Warming foods for chilly days
by Joanne Henning Tedesco —
February and March are months with constantly changing weather and, as we are looking forward to spring, we often experience a craving for hot, steaming foods to warm our bodies. Just imagine waking up to creamy oatmeal that has cooked all night in the Crock-Pot® or hot soup and a salad with fresh-baked bread for lunch or dinner.
As you choose your recipes, remember to visit your local farmers’ market for a wonderful selection of organic fruits and vegetables.
Deluxe Crock-Pot Creamy Oatmeal
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup finely chopped apple
- 1/2 cup raisins and/or dates
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
Grease the inside of Crock-Pot. Add ingredients and mix well. Cover and turn on low heat. Cook overnight or for 8-9 hours. Stir before serving. Yield: 4 cups (6-8 servings).
Slow-Baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme
- 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 6- to 8-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 lemon wedges (for serving)
Preheat oven to 275 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Brush with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on prepared baking sheet. Mix remaining oil, thyme and lemon zest in a small bowl and spread over salmon, dividing equally. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Bake until just opaque in center, 15-18 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Yield: 4 servings.
Roasted Carrot Soup with Dukkah Spice and Yogurt
- • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled, raw natural pistachi
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- Low-fat plain Greek yogurt
Toast pistachios in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and let cool. Add sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns to same skillet. Toast, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer spices to plate with nuts and let cool. Transfer nut and spice mixture and 1 teaspoon salt to a food processor or a mortar and pestle and coarsely grind. Do ahead: The dukkah spice blend can be made up to one week in advance. Store airtight at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until the carrots are tender and just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let the carrots cool slightly; then transfer to a blender. Add the vegetable broth and blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If desired, add water by 1/4 cupfuls to soup for a thinner consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide hot soup among bowls. Spoon a dollop of yogurt into center of each. Sprinkle with dukkah. Yield: 4-6 servings.
- • 1 (18-inch) day-old baguette, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
- 1-1/2 pounds tomatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut in 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
Preheat oven to 375 F with rack in middle. Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large four-sided sheet pan; then spread out in one layer. Bake, stirring once, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in vinegar, capers and remaining 1/3 cup oil. Add croutons to dressing along with tomatoes, onion, mozzarella and basil; then toss. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Salad can be made 3 hours ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 1, February/March 2015.