Leftover champagne? Use it in these sweet, savory recipes

Leftover champagne? Use it in these sweet, savory recipes


At the end of even the best parties, an opened bottle or two of bubbly must be dealt with. Washington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre says the fizz can be preserved for longer than you’d think – a week – with a clamp-on stopper designed especially for Champagne.

How best to deploy the leftovers? Sparkling wines lose their oomph when given the ice-cube treatment. There’s the morning-after mimosa, of course, but we prefer to extend the holiday spirit in savory and sweet ways. These recipes are among our favorites.

▪  Champagne shrimp on endive. A bottle’s worth, along with lemon and fresh tarragon, turns into a poaching liquid as well as a spiky sauce.

▪ Champagne sauce. This can elevate just about any seafood or simply prepared chicken.

▪ Yogurt panna cotta with Champagne apricots. A lovely, guilt-free combo that’s easy to assemble. Dessert, sure. Breakfast, why not?


Serves 3 or 4 (makes 3/4 cup)

This is a quick, delicate sauce to spoon around or over chilled seafood or warm poached chicken.

Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 hours in advance and kept warm in a thermos.

Adapted from a recipe by chef Paul Milne of the Oaks Waterfront Inn in Royal Oak, Md.

1 medium shallot, minced

1/2 cup dry Champagne (may substitute a dry white sparkling wine)

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the shallot, Champagne and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by about a third. Add the cream; cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly – enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat, but keep the burner on, reducing it to low heat.

Whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time; return the saucepan to a burner (low heat) if the butter is not melting easily. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl, if using right away, discarding any solids; or into such a bowl suspended over a pan with a few inches of water (over medium-low heat) to keep the sauce warm (for up to 30 minutes) until ready to serve.

Per serving (based on 4): 210 calories, 0 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar


Serves 8 (makes 16 pieces)

These lovely, addictive hors d’oeuvres come together quickly and disappear even faster. An entire bottle of Champagne is used for the shrimp poaching liquid, and we’re thinking that the liquid could be strained, cooled and frozen flat in a zip-top bag for future use as a court bouillon. We’re cooking the shrimp with tails on to add a bit more flavor to the broth and to help the shrimp hold their shape.

Make ahead: The shrimp can be poached in the Champagne, drained and refrigerated in an airtight container a day in advance. The sauce can be made and refrigerated several hours in advance.

Adapted from a recipe on the Food Network UK website.

For the shrimp:

1 pound (16-20 count) raw, peeled, deveined, tail-on shrimp

2 lemons, cut into thin slices

3 stems fresh tarragon, plus a few leaves for garnish

One 750-milliliter bottle Champagne (may substitute a dry sparkling white wine)

2 or 3 heads Belgian endive (outer leaves and ends trimmed), separated into 16 leaves of similar size

For the sauce:

1/2 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)

1 tablespoon prepared white horseradish

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar (may substitute Champagne or dry white sparkling wine)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

For the shrimp: Place the shrimp in a deep sauté pan. Add the lemon slices and tarragon, then gently pour in all but 2 or 3 tablespoons of the Champagne. Bring to just below a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes; all the shrimp should be pink and opaque. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a cutting board to cool. (Discard the poaching liquid, or reserve it as described in the headnote.)

Discard the tails of the shrimp, then cut each shrimp horizontally in half. Place in a mixing bowl and toss with the remaining few tablespoons of Champagne. Cover and refrigerate for a few minutes (and up to a day in advance).

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Whisk together the mayonnaise, horseradish and Champagne vinegar in a medium bowl, then gently stir in the tarragon.

When ready to serve, place small spoonfuls of sauce on a wide platter; these will act as landing/holding places for the endive, so space them accordingly. Place an upturned endive leaf (to act as a holder) on each one. Fill each one with 2 shrimp halves, then spoon a little sauce atop each one. Garnish with a few single tarragon leaves.


Serves 4 to 6

The combination of flavors in this light dessert is especially tangy. In testing, we used beautiful dried apricots from Traina Foods in California. You’ll need 4 to 6 glasses or dessert bowls that can hold at least 1/2 cup.

Make ahead: The panna cottas (without topping) need to be refrigerated for 3 to 4 hours, and up to a day, in advance. The apricots need to be well chilled (for at least 15 minutes) before using; they can be prepared several days in advance.

Adapted from a recipe at ItalianFoodForever.com.

For the panna cotta:

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons nonfat milk

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/4 cup mild honey, preferably organic

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt

For the apricots:

1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) chopped dried apricots (see note above)

1 cup Champagne (may substitute dry sparkling white wine)

1/4 cup mild honey, preferably organic

For the panna cotta: Pour the 3 tablespoons of milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface; let it sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining cup of milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, taking care not to let it come to a boil. Remove it from the heat; stir in the honey and vanilla extract until well blended.

Whisk in the softened gelatin and then the yogurt until smooth; you’ll see the mixture thicken a bit. Divide it evenly among individual cups or bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set.

For the apricots: Combine the apricots, Champagne and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid becomes syrupy. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled (at least 15 minutes).

When ready to serve, spoon equal amounts of the apricots and their syrup on top of each panna cotta. Serve chilled.

Per serving (based on 6): 280 calories, 12 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 29 g sugar

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