It seems as though it took Colorado’s winter a long time to arrive, and now that it is finally here (a foot in the next 48 hours is what I hear….) we find ourselves digging up a few cold-weather recipe favorites to combat the winter blues. Warm comfort foods take on a whole new meaning in wintertime, and we for one, are glad to welcome any of these dishes onto our tables when winter weather strikes.
Hearty, thick, filling chili can take the edge off. Perhaps that’s why cattle drivers in the Wild West always sought out chuck wagons to get their fill during long cattle drives. While there is much debate over what makes a proper chili (beans, or no beans?) there are enough varieties on the cold-weather favorite to make nearly everyone happy. Also, it is easy enough to find simple recipes for the kitchen-challenged, or complex recipes for the expert home cook. Vegetarian, ethnic flavors, white beans, ground turkey, or beef–chili is a true bowl of comfort in winter.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Soothing chicken noodle soup brings us back to simplicity. With common ingredients many of us have on hand, it is easy to put together a pot of steaming hot chicken soup to get us through the coldest days. Chicken noodle soup dates back to ancient times, to what most food scholars believe to be derived from Asian recipes. Today many of us know the soup as a soft reminder of home, or a welcome remedy for a sick day. Chicken noodle soup reaches its full potential when homemade, so try not to reach for the canned imitations. Find your favorite recipe and make it on your own the next time cold weather hits. The soup can take on nearly any flavor, from Thai with coconut milk and rice noodles, to Mexican with black beans and lime; chicken noodle soup is timeless and limitless!
Stews stand up to cold weather with winter vegetables and hearty pieces of meat. The one-pot meal stew is a winter staple. As a bonus, most stews can be prepared in a slow cooker before work, allowing you to come home to the deep aroma of delicious all-day cooking. In Roman Times, stew was made with lamb or fish, and boiled until it thickened. As time has gone on, other meats (even turtle) and various vegetables, grains, and sometimes beans have been added to the home-style dish. Stews are the ultimate all-inclusive dish that we cannot live without during the cold season. Technically a stew is any meat slow cooked in liquid with vegetables added, so get creative and search for a favorite–you are bound to find one. A few of our favorites are found here:
We roast turkeys when fall begins, prepping us for roasts of all kinds throughout the winter. Earthy, slow roasted meats on a winter day warm up the whole house. We understand that roasts can be deceptive as a difficult dish to pull together, but with the right technique and patience (for all that time in the oven), a roast can be a beautiful thing on an awfully cold day. And yes, even vegetarians can get in on the action.
We would never turn down a steamy mug of hot chocolate down on a cold day but aside from drinkable chocolate; there is something about the mystery and depth of chocolate that makes it a desirable winter sweet. A steamy mocha latte to start the day, warm brownies straight out of the oven, chocolate chip cookies, molten chocolate cake, a warm chocolate bread pudding, a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate truffle, a spiked hot cocoa by the fire… well, you catch our drift.
We’d love to hear from you! What is your go-to dish on a cold winter day?