Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cheap Date: Bargain Bin Zin & Wine Poached Dessert

old old vine zin One of our local markets has a $5 off-vintage wine bargain bucket that Taster A can't resist rummaging through. Most of these wines weren't stellar to begin with and are past their peak but, still make good cooking wines. Our most recent find was a bottle of Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel which still had a good deal of life left in it.

Occasionally I come across a recipe that calls for a bottle or two of $18 wine to be dumped into a pot or a marinade...I can't do it. This is a bottle I wouldn't have any qualms about sacrificing for poached peaches.

Unfortunately, I didn't have any peaches to hand tonight so, I made zin-poached mixed berries served over almond pancakes instead (inspired by the amaretto, and strawberries n' cream aromas/flavors in this particular bottle).

cross my heart perfect poached pearsSweet Nothings - Leftover Wine for Dessert
I recently had a glut of open Pinot Grigio to contend with. One solution was to use it as poaching liquid in the dessert pictured on the right which shall be gratuitously dubbed: Vanilla Cross My Heart Perfect Poached Pears (in exploitation of Valentine's Day). I haven't come up with a Valentine inspired name for the poached berries dessert yet...Ideas I'm toying with: Old Vine 'tine Poached Berries; Zintillating Berry Delight; but, I think I'm going to stick with the simple and direct: I Love You Zin Poached Berries (there's just no way to work the almond pancakes in there). Speaking of almond pancakes: Anybody out there looking for ways to use the almond pulp byproduct from their almond milk production? No? Well, you may be asked someday so, just in case, here is my almond pancake recipe:
1.5 T butter (or veg. oil)
1/4 C Xylitol
1 T brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 C Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 t xanthum gum
1 t baking powder
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 C almond pulp (from almond milk production)
1/3 C almond milk
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t almond extract
sliced almonds for garnish

Combine flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, and sea salt. In separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg, and almond extract. Mix almond milk into almond pulp to form dense batter consistency. Add half flour mixture to wet mixture, alternating with half of almond paste mixture. Stir until mixed. Add more milk if necessary. Texture will be like muffin batter.

Heat griddle and add 1 t butter or oil. Spoon out pancake batter and place several sliced almonds over top. Cover and let cook on low (about 4 min.) Flip with spatula and cook other side for about 3 minutes or until done. Top with zin-poached berries (frozen berries, zinfandel, sugar or xylitol). Makes 4 pancakes.