Friday, February 8, 2013

Winter Recipes for Cold Snowy Days

If you're anywhere in the northeast right now, you're probably in the middle of dealing with Winter Storm Nemo, our latest blizzard. You also might be trying to come up with a good weekend pass time that doesn't just involve shoveling the driveway.  Assuming you haven't lost power (and if you're reading this you must be somewhere with electricity) now might be a good time to try out a new recipe or two.  Below are some great cold season recipes courtesy of Kristiane's Organic With the Seasons newsletter.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Garlic

  • 1 (1 ounce) slice white bread
  • 3 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped country ham (about 1 ounce) (don't eat meat?  This recipe is just as good without it!)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs on a baking sheet; bake at 425° for 5 minutes or until golden. Reduce oven temperature to 375°. Set aside 3 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs, reserving remaining breadcrumbs for another use.
  3. Combine sprouts and next 5 ingredients (sprouts through garlic) in a 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing to coat. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until sprouts are tender and lightly browned on edges, stirring twice.
  4. Combine 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over sprouts. Serve immediately.

Lentils with Wine-Glazed Vegetables

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pealed celeriac (celery root)
  • 1 cup diced parsnip
  • 1 cup diced parsnip
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 tablespoon dried tarragon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Combine water, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Remove lentils from heat, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celeriac, parsnip, carrot, and 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon, and sauté 10 minutes or until browned.
  3. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomato paste, and garlic; cook mixture 1 minute. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
  4. Stir in mustard. Add lentil mixture, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf, and stir in butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon, and pepper.
Click here to find these recipes and more online!

Below is a recipe that I'm trying out today, using winter root vegetables from my winter CSA share from High Hill Orchard in Meriden.  Maybe I'll bring some leftovers on a snow hike on Sunday, another great winter pass time.

Lamb Shanks With Wheat Berries And Parsnips

Sweet, nutty parsnips and earthy, chewy wheat berries turn this just-beyond-basic version of classic shanks into a one-pot meal. There is some advance preparation. The recipe is adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms by Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli (Viking Studio 2007).

T. Susan Chang for NPR
Makes 4 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups hard, red wheat berries, soaked overnight in water*
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 meaty lamb shanks, about 1 pound each
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium parsnips (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably low sodium
* Wheat berries are available at most natural foods and specialty stores and in the natural foods section of some supermarkets
  1. The night before cooking the lamb, put the wheat berries in a large bowl and cover them with cold water.
  2. Tie the rosemary, thyme and bay leaf up in a cheesecloth bag and set aside. Pat the lamb shanks dry and season them with the salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, brown the shanks, in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan. (Or, brown the shanks on a foil-lined baking sheet under the broiler. See "A Note On Browning," above, in story inset). Cook, turning periodically, until a nice crust has formed, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the browned shanks to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the carrots, parsnips, onion, celery and garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, for 7 to 9 minutes until the vegetables are turning golden. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Simmer 5 minutes and then add the herb bundle, tomatoes with their juice, and chicken stock to the pan, along with the drained wheat berries. Bring the pot to a simmer and cover. Simmer on the stove for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Return lamb shanks and any accumulated juices to the pot. Put the covered pot in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the lamb and wheat berries are tender (the wheat berries should still have a little bite to them).
  6. To serve, present the shanks whole, or shred the meat off the bone in the kitchen and serve plates of wheat berries and vegetables topped with the shredded meat and cooking liquid.
View the whole article from NPR with more lamb recipes here.

However you spend your snowy weekend, make sure that it's safe and cozy!

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