Friday Night Wine Nights

After I took the bar and started working full time, I discovered how nice it was to grill something in our backyard on the UWS (yes, we had a backyard and a grill in Manhattan! Amazing, right!?!) and have a bottle (or most likely, three bottles) of wine on Friday nights when we didn’t have anything planned. I loved stopping by either Fairway or the butcher at 87th and Amsterdam to get our meats and then by the Market on Broadway and 85th for our vegetables and seafood (Bob the seafood man was slightly creepy and loveable all at the same time and always had great recommendations).


 (Our UWS Backyard)

Jason and I have continued Friday night dinner and wine nights since moving to North Carolina. My excitement for my new sous vide inspired me to make several meals using it, all of which have turned out incredibly with very little effort. I am finding cooking meat sous vide is equivalent to the crock-pot recipes everyone’s moms seemed to make when I was growing up, but this allows for much healthier meals involving something other than a roast/carrot/potato dish or chili. Cooking meat sous vide allows for one to cook an otherwise tough meat to be very tender and moist by cooking it at the temperature at which it is to be served over a long period of time. We recently cooked a sous vide flank steak for fajitas for about 8 hours, and it was not in the least bit tough or chewy. Sous vide wine night is as easy as season, seal, and set temp/time = best way to enjoy a dinner with very little effort. Here are a few recipes that I’ve tried so far:

Braised Short Ribs finished with an Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce


Recipe adapted from Modernist Cuisine
Short Ribs: 
(8-10 4-5 inch long short ribs)
1. Remove fat cap and silver skin covering short ribs.
2. Season with salt (I used alder wood salt), fresh ground pepper, minced garlic, and vacuum seal.
3. Cook sous vide in 140° F bath for 72 hours. (I cooked mine for about 76 hours because of when I stared and when I was ready to cook them, and they were incredibly tender.)
4. Remove from bag and strain juices.
5.* Brush with barbecue sauce (recipe below) and sear on each side for 45 seconds-1 minute.  *(Save this step until all of your sides are cooked and you’re ready to eat.
North Carolina Eastern Region Barbecue Sauce:
Recipe from Modernist Cuisine
(This can be prepared hours/days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use)
  • 200g Cider vinegar
  • 200g Distilled white vinegar
  • 30g Maple syrup
  • 10g Chili flakes
  • 3g Black pepper, ground
  • Salt, to taste
1. Mix all ingredients, except for salt, in a heavy-bottom pot
2. Simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until reduced to 250g, about 20 minutes. (I brought to a very quick boil, then went down to a simmer)
3. Season with salt and refrigerate


Pork Tenderloin With a Blackberry Jalapeno Glaze
1. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and vacuum seal.
2. Cook sous vide in a 142° F bath for 48 hours.
3. When ready to serve, melt half of a tablespoon of butter in a pan, brush pork with blackberry jalapeno glaze and sear on each side for 30-45 seconds to slightly crisp.
4. Slice and serve with a bit of glaze across each piece.
Blackberry Jalapeno Glaze:
Adapted from a Guy Fieri recipe.
I often find a recipe and then will adapt it both to my tastes and to the ingredients I have on hand, because some of those normal spices seem to disappear quickly from my cabinet and then I often forget to pick them up at the market. This is an example of one such instance.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of jalapenos, diced (I some from the jar in the refrigerator and diced them; you could also use fresh jalapenos)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I keep a large jar of this in the house at all times)
  • 3/4 cup of blackberries
  • 1 1/4 cup red wine (pinot noir worked for me); keep 1/4 reserved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1. Add butter to sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once melted add jalapenos and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes
2. Stir in blackberries and 1 cup of wine and bring to a boil. Continually whisk breaking down the blackberries.
3. Once the blackberries are broken down, bring to simmer and add in maple syrup and the remaining wine.  It should take about 20-25 minutes to get to this point. If your mixture is still too watery, you can bring it back up to a boil to reduce it.
Beef Loin with Mushroom Risotto and Browned-Butter Brussel Sprouts and Almonds

So I felt like I kind of cheated on this recipe: The beef tenderloin for this was one that we got at the grocery store that was already pre-vacuum-sealed and seasoned with mushroom broth and pepper, so I simply cooked it sous vide in a 136° F bath for 8.5 hours and finished it by searing it in a pan lightly coated with olive oil. This is something you could easily throw in the sous vide in the morning and leave to cook while you’re at work; it could be cooked in the sous vide for anywhere from 8-18 hours.

Mushroom Risotto:

Recipe from SkinnyTaste. I absolutely LOVE this website.  There are many awesome recipes, which you will see that I am using frequently. 

Servings: SkinnyTaste said this was 6 servings; it ended up being about 12 servings for us
Size: 1 cup
Calories: 278


  • 2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoon butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup white wine (I used an oaky chardonnay)
  • 8 cups fat free chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Heat chicken stock in a small pot and keep on low heat.
2. In a medium size heavy sauce pan, saute garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil.
3. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
4. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and let the mushrooms cook about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Sauteed Mushrooms, Garlic and Chicken Stock

5. Add butter to the pan on set flame to medium-low heat. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute.

Diced Shallots

6. Add rice mixing well until well coated and translucent, about 2 minutes. (If there still appears to be some white parts to the rice, it’s likely okay. I couldn’t decide if it was or not when I was cooking and it turned out fine; just be sure to mix well and coat the rice with butter for the full two minutes. You must stir quickly otherwise it will stick)

Rice coated with butter

7. Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice.
8. Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
9. Mix in mushrooms and parsley. Serve with a bit of grated parmesan cheese.

Risotto after all chicken stock and mushrooms and parsley were mixed in
Browned-Butter Brussel Sprouts with Almonds:

I’m not sure this really requires all that much of an explanation, but there may be some of you who have never browned butter before, and after you have, you will want browned-butter with everything!

1. I microwaved a 16 ounce bag of frozen brussel sprouts for 7 minutes, stirring half way through to be sure they were evenly heated.
2. Add three tablespoons of butter to a medium sauce pot on medium-high heat.
3. Once melted, add in 1/4 cup of sliced almonds and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Stir for 3-5 minutes until butter literally starts to brown.
5. Add in brussel sprouts and cover with a lid. Leave in pot for about 5 minutes and stir about every minute to evenly coat all of the brussel sprouts.

 Enjoy your very easy and delicious meals!

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