Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category


Calamari in Wine Sauce with peas and rice

My first encounter with calamari was in San Sebastian, Spain where calamari fritos are sold on the streets. Big rings of sweet squid are breaded and then deep fried in lard (pig fat rules)  until crispy.  It just doesn’t get any better than that! Over the years calamari has become my favorite treat. I love it fried, sautéed, broiled, grilled, marinated in salads, or in a seafood stew like the recipe below.

Calamari needs to be either cooked FAST or VERY SLOWLY and LOW or it will turn into rubber. Nutritionally, squid is a very good source of protein. 4 oz yields 16 grams of protein, 92 calories and only 1.5 grams of fat……….however, and this is a WARNING for some of you………4 oz of squid is loaded with LDL cholesterol (250 Mg bad cholesterol! ) The highest concentration appears to be in the tentacles.  So if you’re a calamari lover and watching your cholesterol limit your intake of this versatile seafood delight.  

Calamari in wine sauce

Squid in classic wine & tomato sauce

1  2 LB package of frozen squid (thawed)

3 toes garlic minced

2 TBS oyster sauce (optional)

3 TBS tomato paste

1 cup finely chopped red onions

2 TBS flour

1 small can tomato sauce

1 ½ cup dry red wine

2 TBS chopped thyme leaves

1 cup parsley leaves

Fresh ground pepper

Pinch sea salt

2 TBS olive oil for frying

Finishing olive oil and parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Thaw calamari in frig, drain, pat dry
  2.  Add olive oil to heavy pan, fry squid for two minutes, add onions & garlic
  3. Sauté onions, garlic, add paste, oyster sauce, flour, thyme, salt & pepper
  4. Add wine, cook 2-3 minutes to reduce
  5. Cover and cook for 50 minutes in 285 oven
  6. Anoint with finishing olive oil & sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)
  7. Serve with rice, peas, light salad & crusty bread.

Yields 4-5

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try                 

Recipe and photo copyright 2010 , Cooking with Cordier, All Rights Reserved

Viva Citra Wines!

First of all, I don’t work for Citra Wines (chee-tra).   However, over the years I have been serving them at all my cooking classes.   Many years ago I discovered the secret to successful cooking classes………..serve lots of wine!  So,  how do you serve decent regional Italian wines and not break the  food budget ?………….simple, serve these wonderful Citra Wines.  I first encountered these wines on a trip to Pescara, Italy  (on the Adriatic coast of the Abruzzo region)  This forgotten area of Italy boasts not only fabulous mountains, pristine beaches and friendly people,  but some truly great wines.  We especially enjoy their Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo (not to be confused with the town of Montepulciano, south of Siena) where the Montepulciano grapes are barrique-aged and  harvested from the lush vineyards of Pagliata and Polltri.  The 7000 local wine growers blend their grapes to create a well balanced, full bodied red with nice acid balance and loads of berry fruit.  Citra also offers several white wines………our favorite is their Tribiano.  The tribiano is 100% tribiano grapes (the grape used to produce balsamic vinegar) and is very clean,  bright, with citric notes and very little oak.   The perfect wine paired with seafood, pastas and light dinners in the warmer months.  The owner of the Village Market, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (Mark Garmo)  is always happy after my cooking classes are over because he knows he will acquire new loyal Citra customers for life.  Now, heres the best part of this wine story.  Not only does Citra draw praise and awards from many discerning wine pundants, including Wine Spectator,  but the price will surely win you over. In our market 1.5 liter bottles of Citra wines go for under $10!  Not too bad for wines that have been served to Britain’s Prince Charles.  Viva il vino……….Viva Citra Wines