Bold Flavor Boosts for Tradition-Worthy Holiday Meals

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(Family Features) Holiday gatherings provide perfect opportunities to get creative in the kitchen. Spending quality time with family and friends over an unforgettably delicious meal is what the holiday season is all about, after all. Make sure to be the one everyone is raving about because you’ve brought something new and delicious to your event by transforming ordinary seasonal recipes with a clever, bold twist.

At first, changing a classic family recipe or whipping up a new, taste-tempting holiday dish may seem daunting. However, balancing taste and complexity doesn’t need to be stressful. Simplify recipe planning with one versatile ingredient that provides a bold boost and creates real crowd pleasers: cooking wines.

Now is the time to make cooking wine a must-have in your kitchen essentials. Using a wine specially made for cook­ing provides consistent, momentous flavor, as it withstands high cooking temperatures and has a long shelf life. One option to try this season is Holland House Cooking Wines, with a long and delicious history of adding rich, robust flavor to a wide variety of culinary applications.

These cooking wines are perfect for plenty of recipes and come in savory and flavor-boosting varieties including: Marsala, imparting a sweet-wine flavor with hints of hazelnut; Red, offering a smooth, medium-bodied finish; White, featuring a slightly dry but distinct profile; and Sherry, offering a mild flavor with hints of nut and caramel.

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration for your holiday feast, you can experience the bold flavors of Holland House with these soon-to-be holiday favorites. Serve Garlic and Herb Lamb Chops with Marsala Mushroom Sauce as your entree alongside Asiago and Bacon Orzo Medley. For a dessert no one can say no to, try scrumptious Buttered Pound Cake with Sherry Mascarpone and Soaked Berries.

Visit hollandhouseflavors.com for more taste-tempting holiday recipes.

Garlic and Herb Lamb Chops with Marsala Mushroom Sauce

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes plus marinating

Servings: 7 (about 2 lamb chops per serving)

2          tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

4          teaspoons fresh garlic, minced, divided

1          tablespoon lemon zest, grated

3/4       cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine, divided

2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2          racks of lamb (approximately 3-4 pounds), trimmed and cleaned

Marsala Mushroom Sauce:

1          tablespoon butter

1          pound fresh baby bella or cremini mushrooms, cleaned

2          tablespoons fresh shallots, thinly sliced

1/2       cup beef stock

1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1          tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

In large bowl, combine rosemary, 3 teaspoons garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 cup cooking wine and olive oil. Add racks of lamb, meat-side up, and cover bowl. Marinate 6-24 hours. After marinating, heat oven to 400 F. Transfer racks of lamb to heated, oven-proof saute pan on stovetop and sear each side 2 minutes until golden brown.

Transfer oven-proof saute pan with lamb to heated oven and cook approximately 10 minutes, or until lamb reaches 135 F in center. Remove pan from oven and take lamb out of pan to rest.

To make Marsala Mushroom Sauce: In same pan, melt butter over medium heat; add mushrooms and saute. Add shallots and remaining garlic, cooking until fragrant. Deglaze with remaining cooking wine. Add beef stock and whisk in Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 2 minutes to reduce and thicken.

Carve racks of lamb by cutting between ribs. Serve drizzled with Marsala Mushroom Sauce. Garnish with parsley.

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Asiago and Bacon Orzo Medley

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 11 (about 1/2 cup per serving)

4          ounces bacon, chopped

4          ounces white onion, diced

1          teaspoon garlic, minced

2          cups fresh asparagus tips

2          cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4       cup Holland House White Cooking Wine

1/4       cup chicken stock

3          cups orzo, cooked according to package directions

1/2       cup shaved Asiago cheese

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

In large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add onions and garlic to pan with bacon and saute until fragrant and soft. Cook onions until translucent.

Add asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes, chicken stock and cooking wine to saucepan and deglaze.

Add cooked orzo and Asiago cheese, stirring to combine. Cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Buttered Pound Cake with Sherry Mascarpone and Soaked Berries

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes plus marinating

Servings: 10 (2 pieces per serving)

3/4       cup fresh raspberries

3/4       cup fresh blueberries

3/4       cup fresh blackberries

1/2       cup Holland House Sherry
Cooking Wine, divided

1          teaspoon lemon juice

1          teaspoon lemon zest, grated

2          tablespoons honey

1          cup mascarpone cheese

1 1/2    cups heavy whipping cream

2          tablespoons sugar

2          tablespoons butter

1          pound cake, cut into 20 pieces

In medium bowl, combine raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, 1/3 cup cooking wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey. Cover bowl and marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.

In mixer, whip mascarpone by slowly adding heavy whipping cream, sugar and remaining cooking wine. Once thoroughly mixed, whip to stiff peaks.

Butter both sides of each piece of pound cake and add to saute pan. Over medium heat, brown both sides of cake until golden. Place two pieces of toasted pound cake in individual serving dishes and let cool.

Place dollop of whipped mascarpone on pound cake pieces. Garnish with marinated berries.