Pears Poached in Red Wine

(serves 4)

4 Bosc pears, firm but ripe

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2 C dry red wine
1/3 C sugar
2-3  one inch wide strips of orange peel
Juice from one orange
1 cinnamon stick
6 black peppercorns
3 star anise
4 whole cloves
1 – 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into several slivers

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Slice off about 1/4 inch of the base of each pear. Leave stem attached. Using a peeler, remove the skin from the pear.

In a stainless steel sauce pan, add remaining ingredients. Place pears into pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. While simmering, carefully roll the pears around in the poaching liquid for even flavoring. A paring knife easily inserted into the thickest part of the pear indicates readiness. Remove pears to a plate for cooling. Several hours in the fridge or overnight is fine. Strain poaching liquid and store in the fridge too.

For service, place poaching liquid in a sauce pan and reduce over medium high heat until a “syrupy” consistency is achieved. Gently warm the pears in 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Spoon reduced sauce over pears. Serve with a side of Greek yogurt flavored with orange zest and honey.

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Serve these pears with “Ultimate Ginger Cookie.” Recipe available on Ina Garten’s website. They are delicious. Careful not to overcook. Here’s a pic to whet your appetite!

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