Cooking With Wine Recipes; We Share With You A Few From Our Family's Collection

Cooking with wine recipes make any festivity special. In our family Christmas is a time for the extended family to gather. It is our favorite holiday, and it is extra special because my son was born on Christmas Day.

The cooking starts several days before, and anything that can be prepared ahead of time, or that will freeze well, will be ready well in advance.

The festivities begins on Christmas Eve, which is the more formal and solemn celebration. When we are ready for dinner, everyone gathers around the table, which is set with the best china and crystal.

The candles are lit, and there is a small pillow in the center of the table. One member of the family is assigned to read from the Bible the wonderfully vivid story of the birth of Jesus in Luke, Chapter II, Verse 1.

After the reading is done, the youngest member of the family; in this case my twin granddaughter Inez, her sister Sylvie being older by 2 minutes, lays a small figurine of the Baby Jesus on the pillow at the center of the table.

And then everyone digs in. The dishes are varied and plentiful. Some are recipes that my grandmother brought with her from Spain to Mexico, like her pork and ham Holiday Dressing; others are dishes that I love, such as gravlax. In between we have turkey, salads, potatoes, hams; and always present and very special, bacalao, the famous salted cod dish.

Christmas Day is a more informal celebration. It is an open house, where relatives and friends come and go all day long and into the evening.

In addition to the left-overs from the night before (and we always must have left-overs!) we add dishes that reflect the more informal feel of the festivity.

We will have Menudo, Pozole, Fabada Asturiana, and hamburger sliders for the children. We also make sure that we have some non-pork dishes for our Jewish family members.

On Christmas day the menu is more a collection of favorites, than a well planned dinner where every dish compliments the other. The dishes reflect our heritage; a melange of Mexican, Spanish, and French favorites, with a few American and Scandinavian (though to my knowledge, there are no Scandinavian ancestors in our family, but you never know for sure!). There is a dish for every taste in the house.

Bacalao a la Viscaina

Here is the recipe for Bacalao a la Viscaina, or salted cod. One of the many cooking with wine recipes in our repertoire. Very traditional at Christmas time in Spain, Mexico, and all over Latin America.


2 lbs Salted Cod Fish

1 cup Olive Oil

1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste

1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce

2 lbs. Fresh or Canned Tomatoes, cut very fine

6 cloves Garlic

1 large Onion

2 cups Olives, manzanilla or other Spanish variety.

1 small jar Capers

1 16 oz jar Peperoncini, sliced

1 small jar Red Pimentos, sliced

2 Fresh Red Pimentos, sliced

1 bunch Parsley

6 Medium Potatoes cubed and cooked

1/2 cup Dry White Wine

1 Tbsp. Spanish Paprika

Soak salted cod fish in water for at least 24 hours in your refrigerator. Change the water every 3 or 4 hours. This will de-salt the fish.

After the fish has been soaked for the amount of time recommended, rinse it and cut it into cubes. In the mean time, mince garlic and onion. In a large saucepan fry garlic and onion in olive oil until transparent. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and fresh tomato, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

If the bacalao is a bit too dry, add more white wine.

Serve with bread.

This dish tastes even better the next day!

Totoyo’s Holiday Dressing

Here is the recipe of my grandmother's pork and ham dressing. A favorite from our cooking with wine recipes. My sister Martha de Sanchez took the time to write it down, as most of us only have an old piece of paper with the ingredients written down, and no instructions!

Makes 12 to 14 servings

Better if made one to two days in advance


3 lbs Pork Shoulder, cut in chunks

2 to 3 lbs Pork Boneless Ribs

1 lb Bacon, finely diced

1 1/2 lbs Smoked Ham, finely diced

4 4oz jars Sliced Pimentos

1 1/2 jar 15 oz Spanish Olives or pitted sliced green olives with pimentos.

6 to 8 oz. Slivered Almonds

6 to 8 oz Raisins

14 medium Garlic Cloves, peeled

1 large Yellow Onion, minced

1 medium Yellow Onion, whole

1 1/12 Sticks of Salted Butter

1 tsp Dried Oregano, crushed

1/2 cup Any of the Various Types of White Wine, as long as it's dry

1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce

1 tsp Black Pepper, ground

6 medium Green Apples, cored and diced. This should be done right before adding to mixture so that apples do not turn brown.


Place pork shoulder and rib chunks in an 8 to 12 quart pot.Fill with water until it covers the meat. Bring to a boil on the.After skimming, add one whole medium onion, four cloves of garlic, and one-teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook forty-five minutes, or until meat is tender.When done, drain meat and remove it to a cutting board. Let it cool, then finely dice, and set it aside.

Wash and dry pot, and use it to brown finely diced bacon. When bacon is crisp, remove and set it aside with meat.

To the bacon drippings add one and one half sticks of butter and ten cloves of garlic. Fry garlic until golden brown, then remove and discard.

Add diced ham to the butter/garlic drippings and brown. Remove ham and set aside with the meat and bacon.

Add minced onions to drippings and cook until transparent. Add meat, bacon, ham, and rest of ingredients, mixing them well. Cook together for fifteen or twenty minutes. If mixture is too dry, you may add more wine or chicken broth.

You can use dressing to stuff the turkey, or place it in lettuce cups.

I Hope That You Enjoy Our Favorite Cooking With Wine Recipes

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