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Easy Stay-at-Home Meals to Pair With Red Wine

Updated on May 13, 2020
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Business journalist and culture writer published in WIRED Innovation Insights, Investing, GuruFocus, CNN, Technology among others.

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Our relationship with food has evolved over the past few decades—we don’t cook, eat or drink the way we used to. The more we discover new lifestyles and new technologies, the more our cultural DNA becomes richer when it comes to cuisine. We eat for pleasure, and for our health, too, most of all. We eat to celebrate our local farmers and growers, to support our community and heritage, and to answer the call of our bodies. There is no denying that the way we live today influences what can be found in our kitchens.

But as we all continue to shelter in place to help flatten the curve, buying groceries at the moment has proven to be more of a challenge. Obtaining ingredients and fresh produce can be more difficult to navigate these days, especially as a lot of shops are closed, and wet markets, too. We are all strongly encouraged to avoid public places with crowds and to practice social distancing as much as possible. And rightly so: every bit on our part helps, especially if we want to defeat this novel coronavirus, an invisible enemy that has ravaged countries all over the world.

While staying indoors is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is hardly the most difficult thing that we have had to do. Cooking though can be a test of our patience, resourcefulness, and creativity, especially if we don’t have all the ingredients in our pantry. Worry not—we’ve gathered some easy stay-at-home meals that you can prepare with the least anxiety and stress involved. To top it all off, we’re also going to suggest some of the best red wine to go with it—we’re pretty sure we could all use a drink or two right now.


Cabernet Sauvignon with sausages

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This wine is the perfect match to just about any red-meat dish. It is bold and unapologetic, with a thriving level of tannins, making it a good choice to keep in the cellar for a good many years. We recommend the 2015 Koyle "Royal" Cabernet Valle de Colchagua Cabernet Sauvignon ($17) from Chile to partner with sausages.

A known heavyweight in the South America wine industry, Chile is the second-largest producer of Cabernet Sauvignon next to France. The Carmenère grape adds a spicy note to the elegant, full-bodied wine.

Baked Potato and Sausages

Ingredients:

Sausage links, large potatoes, orange and red bell peppers, shallots, garlic cloves, olive oil, paprika, salt, thyme, and pepper

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Slice the bell peppers into strips. Chop the shallots and mince the garlic cloves.

  2. Check the oven and preheat it to 400°. On a greased baking pan, put the potatoes, bell peppers, shallots and garlic altogether. Drizzle some oil and dust them with salt, pepper and thyme. Gently toss with your hands and make sure that everything is covered with the seasoning.

  3. Spread them evenly over the pan, then put the sausages on top. Do not cover.

  4. Bake them for around 30-35 minutes or until the sausages are cooked and the vegetables are tender.

Beaujolais with chicken salad

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Beaujolais is light-bodied and very versatile. Made from the Gamay grape, it is considered to be a “food-friendly” wine, with low alcohol content. It has notes of red berry fruits, with high acidity and low tannins.

If you want to prepare a light meal like a chicken salad (to eat by itself or as sandwich filling), this would be a great companion. We recommend the 2016 Domaine Passot Regnie Beaujolais ($23).

Chicken Salad with Bacon

Ingredients:

Chicken meat, bacon, green onions, celery, mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), salt, pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop the chicken meat or pull it apart into shreds with your fingers. This is a great way to repurpose leftover chicken or chicken that you bought from a rotisserie.

  2. Chop the bacon in bite-sized pieces and fry it. Set aside to cool—you can put a paper towel on a plate and place the bacon on it to drain the extra oil.

  3. Chop the green onions and celery.

  4. Put the chicken and vegetables in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise.

  5. Mix everything together. Put the bacon last.

  6. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.

Montepulciano D'Abruzzo with pizza

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Perhaps one of Italy’s most famous wines, Montepulciano has a deep red color and very pronounced aroma. Dry and full-bodied, it has notes of plum, pepper, and other herbs like oregano, with low acidity. Sometimes you can also taste a hint of tobacco.

The 2018 Vigneti del Sole Montepulciano D'Abruzzo ($17) from this wine club is great for any meal. It might require a bit more elbow grease, but we recommend this with a slice of pizza.


Classic Homemade Pizza

Ingredients:

For the dough: active dry yeast, flour warm water, sugar, oil, salt

For the toppings: ground beef, onion, tomato sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, green bell pepper, mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the ¼ ounce of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 to ¼ cups of water. After five minutes, add 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ cup of oil.

  2. Slowly stir in 3 ½ to 4 cups of flour until you can see a soft dough forming.

  3. Sprinkle more flour on a flat surface, then slowly knead the dough for a few minutes until it is elastic and smooth.

  4. Put the dough in a greased bowl. Turn it over once so the other side is also greased. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place. Leave for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen twice in size.

  5. Sauté the ground beef and onions.

  6. Once the dough is ready, divide it in half. Knead each into a round shape and place both on a greased pan.

  7. Slice the green bell peppers and cheese.

  8. Mix in the dried oregano and basil together with the tomato sauce.

  9. Spread it over the two crusts. Put the beef and onion mixture on top. Sprinkle it with bell pepper and cheese.

  10. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until the crusts are brown.

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