Baby, it’s cold outside! And warming winter recipes are on our agenda! We’ve got ideas for hearty comfort foods and braises (a long and slow cooking technique that renders uber-tender morsels) for soul-satisfying fare.
Winter is also a great time to dig foods that flaunt their green; hardy kale, spinach, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts are in their prime come January. Leafy green veggies are full of flavonoids — compounds that boost our health and immune systems — and we love including them in delectable salad combos and roasting them for sides.
Winter is HoneyBell season!These seedless, easy-to-peel, sweet gems are classified as tangelos — a hybrid of the Dancy tangerine and Duncan grapefruit — and available for a short time each year. Order them to eat on their own or set them on the table as part of a breakfast board. Or do what we do and make a delightful HoneyBell marmalade with a touch of fresh ginger. Slather it over Wolferman's English muffins and pour a cup of gourmet coffee for a perfect winter breakfast.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian brings you a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired yogurt parfait that is as healthy as it is gorgeous. The heft of a big knife with a sharp edge is key to layering the parfait with fresh citrus supremes — ruby red grapefruits and orange segments that are carefully cut away from the peel and pith. Layer the vitamin C-rich citrus over avocado, and then scatter dried fruit and nuts to create a balance of flavor and texture in each bite.
Hand-picked succulent Royal Riviera Pears are buttery and full of sweet flavor. And when they are very ripe, they give up even more juice for you to make this delicious homemade pear purée. Lace it with fresh rosemary and cinnamon, chill it, and use it as the base for a festive winter Bellini — the classic sparkling wine cocktail invented at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy, in 1948.
Located just below the chuck — a primal cut along the top front part of a cow — the fattier, tougher brisket cut is transformed into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth dish through slow cooking. Use brisket for a weeknight winter pot roast, or try this beef brisket traditionally eaten during Jewish holidays. Serve this rich meat with a cleansing kale and pear salad dressed with Royal Riviera Pear balsamic vinaigrette.
Take things slow...slow cooker chicken chili that is
Your slow cooker does the work to create the comforting, tender chicken for this chili. The Chicken Chili Mix brings the heat with just the right touch of spices, onion, and garlic. Add the mix while the chicken does its thing and let it be for eight to 10 hours. It's the perfect make-ahead dish for a busy weeknight or cold winter day.
Silky salmon fillets from the Pacific Northwest and creamy, iron-rich spinach come together in one pan for a winter weeknight dinner. Pro tip: Cook the fillets undisturbed until they release from the pan, ensuring their skin crisps and remains intact when you flip the fillets. You'll use the same pan to create a creamy pan sauce to render creamed spinach. A scrumptious fish dish with easy clean-up.
Roasting vegetables is a surefire way to unlock their nutrients and sweet flavor. Make winter veggies, such as squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips, for a hearty side dish for your favorite meat or fish or other protein. Or combine them with grains and leafy greens for the ultimate plant-based salad. Roasted winter fennel offers a complementary anise flavor and brings balance to a richer meat and cheese charcuterie board for gatherings. Pro tip: For crisp-tender veggies, make sure your oven is preheated to 400° F.
Quick bread comes together fast since it does not require yeast to rise, instead relying on baking powder or baking soda. The secret to making this full-flavored pear quick bread is to use both grated and chopped pears; the former permeates the batter, and the latter will give you a mouthful of sweet pear in each slice. Chai, a spice blend of anise, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and ginger, gives this bread a cozy winter warmth. Enjoy it for after-dinner sweets or breakfast, too.
Theresa Gambacorta is a food writer and 25-year veteran of New York City's restaurant industry. Her writing has appeared in such titles as La Cucina Italiana, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and Centennial's special interest publications. She is the co-author of chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and is currently working on a cookbook about Persian cuisine to be published by Knopf.