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Entertaining Made Easy - and Affordable

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Carlo's Kebabs
Spiced Sangria
Jug Sliders
Sparkling Peach Melba

(Family Features) - These days, people are looking for ways to stretch their dollar while still indulging in good times with family and friends. One way to do that is to take advantage of delicious and affordable wines - for cooking and for drinking.

For some fun twists on entertaining, Carlo Rossi has developed recipes that are great for hosting a backyard party, a special celebration or just dressing up the daily dinner table.

The tasty Jug Slider mini burgers may be small, but they are packed with bold flavor. First, throw these bite-sized burgers on the grill. While they cook, sauté chopped mushrooms in butter, scallions, shallots and merlot. Place the burgers on mini buns and top with the prepared mushroom sauce. Then set out a platter and watch everyone dig in.

The grill is already fired up, so why not make Carlo's Kebabs, as well? Marinate chunks of swordfish overnight in a combination of olive oil, fresh dill and chardonnay. On day two, use a wooden skewer to line up the swordfish, alternating the fish with your choice of fresh vegetables, such as onions and red and green peppers. Pair with a crisp autumn salad and you have a delicious meal that is great for sharing with friends.

To quench your thirst, Sparkling Peach Melba brings the comfort food classic to a pitcher, while keeping the sweet, wholesome flavor. Combine white zinfandel with fresh peaches and raspberries, then top with sparkling water, fresh mint and ice. This drink is as refreshing as it is visually stunning, and can also be made in a large pitcher to serve as the centerpiece at your meal.

Spiced Sangria is perfect for any celebration. In a large pitcher, combine wine with sliced oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, brewed blackberry tea and cherries. Top off with seltzer and ice. This drink can easily be made in advance, giving the tea an opportunity to meld with the wine and enhance the flavor.

Whether your gathering is big or small, the right recipes and the right wines can make your evening extra special. To find the wine that's right for you, visit carlorossi.com.

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Carlo's Kebabs

  • 1 cup of Carlo Rossi Chardonnay
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds swordfish, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 8-inch wooden skewers
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges

    1. In a medium bowl combine chardonnay, olive oil, dill and salt. Add swordfish chunks. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes or overnight.
    2. Place swordfish, zucchini, bell pepper and onion alternately on to skewers. Grill 5 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork, brushing occasionally with marinade.

Makes 4 servings

Spiced Sangria

Spiced Sangria is perfect for any celebration. In a large pitcher, combine wine with sliced oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, brewed blackberry tea and cherries. Top off with seltzer and ice.

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 blackberry tea bags
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups Carlo Rossi Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 liter seltzer
  • 1 cup fresh cherries
  • 1 large orange, sliced

    1. Prepare tea in a saucepan, combining boiling water with tea bags, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir occasionally, letting tea steep for 20 minutes. Discard tea bags and cool to room temperature.
    2. In a large pitcher combine wine, tea mixture and orange juice. Add seltzer, cherries and orange slices. Serve over ice.
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Makes 8 to 10 servings

Jug Sliders

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 package mini buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 large scallions, sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup Carlo Rossi Merlot
  • Green leaf lettuce

    1. Shape about 3 tablespoons of ground beef into a 1-inch-thick patty, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
    2. Melt butter in a skillet and add mushrooms, scallions and shallot. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; add merlot and simmer.
    3. Grill burgers to preferred degree of temperature. Place each burger on miniature bun with lettuce and top with mushroom mixture.

Makes 16

Sparkling Peach Melba

  • 3 large, ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 1.5-liter bottle Carlo Rossi White Zinfandel
  • 1 liter seltzer, chilled
  • 2 whole mint sprigs

    1. Place peaches and raspberries in large pitcher. Pour in zinfandel. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour. Before serving, add seltzer and mint sprigs. Serve in wine glasses over ice.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

SOURCE: Carlo Rossi

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