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Weeknight Dinner Pairings: Pizza and Wine

Weeknight Dinner Pairings: Pizza and Wine


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Pizza debates usually take on the critical question: thick crust or thin? Since more than a few of us hail from Chicago, deep-dish pie from a spot like Lou Malnati’s usually wins.

But what to drink with your preferred pizza? Pizza and beer comes close, but to our way of thinking, that combo’s not nearly as satisfying as a dinner of pizza and the right wine. It’s easy to stick to Italian varietals when it comes to pizza and wine pairings, but why not think outside the boot — or at least explore beyond Tuscany?

Here are some pizza and wine combos that we taste-tested for your dining pleasure:

Pepperoni — It’s crisp, salty, and fatty and the most popular pizza topping around. Your inner child would pair pepperoni with Orange Crush, but it’s surprisingly delicious with a well-balanced version of cabernet sauvignon.

Our pick: ANDREW LANE Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Rutherford, Calif.) $40

Sausage Pizza Bianca with Rapini and Egg — This is an odd one, since porky sausage usually says red wine. But the fact that this pizza is tomato-less, plus the earthy greens and the egg push it toward a white with some body.

Our pick: TERREDORA DI PAOLO Iripina Falanghina 2011 (Campania, Italy) $15

Fig, Prosciutto, and Blue Cheese — This has been one of our favorite fall pizzas, ever since we first tasted the Todd English version at Olives. These days, we like to toss on some arugula, too; it adds bite and makes the pizza seem a wee bit healthier. So what wine complements ham, blue cheese, and figs? Sherry, of course! Your only decision is between drier amontillado and sweeter oloroso.

Our pick: SANDEMAN "Character" Amontillado Sherry, non-vintage (Jerez, Spain) $15

Meat Lover’s Pizza — You might be thinking of the one from the national pizza chain, but we’re dreaming of the one from Pizzeria Mozza in LA. Topped with artisanal bacon, salami, guanciale, fennel sausage, tomatoes, and mozzarella, this begs for a fruity and dry red wine from a place where they understand salumi.

Our pick: TERRE Primitivo 2010 (Puglia, Italy) $9

Click here for more from The Daily Sip.


40 Easy Weeknight Dinners

Refresh your recipe rotation with these easy weeknight dinners! They include pastas, tacos, soups, and more. The whole family will love them!

Each year, when winter starts to melt into spring, I refresh my rotation of easy weeknight dinners. The weather begins to change, and so do my cravings. On some days, I’m still in the mood for the cozy comfort food of winter – hearty pastas, soups, and stews – but on others, I’m hungry for weeknight dinners that are lighter and brighter.

This year especially, I’m ready for a change. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have cooked more in the last 12 months than I ever thought possible. Right now, weeknight dinners that are quick and easy, healthy, and delicious are worth their weight in gold. Bonus points if I haven’t already been eating them on repeat…

In case you’re feeling the same way, I’m sharing 40 of my best weeknight dinner recipes today. They’re all fresh and flavorful, simple and nourishing, and quick enough to throw together on any night of the week. They include pastas, soups, noodles, veggie burgers, and more. Whether you’re cooking for kids, a partner, or just you, you’re bound to find something that hits the spot.


Three Easy Weeknight Pizza + Salad Pairings

I was looking at my calendar a few days ago and realized that from now straight through the holiday season is pretty much maxed out. Between work obligations, various holiday parties, family gatherings, and chorus concerts, there are very few days without some kind of commitment. Add in the need to tackle the organizational aspects of the holidays (gift shopping, wrapping, food shopping and prepping, etc. etc.), I think we all know just how busy November and especially December can prove to be. With that in mind, today I once again teamed up with the fine folks at Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza (formerly Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza) to share three easy weeknight dinner ideas with you! Specifically, we&rsquore talking about the most delicious pizza and salad pairings that are a cinch to toss together while totally elevating your weeknight dinner game. Inspired by the seriously delicious flavor combinations of Virtuoso and their and commitment to fresh, whole ingredients, these salad pairings are about to become your new go-to during the week. We&rsquore also teaming up on a really fun giveaway so keep scrolling for the details and be sure to get entered for your chance to win as the giveaway will close one week from today!

Virtuoso has nine gourmet flavor varieties with a thin, crispy crust that makes it about the best frozen pizza you&rsquore ever going to taste. You can track down your favorite variety by checking out the store locator to find out where it is sold near you, or put in a request with the manager at your favorite store! The pizzas (now showcasing a new name and a sleek new box) feature the same fresh ingredients as they always have and bake at 425° in jus about 12 minutes. With these salads, we baked up the Seasoned Chicken, Vegetable Medley and Four Cheese although you can pick any of your favorites for the perfect weekday meal!

Blackberry Feta Salad

I love fruit on salads, specifically berries and think the flavor is even better when paired with good, crumbly feta! Here red leaf lettuce provides the perfect base, then I just sprinkled on the blackberries, a small handful of thinly sliced almonds and then crumbled a bit of feta over top. A nice drizzle of lemon vinaigrette and you&rsquore in business! Of course, you can switch up the greens and specific berries to suit your taste, but I suggest thinking beyond iceberg and romaine when making your selection so your salads feel a bit elevated and special. That&rsquos the beauty of these salad and pizza pairings! Good, simple ingredients that taste awesome, especially when paired with the Four Cheese pizza. (Which, for the record, is one of my personal favorites!)

Gorgonzola Green Apple Salad

Again with the fruit on salads! In this case, thin slice of granny smith apples and a good sprinkling of gorgonzola bring it home. Walnuts make the perfect pairing with gorgonzola and the tart green apple flavor so just chop &rsquoem rough and toss them on top. For the greens here, I kept things simple with butter lettuce, which is just really clean in flavor and nice and crisp, so everything tastes super fresh. Pile your plate up with a few slices of Vegetable Medley pizza and you&rsquore set! All the veggies on the pizza taste amazing paired with the apples on this salad.

Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad

I&rsquom such a salad junkie that it might be impossible for me to pick a favorite of these three, but if you twisted my arm and I had to, I&rsquod probably say this one! Green leaf lettuce topped with slices of avocado and heirloom tomato, then sprinkled with a bit of red pepper flake. Coincidentally, this is pretty similar to how I like to eat my bagels, too, so there may or may not be a recurring theme happening in my life. At any rate, this one is also as delicious as it is easy to make. Keep the ingredients handy and then after work you can pop a pizza into the oven, slice everything up and be ready to eat in just a few minutes so you can tackle your evening&rsquos agenda. The gentleman of the household is a huge fan of the Seasoned Chicken pizza and loved it alongside the avocado!

A Cozy Pizza Prize Pack Giveaway

One lucky reader is going to win a cozy pizza prize pack valued at over $200! You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. (It&rsquos as easy as can be, promise!) What are you going to win? Lots of really good stuff from the likes of Crate & Barrel and Pier 1, plus lots of yummy pizza, of course! Also known as everything you need to cozy up for the perfect night at home. So, get yourself entered to win! The giveaway will run through 12:00 AM (eastern) on Friday, November 25th. One winner will be announced here on this post later that day &ndash good luck and see below for what you could win!

  • 4 FREE Virtuoso Pizza coupons
  • (2) Red Oven Mittsfrom Crate and Barrelfrom Crate and Barrelfrom Sur La Tablefrom Smarty Had a Partyfrom Pier 1 Importsfrom Pier 1 Imports

[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies. For more recipes, tips and entertaining ideas, follow Virtuoso on Facebook!


Saucy Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry

Try this delicious Mongolian beef recipe! This is the easiest way to have a flavorful and mouthwatering restaurant-style dinner at home. This easy beef recipe is a take-out classic. Grab your chopsticks, a bowl of chow mein, and dig in! This easy Mongolian Beef recipe is better than take-out. A perfectly cooked beef slice flavored with garlic and ginger is the best thing you can offer for a weeknight dinner or a great lunch with the family. A sweet and savory beef dish that can be savored with full-bodied red wines.


Favorite Food Party

Center this party theme around your favorite food. This idea works great for birthdays and potlucks. When you have a theme, everyone involved usually gets more creative with their dishes and tries harder to make the favorite. Need some ideas? Try these: Mac & Cheese, Mushrooms, Bacon, Savory Pie, Pecans, Dates, Avocados, Pineapple, Pickles, Quiche, Oranges and Apples,

Favorite Food Dinner Party Ideas

Don’t be afraid to arrange that takeout on a nice tray or platter. By A. Engle.

Bacon-Chile Burgers With Guacamole and Fresh Salsa

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Just because you're craving a burger doesn't mean you have to waste more than 1,000 calories on a basic sit-down restaurant or fast food order! While some popular chains do sell burgers with more than 1,000 calories, you can actually enjoy a delicious burger with bacon (yes, bacon!) for a mere 402 calories.


Get Dinner on the Table Fast With these Simple Beef Recipes

Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers stuffed with savory beef, Italian sausage, rice, and bursting with tomato and garlic flavors are then topped with cheddar cheese.

This classic recipe is packed with protein, a family favorite, and comfort food at its best!

Meatloaf Dinner

There are so many ways to get meatloaf wrong, so if you&rsquove had a bad experience with it, please don&rsquot discount this recipe just yet!

This one is a copycat of Cracker Barrel meatloaf.

It&rsquos tender and juicy, unlike other meatloaf, with just the right amount of flavors!

Meatloaf also freezes well, so you can make it ahead and ease through dinner, or double the recipe and have it ready anytime.

Beef Stroganoff

Savory beef with a creamy mushroom gravy, beef stroganoff is an amazing dinner meal.

The secret to the best beef stroganoff is getting the right cut of meat. Tender and juicy cuts like boneless rib eye, boneless sirloin, sirloin steak tips, and beef tenderloin work well.

For a full meal, pair this with pasta, mashed potatoes, or even rice! You and your family won&rsquot be able to resist having another serving.

Sloppy Joes

You don&rsquot need to wait &lsquotil Thursday for a major throwback moment. These sloppy joes are sure to take you back in time.

Ditch the canned alternatives and make your very own sloppy joes at home. They&rsquore sure to delight young and old alike!

Tasty ground beef in a flavorful sauce and sandwiched between buttered buns? It&rsquos the perfect meal for any night of the week!

Beef Burrito Skillet

The beef burrito skillet has all of the goodness of your favorite burrito in a pan that&rsquos perfect for sharing. Plus, it&rsquos ready in just 20 minutes!

It has ground beef, black beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla strips. It&rsquos everything you need in a tasty burrito, ready to be devoured as soon as it&rsquos served.

This recipe already tastes heavenly, but to make it even better with some pico de gallo, guac, or rice.

Mississippi Pot Roast &ndash Made with spicy banana peppers, this pot roast packs a kick! The aroma from the slow cooker is pretty amazing, too.
Beef and Broccoli &ndash This dish is just as good as your favorite local takeout place makes it. Actually, it&rsquos better!
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew &ndash Nothing beats a warm bowl of beef stew when you&rsquore in the mood for something hearty and filling.
Texas Roadhouse Prime Rib &ndash Have a romantic dinner planned? This prime rib will be the star of your menu.
Beef Stroganoff &ndash Full of beef and mushrooms in a creamy sauce, this dish is delicious over pasta.
Beef Bourguignon &ndash Think of this as the fancier, French version of beef stew. Ooh-la-la!


How to Pair Wine with Brunch

This time of the year, it’s all about the light. Sunlight is streaming through our windows again, the air smells like flowers, and Mother’s Day is just around the corner: It’s brunch season. When planning the meal, I tend to favor the “unch” over the “br.” That is, the savory over the sweet, as it makes for much better wine pairings. But what kind of wine?

While Champagne is obvious, don’t dwell on the mimosa—straight, dry sparklers are better with food. All styles work well, but especially beautiful at brunch is rosé Champagne, like the Alfred Gratien . The little touch of red-berry pink gives the wine a roundness and fruitiness that makes it a snap with mixed berries (a brunch staple).

Egg dishes often make the centerpiece of brunch, which is fortunate for those of us who love white wine, because the two are infallibly fantastic together. The exact type of white wine you serve should be determined by what you mix with the eggs. With cheddar and broccoli, as in Suzanne Goin’s Mother’s Day brunch menu , I’d love to have a Sauvignon Blanc (especially if the cheddar is sharp). Its great acidity and zingy herbal flavors will bring brightness and punch. On the other hand, if your egg dish has mushrooms, there’s a great opportunity to drink Chardonnay. The varietal’s rounded body and softer flavor pair beautifully with both eggs and mushrooms.

For heavier dishes involving vegetables, pork or poultry I still love keeping the wine light. With their herb and berry inflections, dry rosés are great. They’ll fare beautifully, for instance, with Goins’ sausage patties or farro salad .

Just remember: we know it’s brunch season because our days are now filled with light. Keep your brunch wines light and bright as well, and you’ll have great pairings.

Inspired? Make sure to visit Williams-Sonoma Wine for hand-picked wine selections, and great Mother’s Day Gifts .

About the author: Jordan Mackay is a James-Beard-winning wine and spirits writer. His writing on food, wine, spirits, and beer has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Food & Wine and others. His first book, Passion for Pinot, was published in 2009, and his second, Secrets of the Sommeliers, was released in October 2010, winning a James Beard award in 2011.


30 Easy Seafood Recipes

Want to make seafood for dinner? There are so many tasty ways to incorporate seafood into your meal prep. It’s a healthy and delicious way to eat lean, filling protein, and a backbone of the Mediterranean diet. Here at A Couple Cooks, we eat mostly plant-based recipes, but we fill them in with healthy and easy seafood recipes occasionally. So we are thrilled to bring you a collection of our “best of the best” fish and seafood recipes!

Here are our best 25 fish and seafood recipes to make for dinner! The recipes below include salmon, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, cod, and tuna. Each recipe is healthy, relatively easy to make, and full of incredible flavor. In fact, there are so many favorites here that we couldn’t narrow it down. There’s a little something for everyone, from shrimp fried rice to pesto salmon to perfectly seared scallops to fish tacos.