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home : lifestyle : putnam   May 24, 2016

7/16/2014 10:25:00 AM
Get creative with wine (video)

NewsTribune photos/Chris YucusAngie Cornelius adds white wine to herb garlic dressing. Cornelius likes using smaller bottles of wine in recipes so there is less waste if you do not plan on drinking the wine. Using herbs fresh from the garden is important in making this versatile dressing. It also can be used in French potato salad and as a marinade on the grill.
+ click to enlarge
NewsTribune photos/Chris Yucus
Angie Cornelius adds white wine to herb garlic dressing. Cornelius likes using smaller bottles of wine in recipes so there is less waste if you do not plan on drinking the wine. Using herbs fresh from the garden is important in making this versatile dressing. It also can be used in French potato salad and as a marinade on the grill.
Angie Cornelius pours her garlic, herb and white wine dressing over a Caprese salad.
+ click to enlarge
Angie Cornelius pours her garlic, herb and white wine dressing over a Caprese salad.
Cynthia Rolando

For some people, cooking is about eating.

For others, like Angie Cornelius of rural Sheridan, it’s about being creative.

“It’s something creative and that’s what cooking is to me,” Cornelius said. “I make photos of my own food. I did have a food blog for a while. I was posting recipes fairly regularly.”

Cornelius and her husband, Ed, live closer to Leland than Sheridan. She said during the summer, he prefers to man the grill and barbecue. That gives her a break to do other things she loves.

“I don’t always get to cook as much in summer,” she said. “So I can concentrate on the fun stuff, like salads. I make the Caprese salad usually just in the summer when the tomatoes are good, but I make the dressing all of the time.”

She uses the garlic herb wine dressing on Caprese salad but also has used it on “vegetable grillers and all kind of things.” The salad, comprised of sungold tomatoes, red tomatoes and mozzarella is easy to make, she said.

Cornelius is a member of Ottawa Art League and North Central Illinois Artworks. In May, she was the featured artist at Paint Box Gallery at Music Suite 408 in Peru’s Westclox building. The painter said visitors commented on how much food art there was.

“I’ve always been interested in cooking,” she said. “My mom liked cooking; it’s kind of a creative thing for me, too. I generally like anything that’s creative.”

The former graphic designer now makes her own bath and body products under the name Succulent Bath & Body, which often have food scents. After leaving the graphic design world, she had a decision to make as to which way her life would take.

“I thought, ‘what would be something that I really liked doing?’” she said. “I thought, ‘I really like cooking but I didn’t really want to be a chef or a cook; I had a feeling that once I started doing it as a job, it wouldn’t be fun anymore.

“I didn’t really want to be that position. That wasn’t something I really wanted to do. I love illustration and people always comment that I do a lot of illustration with food. And that’s true.”

While making the Caprese salad and pouring the dressing, she said you can add salt and pepper or any other spices you like.

“It’s also a really good dressing for French potato salads. It makes a nice marinade for grilling anything,” Cornelius said. “You can add as much garlic or herbs; the herbs are up to you. I just used whatever I had which is cilantro, oregano, rosemary and basil — whatever is in season. Typically, the recipe states that it’s best to use fresh herbs. But I’ve made it in the winter with dried herbs and it’s perfectly fine.’

A native of Boone County in northern Illinois, she said she enjoys food as segregated by season and has a large garden to enjoy.

“Food is a creative and spiritual kind of thing. When it feels like a job, it’s no fun,” she said. “Occasionally, you have to get up to make eggs. But we find some ways to be creative.”

Cynthia Rolando can be reached at (815) 220-6934 or to discuss a food feature.


This is delicious on a fresh garden salad, as a dressing for a tomato and mozzarella Caprese salad or as a marinade for grilled meats and vegetables. Based on a recipe from the former Prairie Restaurant on Printers Row in Chicago.

2½ cups olive oil or vegetable oil of your choice
¾ cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup malt vinegar
½ bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup dry white wine
½ tbsp. finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herb blend of your choice (Prairie’s dressing included basil, tarragon, rosemary and oregano)
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper (or to taste)

Whisk together all ingredients. Allow to sit overnight to fully blend flavors. If you use olive oil, you will need to take it out of the refrigerator ahead of time, since the olive oil will become thickened.

This makes 1 quart. Reduce ingredients proportionately to make the amount that you need.

4 large ripe peaches
½ bottle white wine or champagne
1¼ cups sugar
4 star anise
1 vanilla bean (or substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 cinnamon sticks
½ lemon cut into thin slices
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups fresh berries of your choice

Poach peaches in a large pot of boiling water 1-2 minutes. Let them cool, then peel the peaches.

In a separate large pot, combine the wine with 1¼ cups water, the sugar, star anise, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon and saffron. Boil the liquid until it becomes syrupy, then add peaches. If there is not enough water to cover peaches, add a little more. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove peaches and set them aside.

Raise heat and boil the syrup until it is reduced by a third. Let syrup cool before returning peaches to the pot, then let all of it cool together.

To serve peaches, scatter berries on top and strain the syrup into a pitcher to serve on the side. Reserve the star anise and cinnamon sticks. Chill for 4 hours then decorate with the star anise and cinnamon. Also very good with vanilla ice cream! Serves 4 (one peach per person).

This Spanish-style “Barcelona” marinade is based on a recipe from a Weber cookbook. The recipe will marinate one whole chicken.

1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 serrano chile peppers, chopped (leave the ribs and seeds in if you like more heat)
2 tablespoons dried basil (of course use lots of fresh basil in the summer)
2 tablespoons sherry wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor. Butterfly the whole chicken (see directions below) and marinate chicken in this mixture overnight in a resealable bag or covered glass container.

Grilling under bricks:
Grilling chicken under bricks is a very old technique that keeps the meat tender and juicy while creating a crispy browned skin. Since the chicken is grilled over a medium-low grill temperature (using the indirect method of charcoal grilling for this — coals pushed off to the sides) it doesn’t burn to a blackened mess.

Cut through the breast bone until you can butterfly the chicken, spreading it completely in half (this might take a little extra wrangling in some areas). The point is to make the chicken flat, therefore cooking it evenly, with the additional help of the bricks weighing it down.

Preheat a gas grill to a target temperature of 325 to 350 degrees or prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling.

Wrap two clean bricks in aluminum foil. Place the marinated chicken, skin side down to begin with, on the grate and place a brick on each half. Grill for about 20 to 25 minutes on the skin side, then carefully remove bricks with fireproof gloves, and turn chicken over on its other side to finish cooking, again placing the bricks on each half.

Allow about an hour or more of total cooking time, depending on the actual size of your chicken. With this cooking method, a little longer is better. Use a meat thermometer to determine that the chicken is cooked thoroughly; you also can see that the juices will run clear and joints move easily.

Substitute August Hill Winery’s Orange Infusion for the champagne or sparkling wine in your favorite mimosa recipe. Incredible orange flavor.

This complex and intensely-flavored recipe makes a great start to a simple entrée. Not for the “wine-faint-of-heart.”

1 (9 ounce) package fresh cheese or spinach ravioli (or your own homemade recipe)
1½ cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
½ small yellow onion, sliced paper-thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1/3 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

Prepare ravioli according to package directions. Drain and rinse, set aside.

Combine wine, broth and onion and bring to a boil, skimming any foam. Reduce heat and add ginger. Simmer together for 10 minutes.

Add jalapeno, tomato and basil. Heat through.

To serve, place 4 or 5 raviolis in the bottom of a bowl and ladle broth over. This also is nice with one very large ravioli in the bottom of a shallow serving bowl.) Approximately 6 servings.

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