The biggest benefit of cooking with wine — sampling the ingredients for "quality control." The second biggest benefit — wine enhances the flavor of many great recipes. This one comes from the website epicurious.com and was originally published in Bon Appetit magazine in December 1999.
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups canned beef broth
8 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 lb. orzo
6 shallots, minced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
6 5-ounce skinless boneless salmon fillets
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; saute 5 minutes. Add wine, beef broth, thyme and 1 bay leaf; boil until liquid is reduced to 1 cup, about 35 minutes. Strain sauce into small saucepan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place orzo on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots; saute 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add orzo, chicken broth and 1 bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered until orzo is tender and broth is absorbed, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add cream and tarragon; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and saute just until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Bring sauce to simmer. Add butter; whisk just until melted. Season with pepper. Spoon orzo onto plates. Top with salmon. Serve with sauce. Makes 6 servings.