$3 wine students can actually afford to cook with! Trader Joe's Charles Shaw, better known as "two (three in seattle) buck chuck"
Thanks to my sister, I now have a few bottles around - something I'd been missing since I moved out. I don't really drink, so I cook with them instead... that is until I turn around from the stove and notice half the bottle has disappeared into my housemates' mouths. But alas, it's $3, so who cares, open another one and be merry!
It's a nice compromise in quality - they really aren't bad, and give a good wine flavor to dishes. In fact, they are better than most $7-12 wines I've tried cooking with. I do have a nicer bottle lying around that I'm going to experiment (literally) with - comparing a dish cooked with the pricier wine to the same dish cooked with the three buck chuck - a blind test with the help of a few friends.
Once again enjoying the fall produce from the farmer's market, I roasted squashes (a few assorted winter ones) with fingerling potatoes, carrots, red onion, chicken stock, garlic, coriander, fennel seed, lime juice, and a splash of balsalmic vinegar.
Fresh-cracked Black Pepper Rubbed Chicken Tenderloins
quickly braised in red wine and chopped garlic and fire roasted red peppers. Served with lemon roasted fingerling potatoes, winter squash, carrots, and red onions. Garnished with fresh parsley.
The roasted vegetables were probably my favorite part of this dish - a really hearty accompaniment for a cold blustery night's dinner. The lemon and balsamic really came through, giving a lightly sour sweetness to the vegetables, and the chicken stock gave it depth. The squashes, while I was hesitant again since they smelled like pumpkins when I was cleaning them, became delicate and sweet when roasted. The spices didn't seem to do too much, but that worked out just fine.
The chicken tenderloins, while good, came out a bit too peppery! The wine reduction was delicious however.
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