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The Top 10 Winter Meals, with Recipes. The Best of Cold Weather Cooking! Chili, Lasagna, Roast Beef, Creme Brule...

Updated on January 30, 2009

Meals for Days that Look Like This...

Mmm...Winter Lasagna!

OK - I have to confess, I am writing this article under a blanket of tropical warmth here in Thailand – and I know that many of you who may be reading this in somewhat more frosted places may feel little sympathy for me when I say that I feel down and long for the snow…

Now, I don't miss shoveling the driveway or schlepping a winter parka on and off throughout another early darkened day – but I do miss the kinds of foods that comfort during those cold cold days and nights – the kinds of foods that would be unthinkable here in Thailand.

I miss hurrying out of the cold and into a warm house that's full of the smells of something roasty and rich and inviting from a hot oven within.

So as a tribute to cold weather cooking, here is a top ten list of the greatest winter dishes for a frosty Sunday afternoon.

So, here are the 10 winter dishes I miss most, the ones you should enjoy right now!

The Top 10 Meals for a Winter Weekend

1. Lasagna

Whether it's a piled high Italian Lasagna Bolognese or an Italian American classic, tucking into a rich and satisfying lasagna is fantastic after a day building a hunger on the slopes or in the snow. It also has that great fill-up-the-house with lasagna aroma thing going for it.

2. Chili

It's hard to top a bowl of Texas Chili covered slightly with melting cheddar cheese - Especially when you've been smelling it percolate all afternoon while watching the NFL playoffs and ignoring the snow outside.

3. Prime Rib

Served medium rare, with homemade Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, carrots, a good simple gravy and a pungent horseradish – I might buy myself a plane ticket for this meal...

4. A Roasted Bird

Turkey if you’re feeding a crowd, chicken or duck for smaller affairs, doing a whole roasted bird is such a dead easy way to a fantastic and special dinner. It smells great and there is something so homey and "family" about carving a whole bird at the Sunday table. So easy too…

5. Creamy Root Vegetable Soups

Winter is the season for root cellar veg, and smooth as silk pureed soups are a great way to ease into a family meal.

6. Crème Brule

Not something you want on a hot summer evening, the sheer indulgence of Crème Brule is perfect for a February night, months away from thoughts of a beach body!

7. Any Kind of Pot Roast

Pot roast has a bad (and undeserved) reputation as something dry and bland and cafeteriaesque…but pot roast prepared correctly is fall-apart succulent and so very flavorful. Read Molly Smith's seminal book on Braising to get more ideas on pot roasting, but you just can't go to far wrong with a winter braise.

8. Confit of Duck or Pork

If you have never confited a leg of duck or a slab of pork belly, you are missing out on one of the greatest of culinary joys.

Confiting is very easy, beginner easy, and what you get after a slow day at the oven is always fantastic! The meats are fall-off-the bone tender and flavorful and great eaten as is or used as a supporting player in countless other recipes.

It's an original European winter food that stands the test of time and deserves a place in your modern kitchen.

9. Any Sort of Beef Stew with Red Wine

There is nothing in this world that beats the smell of beef braising slowly in red wine on a cold day - Nothing.

10. Yellow Split Pea Soup

Rich with pink meat from the ham bone, it's unthinkable to eat this soup in any season but winter, and unthinkable to think of winter without yellow split pea soup.

Well, that's my list anyway, and I'm sure you have your own top 10 or 20 favorites, but remember that winter is fleeting (no, no…really..) and you need to get into the kitchen and make sure you get a chance to enjoy all of your cold weather favorites before that first hint of spring ruins it all!


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