Let’s brace for the snow, frost and proper February for once. And this year a lot of us don’t have to worry about driving in snow conditions or the trains being cancelled. Silver lining!
And cold weather is the perfect excuse to cook hearty, rich and warming dishes. Soups, casseroles, roast potatoes and creamy pasta dishes – let’s have them now before spring will nudge us towards salads and ditching the hot chocolate habit.
I have realised that I only like three or four soups: herewith my apologies that the ‘Soup’ chapter is so thin on Cuisine Fiend. Trying to improve things with my chicken soup with noodles – it’s the frugal version using just the chicken carcass which most butchers give away for free. If you’re working on the whole chicken, reserve the fillets for chicken enchiladas or chicken rarebit.
Cold weather to my mind means cheese but without the skiing preceding lunch, I’ll go easy on my tartiflette. I have also a new recipe featuring Raclette cheese: my version of Ottolenghi’s fondue filo pie.
Here are the promised casseroles: lentils and chorizo, spicy and hearty. Beetroot casserole is vegan (if you swap honey for maple syrup), but also warming. Or the ultimate: venison casserole which will be gamey, rich and best served with mashed potatoes.
Creamy and delightful pasta dishes are always welcome, like the classic mac ‘n’ cheese or conchiglioni with walnuts and ricotta.
And the cake of the week is Italian yoghurt cake or torta allo yogurt. I’ve started picking nuggets out of Nigella Lawson’s latest book starting with sweets since I think she’s unmatched at cakes. So Nigella inspired black forest brownie and marzipan cake will be appearing here soon – watch this space.
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