Wine Wednesday: More Recipes

My blog each Wednesday discusses the wine offerings of Arkansas from individual vineyards, wines, festivals, wine-infused events and more.

Jill M. Rohrbach
I was having trouble trying to decide what to write about wine-wise today when I realized I was partially distracted by the fact that I have company coming to our house on Thursday. They are friends of my husband’s from his hometown of Moline, Illinois and their two boys. We love to entertain and I found myself thinking about what we’re going to cook for them and what wine or other beverages we have on hand.

That led me to combine my need to find food to cook for guests with my need to write a wine blog, and I came up with recipes that use wine. I’ve shared some once before from the Altus’Mount Bethel Winery website. Here are some more in case you have company coming too, or maybe you’re just looking for a new tasty dish to try.


Big Daddy Blue Cheese and Walnut Dip

1 pound crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 to 1/2 cup Big Daddy Tawny Port
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

In a food processor, blend the cheese, butter, and Port until the mixture is smooth. In a bowl, combine the cheese mixture and the walnuts. Transfer the spread to smaller bowls and serve the portion that you wish for your party and keep the rest for later. Keep the spread covered and chilled, it will be good for up to 3 weeks. Serve the spread with crackers


Big Daddy Blue Cheese Filet

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup minced white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup Big Daddy Port wine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 filet mignon steaks (1 1/2 inch thick)
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs (panko or Italian whatever you like)

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the Big Daddy Port wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. This may also be made ahead of time, and reheated.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the whole pan into the oven.

3. Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 minutes for medium rare – with an internal temperature of 145 degrees. You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish just below your desired doneness. Remove from the oven, and place on a baking sheet. Stir together the crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture.
4. Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly. 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with warm Big Daddy Port wine sauce.


Big Daddy Bananas Foster

1/2 stick butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 bananas
1 tablespoon light rum
2 tablespoons Big Daddy Port
8 scoops vanilla ice cream, for serving

Cook butter and sugar in a large skillet over medium heat until melted. Meanwhile, slice bananas in half lengthwise. Add to skillet and cook until bananas are tender, about 2 minutes. Carefully add rum and Big Daddy Port and ignite. Spoon sauce over the bananas and then serve immediately over vanilla ice cream.

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