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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 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.