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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chris's Week Thirty-One Recipe: Spiced Red Wine Syrup

The cognoscenti amongst you have already been wondering, "What is Chris going to do with the rest of that red wine she has leftover from last week's meatloaf recipe?" A very good question, considering that I'm not a fan of Cabernet Sauvignon... especially the $2.99 variety you get at Trader Joe's.

Linda suggested making bolognese sauce or using it to marinate meat, but doing a little creative searching online, I found this recipe from The Splendid Table. I've always enjoyed this radio show whenever I've caught it on NPR, so I thought I'd give the recipe a try. The only change I had to make was using 2 T Penzey's dried lemon peel instead of the zest of an orange (no oranges in the house!).

Spiced Red Wine Syrup

3 c red wine
1.5 c sugar
2 T Penzey's lemon peel (or the zest of one large orange)
pinch salt
1 heaping teaspoon black peppercorns, bruised with a mortar & pestle
1.5 t whole anise seed, bruised with a mortar and pestle
8 bay leaves, broken
6 whole cloves
4" cinnamon stick, broken
pinch ground nutmeg

Combine ingredients in a large skillet and simmer uncovered until syrupy. Stir often. The recipe calls for about 10 minutes in a 12" skillet, but it took 30 minutes in my 10" skillet. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.

Strain the syrup and return it to the pan to let boil for a few more minutes or until a spatula drawn across the bottom of the pan leaves a trail. Cool and refrigerate.

Would I make this recipe again? It's great for leftover wine! I tried a little over honey yogurt and it's quite good - slightly sweet and very spicy.

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