Mulled Wine, Healthy Sea Bass, and Eggnog Cookies

Every Tuesday opens up the Fox Recipe Box, fully of tasty treats from award-winning chefs, best-selling cookbook authors, and your favorite TV cooking personalities.

This week, American master Rick Rodgers mulls about wine, Gordon Ramsay bakes a quick and healty Sea Bass, and Lisa Zwrin turns Eggnog into cookies.


Mulled Wine with Honey and Orange

There’s mulled wine, and then there’s this recipe. Here’s a quick tip: never let mulled wine come to a boil. If you let it heat very slowly over low heat, the spices and orange zest can release their flavors.

Makes: 2 quarts; about 16 servings. Best made just before serving.

1 large seedless orange

12 whole cloves

12 allspice berries

Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks

3 cardamom pods, crushed (optional)

One 1 1/2–liter bottle fruity red wine, such as Merlot

1 cup honey

2/3 cup orange-flavored liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier or Grand Gala

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange. Rinse and wring out a 12-inch-square piece of cheesecloth. Wrap the orange zest, cloves, allspice, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom, if using, in the cheesecloth and tie with a piece of kitchen string. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from the orange. Set the juice aside.

In a large nonaluminum pot, combine the wine, honey, Grand Marnier, orange juice, and spice packet. Heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the honey, over low heat until hot but not boiling, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker set on Low and serve hot.

from Christmas 101

by Rick Rodgers


Sea Bass with Olives, Tomato, and Fennel

This is a delicious and healthy way of cooking whole sea bass. Serve with new potatoes on the side.

Serves 4

2 whole, small sea bass, about 1 pound each, scaled and gutted

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to rub over the fish

1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

Splash of dry white wine

10 plum or Roma tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

½ cup sliced black olives

Handful of fresh basil or dillweed, roughly chopped

Clean the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Score the fish several times on each side, then rub all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the oil in a stovetop-to-oven casserole that is wide enough to hold the fish side by side. Add the fennel and a little seasoning. Sauté the fennel until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in a generous splash of wine, then stir in the tomatoes and olives. Scatter half of the basil over the sauce, then rest the sea bass on top.

Transfer the casserole to the oven and bake until the fish is just cooked through 15-20 minutes. It should be opaque at the thickets part of the fish. Service the fish and sauce straight from the casserole.

from Cooking with Friends

by Gordon Ramsay


Eggnog Cookies

Capturing the flavors of eggnog, a traditional holiday beverage, in a cookie is easier than you think. A dusting of freshly grated nutmeg adds to the holiday motif.

Makes about 40 cookies

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg yolk

Rum Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 ½ to 3 tablespoons light rum

1 whole nutmeg, for grating on top of the cookies

Whisk together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the granulated and confectioners’ sugars and beat until thoroughly blended and velvety. Beat in the egg yolk. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until thoroughly combined and the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide it in half.

Working with one half of the dough at a time, place it on a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to shape it into a log and then roll it back and forth to form a smooth cylinder about 6 to 7 inches long and 1 ¾ inches in diameter. Wrap up the log in plastic wrap and secure with a layer of foil. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until very firm. (the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Working with one log at a time, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into slices between ¼ and 1/3 inch thick. Place the rounds on the prepared sheets, arranging them about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 13 minutes or until the cookies are pale golden, a little browner around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

from Christmas Cookies

by Lisa Zwirn

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