Winter Cooking

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voidPtr
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Winter Cooking

Postby voidPtr » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

This thread for those of who don't live in California or the equivalent. What's your favourite recipes using in-season winter produce?

I'm thinking cabbage and squash here rather than broccoli and spring onions. And maybe a few winter surprises in there.

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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

...do you have any idea how many different climates there are in California?
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby voidPtr » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:...do you have any idea how many different climates there are in California?


Not exactly, but I'm fairly certain no part of California is -20C/-4F degrees today like it is here.As well even the colder parts of California are in proximity to Southern California which has the best growing climate in the world, doesn't it?

Anyways this thread is not about California, it's about winter cooking. The problem for me is that the best cuisines I'm familiar with and that i enjoy cooking come from tropical/sub-tropical regions. Thai, Indian, Italian.. You dont' hear too many non-Scandinavians waxing on about Scandinavian cuisine.

Good weather produces good food. That's obvious, really, but being a hapless temperate/Sub-arctic dweller myself who is trying to eat local and in -season as much as possible, I'm still hoping to dig up a few winter gems here.

Perogies: Dough, butter, cheese, potato
Cabbage Rolls: Cabbage, Beef, Rice, canned stewed tomatoes, spices
-- My all-tme favourite winter meal. We usually eat them around Xmas time.

Irish/British Stew - Root veggies, meat, a can of beer/glass of red wine, herbs, slow-cook.
-- Hearty, Delicious.

Shepperd's/Cottabe Pie - Basically same as stew with potato covering. Maybe canned veggies like corn added.

Basic kimchi (fermented cabbage, oysters, red pepper paste, other stuff ) -- Delicious fried with tofu, served with rice, or cooked in a stew. In Korean cuisine, kimchi is served cold as a sidedish with virtually every meal.

mulled wine - wine, spices, served warm

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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

California is 770 miles long from North to South. So I guess it depends heavily on what you consider "proximity".

It's pretty warm this week, but last week it was -18 ºC where I live in northern California, and far colder at higher elevations.
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Nath
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Nath » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:51 am UTC

voidPtr wrote:Anyways this thread is not about California, it's about winter cooking. The problem for me is that the best cuisines I'm familiar with and that i enjoy cooking come from tropical/sub-tropical regions. Thai, Indian, Italian.. You dont' hear too many non-Scandinavians waxing on about Scandinavian cuisine.

The funny thing about Indian food is that it's actually better suited to cool climates than the tropics. Do you really want a rich, spicy, piping-hot curry at the height of summer?

Granted, most winter vegetables aren't really associated with restaurant-style curries. They can be cooked as simple side dishes, either dry or in a bit of sauce. Do a search for [vegetable name] sabji to find some recipes. If you're looking for a specific vegetable and aren't having much luck, I can give you the Hindi translation.

The main dish for this sort of meal would usually be rice or roti with dal (lentils). Maybe some spicy pickles on the side to round it off.

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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Zohar » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:03 am UTC

Specifically for cabbage, you could try something I like to do from time to time - cabbage with rice and tomato sauce.

Basically you take one cabbage, shred/slice it to thin strips, fry onion and garlic in a pot for a bit, then add the cabbage and let it lose some of its volume. Add tomato concentrate and boiling water (not too much, it's supposed to be a sauce, not a soup), then add rice to the mix (it will cook with the water you added).

For spices, use salt and pepper of course, some cumin (or oregano for a different direction), and a few dried fig leaves. It's very tasty, filling and great hot or cold.
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby AJR » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

You can put squash in a risotto - it certainly works with butternut squash and similar varieties. Peel it, cut into small-ish chunks, (optionally) roast, and add to sautéed onion & garlic, followed by the rice & liquid. The whole thing goes a great yellow-orange colour from the squash, and is yummy. (And if you don't roast the squash, it's a one-pan meal.)

If you've got assorted root veggies, try doing them in a crumble. Cut into fairly large chunks and put into a roasting dish with oil, then add a savoury crumble topping (butter, flour, grated cheese, and if you want to add them some oats and/or chopped nuts.) This works best with a mix of different roots: potato, carrot, swede, parsnip, celeriac all work well, and some leek helps

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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

I'm happy to get out the slow-cooker and make braised stuff. I've got a big pork shoulder I'm going to marinate tonight and put in the cooker tomorrow. Still deciding what to make the marinade out of.
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby voidPtr » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:08 am UTC

I tried a version of this recipe I got off of Jamie Oliver's website using winter squash: Chicken Breast & Squash.

I've never really eaten a lot of squash before -- pumpkins are for putting candles in on Halloween -- but it was nice. The nutmeg and cream added a nice sweetness to the roasted squash, and I made soup with the leftovers.

The only thing is, it's really a pain in the ass to peel the things and it felt like I was mucking around with the squash forever. Anyone have any tips for that?

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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:14 pm UTC

Butternut squash are the long round tan ones. They are pretty dang easy to peel with a vegetable peeler. Most of the other winter squash have corrugated sides. I only use those in preparations where I can bake the squash first and scoop it out of its skin with a spoon. Sometimes you can find a chunk of hubbard squash available-those are huge and require a hatchet to open. Acorn squash are best split in half, the seeds scooped out and either a drizzle of OJ and some butter put in the cavity or a filling of your choice, then baked. Kabocha are an Asian version and are also pretty easy to peel.
Roasted squash is great seasoned with cumin, black pepper orange peel and cinnamon, then topped with a bit of yogurt.
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

When I roast halved acorn squash, I like a pat of butter, a drizzle of honey and a drizzle of blackstrap molasses. The mixture once melted should be spooned over the top and inner sides of the squash every now and then while roasting, to spread the flavor and cook more evenly.
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Re: Winter Cooking

Postby Decker » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

Olive Garden has a fantastic sausage soup that they make. I found that this pretty closely replicates it.

Code: Select all

Makes: 6-8 servings
INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
¼ of a bunch of kale
Sautee Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
In the same pan, sautee bacon, onions and garlic for approxiamtly 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
Mix together the chicken bouillon and water, then add it to the onions, bacon and garlic. Cook until boiling.
Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
Add heavy cream and cook until thoughouly heated.
Stir in the sausage.
Add kale just before serving.
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