Making pounded cheese from Amy Thielen's new cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, was a jump into uncharted territory for me. Dropping blocks of gorgeous aged Cheddar into a food processor was an act of faith. But drizzled with sweet port syrup and chopped walnuts, the final dish is an entertainment-worthy appetizer for any and all cheesehounds.
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This cocktail recipe comes from Toasted Oak Grill & Market just outside Detroit, Michigan. The drink is evocative of candied nuts, and it's ideal for serving alongside a gingerbread or spice-cake dessert.
Gently simmered lamb shoulder, port, and root vegetable stew tastes lamby but not gamey or chewy. The key is the sweet and savory undercurrent of wine, beef stock, tomatoes, and winter roots that runs beneath the flavor of the lamb.
Short ribs in rich porcini-port wine sauce are a luxurious, company-worthy affair.
This is a rich, festive holiday jam with a pronounced red wine flavor. Try it with cheese, hearty whole-grain breads, or as a filling for thumbprint or sandwich cookies.
Druck breasts with juicy meat and crisp skin mix with a robust and fruity cherry-port sauce, combining into a rich and warm combo that's fitting for the start of winter.
The classic combo of a cherry and port contrasts tart cherries against sweet wine, with a double dose of fruit that gives a well rounded and full-bodied flavor.
This port-based version of a classic winter cocktail uses a simple vanilla syrup to add some sweetness and depth.
This variation on the classic uses drunken prunes instead of dates.
Cranberries in all forms, with their zingy sweet flavor and crimson hue, are a delicious symbol of the holiday season. This luscious jam combines fresh and dried cranberries with a generous amount of ruby port. It would be perfect spread on cornbread, pumpkin bread, or anything slathered with cream cheese.
This jam has a deep, dark purple hue that looks almost black in the jar. The blueberries and port work together to create an intense, full-bodied jam bursting with ripe fruit flavors. In addition to the berries, there are notes of plum, cherry, and raisin. Try it in a peanut butter sandwich, or as a filling between two layers of lemon cake.
The Dahlgren is a long, tall number with strong spicy notes underscored by the subtle richness of tawny port. Phil Ward took his inspiration from the classic Diablo, a combination of tequila, lime, créme de cassis and ginger ale; Ward substitutes tawny port for the black currant liqueur and uses a spicy homemade ginger syrup instead of ginger ale.
This blackberry milkshake begins with a Port Chocolate Syrup. I've used ruby port in this recipe for its smooth, fruity sweetness and its vibrant ruby hue. The combination of reduced port and blackberries tastes like a big, full-bodied, jammy red wine. The chocolate plays a supporting role, offering extra depth and richness.
This gingery cocktail was an instant favorite for us. It's smooth from the Averna, spicy from ginger beer and reposado tequila, and fruity and tart from the addition of ruby port and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The Princeton Cocktail dates to the late 19th century, when New York barman George Kappeler mixed them alongside other Ivy League-named drinks at the Holland House bar. Heavy and rich, a measure of port lends not only flavor to this drink, but an elegant appearance as it settles at the bottom of the cocktail glass.
As described by drink historian David Wondrich, the Enchantress debuted in American Barkeeper in 1867, and its cognac-meets-port construction demonstrates the 19th century taste for robustly flavored drinks. Nearly 150 years later, robust flavors are creeping back into popularity, and the Enchantress is ripe for rediscovery.