Winter Food

The icy breath of winter descends. Yesterday reached a low of 59; the forecast for the next few days drops to a bone-chilling 55. (Don’t hate me because I live in paradise.)

The seasons cause changes. Starting about now, I won’t be able to swim at the beach without a wetsuit. We’re packing away shorts — one or two pairs, maybe — and breaking out the sweater.

Also, it’s time to look to winter foods and recipes once again.

For dinner today, the World’s Most Beautiful Woman ™ cooked up a delicious pot of Broccoli Cheese Soup. We had soup with sourdough toast. I had seconds.

I gaze into the crystal ball and see a future of Yankee bean soup; clam chowder; French onion soup (the real stuff, with real Gruyere); probably something tasty with lobster, now that California’s lobster season has kicked off (some lobster tacos; maybe a jambalaya or gumbo).

There will be Thanksgiving turkey. If I get ambitious, maybe a turducken! (Okay, probably not that one.) Biscuits and gravy. Beer-battered fish tacos. (If you cook it, it’s not illegal, right?) And of course, shepherd pie.

And we’ll pack some leftover turkey and biscuits to have as a snack while we’re sunbathing on the beach in December. Ahh, the brisk air of winter. Nothin’ like it.

What are you going to be eating this winter?

20 comments for “Winter Food

  1. Adam Greenwood
    October 16, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    For dinner today, the World’s Most Beautiful Woman ™ cooked up a delicious pot of Broccoli Cheese Soup.

    It looked like tostadas to me. Better check my prescription.

  2. Ann
    October 17, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Hmm. Sounds cold, Kaimi. It’s still in the mid-80’s here.

    We’ll be having what we have all year: Penne with Shrimp. Shrimp Linguine. Crawfish Fettucine. Come January 6, we’ll have King Cake, but only for a month because Mardi Gras is early this year.

  3. m&m
    October 17, 2007 at 1:34 am

    If you cook it, it’s not illegal, right?

    My chemist husband would spoil your fun with the truth….

    I made broccoli-potato-cheese soup tonite. Yum. I love the winter months for this reason — after a long, hot summer, I miss cooking and eating things that are warm. My kids hate soup, though, so it makes things harder to fully enjoy. (They had boxed mac-n-cheese tonite because the soup went to a RS thing. Besides, sometimes it’s not worth the fight.)

    I also love winter for the simple pleasure of cozying up to a nice mug of hot chocolate.

  4. MikeInWeHo
    October 17, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Where are you, Kaimi ??

    Here in West Hollywood, we’ll spend the sunny winter ruminating over excessive carbs and eating over-priced menu selections at pretentious restaurants like oBar. We eagerly await the arrival of the biggest British invasion since The Beatles: Tesco’s new “Fresh & Easy” stores open soon. I can’t wait.

  5. meems
    October 17, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Mike, have you been to a Tesco? Maybe in WeHo they’ll be great, but the ones I’ve been to aren’t too amazing. But then, I’m a grocery store snob.

    Kaimi, we live on the sea in the desert. Amazing weather – it’s just starting to cool off enough that we can have the windows down when we drive to school in the morning. It’s 10:00 Am and the temp is 93 F but it feels much cooler! The ater is bluer than blue and the wet suits don’t come out until January (or so I’m told – we just moved here).

    What will we eat this winter? I just perfected a vegetarian enchilada, so I’m planning on having lots of those. And soup of course. My kids have just taken a liking to minestrone. Yay! Vegetables!

  6. McCoy
    October 17, 2007 at 7:00 am

    i’m with ann, here in florida its still in the mid 80s, paradise.

  7. October 17, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Ah, fish tacos — that is one thing I think are probably hard to come by across the pond.

  8. Mark IV
    October 17, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Ann, # 2,

    King Cake! See you at See you at Paul’s Pastry!

    I think red beans and rice is a perfect winter food.

  9. MikeInWeHo
    October 17, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Sure, meems, I know that Tesco is kind of like the Walmart of the UK. Apparently their U.S. invasion will be completely different: Fresh & Easy stores will be small and oriented toward organics, fresh foods, and higher-end prepared nice meals. I believe they’re targeting the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s demographic. It’s also all eco-friendly, very P.C., and clearly targeted to the guilty-liberal-hypocritic-hyper-consumer crowd. No doubt I’ll be there constantly.

  10. Rosalynde Welch
    October 17, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Time to start with the soups: lentil, chicken noodle, chicken tortilla, butternut squash, beef stew. Lots of chili. Lots of beans and rice (though we eat this year round). Lots of roasted winter squash. And pumpkin desserts.

  11. Curtis DeGraw
    October 17, 2007 at 11:17 am

    We will continue to eat the same stuff we eat during other seasons – whatever is easy to make and cheap.

  12. October 17, 2007 at 11:26 am

    I seem to have a fixation with hot dogs right now. Maybe it’s because we don’t have winter in Arizona.

    O.k., we do have winter, but two weeks out of 52 doesn’t count.

  13. Julie M. Smith
    October 17, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Most of those who have commented here are in violation of the board rules in that they mentioned yummy food without posting the recipe.

  14. Chelle
    October 17, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Re 4 & 5: Tescos aren’t that great, but if they opened Mark and Spencers in the states, we Americans wouldn\’t know what to do with ourselves, we would be in grocery store heaven.

  15. Tanya Spackman
    October 17, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I love broccoli. I believe I’ll have to try that broccoli cheese soup. My favorite thing in the winter soup category is a delicious, divine, delectable gumbo:

    Chicken-Sausage Gumbo

    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 TBSP olive oil
    1/2 cup flour
    6 cups chicken broth
    1 ½ cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped celery
    1 bag frozen spinach
    4 spicy sausage links
    3-4 boneless chicken breasts
    Garlic powder
    Zatarrain’s Cajun seasoning
    Nature’s Seasonings
    3 cups cooked white rice

    Prepare roux first by warming 1/2 cup oil on stove over medium heat and gradually whisking in (with wire whisk) 1/2 cup flour, mixing thoroughly. Continue whisking for several minutes until roux has blended. Roux will darken from light butter color to red brown. Continue whisking constantly for another five minutes and remove from heat. Let cool.

    Sautee ½ cup onions and whole sausage links on stove until onions have carmelized and sausage is nicely browned on all sides. Slice sausage into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and sautee in olive oil, seasoning with garlic powder and Nature’s Seasonings to taste.

    Microwave 2 TBSP water, remaining onion and celery until tender (2-3 minutes).

    Fill crock pot with chicken broth. Add roux to broth by whisking with wire whisk. Add chicken, carmelized onion, sausage, spinach, celery and onion and season with garlic powder, Zatarrain’s (or other spicy or Cajun )seasoning and salt to taste. Cook on low setting in crock pot for 3-4 hours. Serve with white rice.

  16. Mark B.
    October 17, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Re: 14

    Actually, we who live in the land of Fairway already live in grocery store heaven.

    As to food this winter, I was sort of hoping for a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

    And, Julie, you being a Bible scholar and all, I’m hoping you’ll post the recipe for us all.

  17. October 17, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Amen to Mark, 16. The hardest thing about our year away from New York was the lack of Fairway. We made due on Whole Foods, but the relief of coming back to the crowded aisles full of funky, amazing food was palpable. Mix Fairway with the Friday farmer’s market near us, and we’re good food-wise.

  18. Dr. B
    October 17, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Yum, lots of things sound good now that the leaves are changing in the Hudson Valley and the nip of fall is in the air.

    How about roasted butternut squash, lentil soup with kielbasa, clam chowder (always), or even a spicy Mexican corn chowder. And of course there is always fresh cold cider if you\’re hot, or hot spiced cider if you\’re cold, with fresh baked cake donuts. Or I just couldn\’t pass up two slices of tonight\’s dessert — Apple Cranberry pie.

    Likewise, Fall-Winter almost always bring back enveloping memories of Japan with the sights, sounds, and especially smells of persimmon picking, roasted chestnut vendors, bowls of steaming udon, barley tea (mugi-cha) and pushcarts selling baked sweet potatoes (Imo … Yaki-Imo) …

  19. October 17, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    We’re 52° right now, and it’s 21:00 in Canada. I was working on my doghouse today and worse pants and a long sleeved t-shirt. We had perogies. :)

  20. Bro. Jones
    October 18, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    It’s all about the stew, but even Simple Stupid Chicken Soup works.

    Simple Stupid Chicken Soup
    (serves 2, but just multiply proportions as needed)

    2 cans good-quality low-sodium chicken broth
    2 oz. dried noodles OR 1 medium potato
    2 carrots
    1 celery rib
    1/2 tablespoon Fresh parsley and/or dill (REQUIRED)
    leftover cooked chicken, shredded (OPTIONAL)

    1. Dice carrots and celery. If using potato, dice that too. Mince fresh herbs.
    2. Add veggies to broth in pot. Bring broth to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook until veggies are tender, 15-25 minutes. In a hurry? Saute the veggies in a bit of butter or oil for 3-4 minutes before adding the broth to give them a head start.
    3. If using noodles, boil in separate pot of salted water until cooked. Drain and add to soup. Or, if you’re lazy and don’t mind cloudy soup, just boil ’em in the soup along with the veggies.
    4. Add fresh herbs and chicken (if using), increase heat to medium-high for 5 minutes.
    5. Serve. Add salt + pepper to taste.

    Cookbooks and gourmet chefs are always blabbing about “homemade chicken stock” this and “avoid evil commercial broth!” that, but it’s amazing what this treatment will do to even a humble can of Swanson’s chicken broth.

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