Toasting Mulled Wine Day + Charcuterie

Mulled wine isn’t just for the holidays–
it can be a fabulous cold weather potion and still at this late season winterlude.   Cheers to National Mulled Wine Day.
Discover the Menu Shoppe “finds”…
elegant ideas and handsome presentation.
Build a charcuterie and mulled wine menu for weekend afternoon menus.
Classic Mulled Wine
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine such as Côtes du Rhône
**or substitute a fruity chardonnay–
excellent for the seasonal transition
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
3 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 small orange, thinly sliced
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
6- by 4-inch piece of cheesecloth + kitchen string
Wrap cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves in cheesecloth and tie with string. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 5-quart heavy pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then add spice bag, wine, vanilla bean, and fruit. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.
Or build a charcuterie around mulled wine. 
The charcuterie can also be seasonal.
Perhaps for this late season context–chicken sausages, brie, camembert or smoked gouda is always so ideal + maybe a spinach terrine. Also add some seasonal fruit.
Cheese straws or cheese crackers are also elegant. Also add some rustic loaf and don’t forget to include the cornichons and a few varieties of moutard.
For the sausage, whether visit your local deli.
In NYC its….Salumeria Biellese, a Chelsea tradition since 1925, offering nearly 80 types of sausages and meats–and dry-cured the old, slow way.
In Washington DC, its Carnale’s at the historic Eastern Market.  Serving the Capital market for more than 26 years with fabulous deli cases of international and down home bests–including piquant sausages such as Chicken Sausage with Spinach and Feta, or Wild Boar and Pork Sausage.
Try these savory pastry-like  crackers to accompany mulled wine or charcuterie
Cheese Crackers
6 oz. sharp white cheddar, finely grated
(to yield 1 1⁄2 cups)
1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
12 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups flour, preferably  flour
1 tsp. salt
3⁄4 tsp. cayenne
Place butter into a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add cheeses and beat well. Sift flour, salt, and cayenne together into another bowl. Quickly knead the flour mixture into butter mixture without overworking the dough. If dough remains crumbly, stir in 2 tbsp. ice water. Gather dough into a ball. Quarter dough, shape each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2–3 hours. Preheat oven to 450°. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a floured surface to 1/16″ thickness. Using a 1 1/2″ round cookie cutter, cut out about 30 rounds and transfer to a parchment paper–lined cookie sheet about 1/2″ apart. Repeat process with remaining dough. Bake crackers until puffed and golden, 6–8 minutes. Transfer crackers to a nontoxic paper bag or paper towels to let cool completely. Crackers will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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This entry was posted in beverage, bistros, charcuterie, deli, lounges, National Food Holiday, restaurants, the cellar and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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