Winter

Tuscan Kale and Sautéed Oyster Mushroom Salad

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by Joseph Erdos

kalesaladKale is in season right now with the common curly kind leading the pack. But there's also a darker, more unique variety that hails from Italy. Tuscan kale is darker in color, more delicate in flavor, and tender to eat. It's especially great in salads and it holds up to many bold flavors. If you're craving a salad this winter, Tuscan kale should be your green of choice.

Most people only think of kale as a cooked vegetable, but kale is great raw. Not only do you benefit from all its vitamins when it's raw, you also get a great texture and fresh taste. It's great as a slaw, or as an appetizer or main course salad. For this hearty recipe, I combine kale with sautéed mushrooms, croutons, and a richly flavored brown butter vinaigrette. I top it off with Parmesan and a poached egg. Serve it for lunch or a light dinner with a glass of wine.

Leftover Holiday Cheese and Smoked Salmon Pasta

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by Cathy Pollak

Leftover-Holiday-Cheese-Smoked-Salmon-PastaNow that the holiday feeding frenzy is over (well, sort of) we are left with hunks and wedges of cheese and packages of smoked salmon. I swear my cheese drawer looks like a graveyard of half eaten-half scooped items. But there is no reason to let them go to waste and they are easily re-purposed into something amazing. 

We were lucky enough to have smoked salmon around this holiday season. But don't worry, this recipe would work well with any leftover salmon or fish you have now or throughout the year.

I shredded up some wedges of cheese, about 3-1/2 to 4 cups total. I used Parmesan, Dubliner, Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack and I had about 1-1/4 pounds of leftover smoked salmon.

To make things even easier, I used a can of Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese Cooking Sauce as part of the base for my sauce. Have you tried these yet? They are so great to have in the pantry when you are needing a quick meal.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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by James Farmer III

chickensoup2I love soups, stews, chilies – one pot wonders that will fill you up and feed you for days! Often when I’ve been writing about food, having a food photoshoot for a book or magazine or discussing menus with clients, the last thing I want to do is go home and cook. Yet, cooking is my therapy too – being a foodie is a tangled web indeed.

My chicken noodle soup is simple. I think it is delicious (toot toot goes my own horn) and it cooks up fast and will feed pharaoh’s army – a highly desirable trait for a dish in my family! I also like that this recipe is basic enough to appeal to year round flavors. Of course, during the winter, I crave this warm soup with some leafy kale and carrots, but I’ve found that basil or lemon thyme are delightful additions in the summertime as are sage and rosemary in the fall and chervil in the spring.

 There are two ways to make this soup – neither of which are right or wrong. There is the homemade version where you stew a hen, make your own stock, cut the kale and herbs from your garden etc etc etc and then there’s the quick and easy version – the latter I find myself preparing more often than the former! PTL (Praise The Lord for those not brought up in the Bible Belt) for store bought rotisserie chickens!

Farmer’s Note: This “recipe” is more of a read through, thus you can cook to your liking. Enjoy y’all!

Butternut Squash Soup

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by James Moore

butternutsquashsoupYou usually see this around Thanksgiving – it makes a great first course – but it’s also perfect on a cold winter day. I think the most impressed I’ve ever been with this soup was the first time I had it at Spago’s in Beverly Hills. Wolfgang Puck serves his signature soup with a cranberry relish and cardamom infused cream.

I love the taste of cardamom – though a little goes a long way – it definitely adds a new dimension to both sweet and savory dishes. When I make this at home, I skip the relish and cream, but I do garnish the soup with sugar-spiced croutons – a worthy substitution!

Spago’s recipe also uses baked squash that is then pureed, but I opted for the method in Cook’s Illustrated which uses the seeds and fibers to build flavor, then steams the squash in a flavorful liquid.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Glaze

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by Susan Russo

pompotatoesWith cookies and cocktails flying everywhere the last month, I almost forgot to share this recipe for Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Glaze. That would have been a shame because this dish, which I created a couple of months ago, has skyrocketed to the top of my go-to recipe list.

Creamy, sweet, red-fleshed Garnet sweet potatoes are roasted until caramelized then drizzled with a tangy honey and pomegranate glaze. Then they're dotted with ruby red pomegranate arils, toasted walnuts, and savory thyme for a highly textured, flavorful, and aromatic side dish.

Pomegranates are easy to find now due to their popularity at Christmas time. But don't delay, since their season usually runs from late October through the end of January.

I'm telling you, this is one side dish that can steal the show from an entree any night of the week.

Wreaths – an Outward and Visible Sign of the Season

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by James Farmer III

grapefruitwreathFrasier Fir, boxwood, magnolia, grapevine – all traditional bases for wreaths. We can pick them up at garden centers and Christmas tree vendors and even grocery stores, but sometimes it is fun to spice up ye olde wreath with some seasonal flair.

In December’s issue of Southern Living, I took some traditional wreaths up a notch or two to festively deck our halls, doors, windows and tables with versions of wreaths donned with a bit of Holiday zest.

Rosemary and grapefruit – two of this Farmer’s favorites! From their scents to their colors and flavors, the combo of these two can be appealing to many of the senses. Sliced grapefruit and Meyer lemons combined with Savannah holly foliage and berries on a boxwood wreath is garden glam at its best!

Add fresh cut red roses in varying shades and sizes for a boost of elegance and fragrance. The jewel tones of the fruit and flowers on the deep green base are luscious!

Daffodils

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by James Farmer III

007DAFFODILS
by William Wordsworth

I wander'd lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch'd in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Beef Irish Stew

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by Cathy Pollak

irishstewI feel compelled to get my final tastes of Winter under my belt. The cold days are perfect matches for braising meats, chowders and simmering soups.

This time of the year, I revel in the thought of a warm hearty dinner that's not too complicated. Winter stews are my perfect canvas for putting together some of my favorite ingredients, cooking them up, and transforming them into thick and rich savory blends of meat and vegetables. The bubbling pot warms my kitchen and even my house while the aromas whet my appetite for something good to come.

Since March is upon us I took the opportunity to celebrate the land of the Emerald Isle, nothing could be more appropriate than Irish Beef Stew. Now I'm no Dubliner, but beef stew made with Guinness and red wine are the perfect combinations to bring a little Irish luck into my life.

Personally, one of the best things about winter stews is the variety of root vegetables abundant this time of year. Peppery parsnips, crunchy carrots and potatoes in many sizes and colors are just a few of the choices available.

A Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower—In a Gratin

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by Susie Middleton

cauli-pic-1 01The savage weather has reached Biblical proportions. Yes, I am exaggerating, but today it is blowing so hard that I am fully expecting Auntie Em to ride by my window on her bicycle at any time. Frankly, I’d rather look out and see her than some random farm item that was once tethered to the ground.*

Well, there is no antidote to all this other than good warming winter food. (And chocolate—I have my new favorite, a 77% percent cocoa bar from Chocolove, by my side.) In the kitchen today I am making a cauliflower gratin, because I am still having cruciferous cravings. Don’t worry, I am not eating the chocolate and the cauliflower at the same time.

Because of my sweet tooth, I prefer cauliflower roasted, rather than prepared any other way. So today I was thinking about taking the extra step of putting roasted cauliflower into a gratin with Gruyère and rosemary—and then I realized I’d already developed a recipe like this for The Fresh & Green Table.

 

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