During the cold months, I like to cook big pots of stew. The smells of the simmering brew bring anxious appetites to the table. For those inclined, it is the also perfect time to bake a batch of bread. Throw together a salad and you have the perfect winter meal.
Stews can be anything you want. They can be light and brothy, creamy and rich, inexpensive or quite pricey. It gives you an opportunity to be creative with flavors and ingredients. In the mood for an escape to Marseille? Bring out the saffron, orange zest, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes and every type of fish and shellfish the net can drag in. Thinking of the Jamaican Jerk prawns you had on your last Caribbean holiday? Let’s grate the ginger, crush the pimento seeds (allspice) and improvise. Craving something rich & creamy? An exquisite oyster stew can be at your fingertips. As they say, the possibilities are endless.
Winter salads can be a side dish or even a meal by itself. Typically, I use a cold dressing for a side salad. Hot salad dressings need to be served immediately which is why in a “family style” dining it is best to use a cold dressing on a side salad. Many dressings are great served hot and can turn a salad into a winter entrée, with or without a protein added.
It is easy to forgo dessert after a hearty meal. To many, a meal without a sweet finale is an abomination! You know who you are. Some people are fussy about their dessert and satisfaction can only be had by something specifically desired. A spiced port poached pear is a delight to some and a disappointing piece of fruit to others. We will play with some ideas.
Wonderful Winter Stews and Salads
Jamaican Jerk Prawn Stew
Cajun Salmon Chowder
Portuguese Fish Stew
Nicoise Salad with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
Salmon Salad with Honey Vinaigrette Dressing
Poached Pears and Berries in Port, Plus More!