wok or nonstick skillet. Heat to medium-high. Stir-fry garlic in hot oil for 15 seconds. Add green pepper and onions for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove vegetables. Add chicken to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push chicken from center of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked vegetables. Add pineapple pieces. Stir until heated through. Serve over cooked rice. Sprinkle with cashews. Serves 4. Serve with Domanie Lafage “Cote d’Est” wine.

Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 cups each: torn leaf lettuce, torn radicchio, torn arugula
1 medium Belgian endive, cut up
1 roasted chicken from the store, boned, cut up
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced lengthwise
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 green onions, thinly biased sliced
Raspberry Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette: In blender, combine one 10-oz. package thawed red raspberries, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 clove garlic, minced. Cover and blend till smooth. Use a sieve to strain dressing; discard seeds. Cover and chill until serving time.

In a bowl combine first 4 ingredients. Toss and cover to chill for up to 2 hours. Cool chicken slightly and slice into 1/4 inch strips. On each plate, arrange greens. Top with chicken, oranges, avocado, and grapefruit. Sprinkle onions over all. Drizzle with Raspberry Vinaigrette. Garnish with raspberries, if desired. Serves 4. Serve with Man Chardonnay wine.

Steak Provencal

4 beef sirloin, tenderloin, or ribeye steaks, 6 ounces each
5 tablespoons butter substitute
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped large capers
1/4 teaspoon each: salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Grill steaks to desired doneness. In a skillet, melt the butter and cook garlic, stirring occasionally; add tomatoes, capers, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until mixture is saucy. Stir in parsley. Serve over hot steaks. Serves 4. Serve with Conquista Malbec.

Beef Stroganoff

1 pound top sirloin steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup beef broth
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Trim meat for excess fat and cut diagonally across grain into thin strips. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add half the beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a dish and repeat with remaining beef. Add butter to skillet, and stir in mushrooms and onions. Cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add sherry and boil 2 to 3 minutes to reduce slightly. Combine beef broth and cornstarch and blend well. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in sour cream and mustard until blended. Return beef to skillet and heat through 1 to 2 minutes, but do not boil. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 4. Serve with Artazuri Navarra Grenache.

Friends: Be sure to tell Bill and Sue when you visit Rockford Dry Dock that you saw them in The Rockford Squire. Thanks.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.