Sunday, March 7, 2021

Winter Dishes


Cheese fondue

Today I decided that winter is over - even though we are in the middle of a cold spell that still gives us warm sunny days but chilly nights, mornings and evenings. However, there are so many signs of spring around us that we really can't talk about winter anymore, at least not in this corner of the world.

Therefore, it's time to talk about what we ate in winter. Winter dishes are often a bit heartier than meals during the rest of the year. It seems that the short days and cold nights make us long for more comfort and warmth, and food is just the thing to give us both.

Our traditional New Year's Eve food is cheese fondue. We used to eat it with chunks of bread, but recently we discovered a healthier way to enjoy it - with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts. It is 100% delicious and we didn't miss the bread one bit!

Baked spanakopita pasta with greens and feta

We love pasta and certainly had our fair share of it over the winter. A lot of these meals were new recipes that I tried out, most of them published in the New York Times. But we also enjoyed old favorites again.

Tortellini with caramelized onions and mushrooms and spinach

Baked spinach artichoke pasta

Lemon chicken with mushrooms and orechiette, an old favorite

Especially in winter I include a lot of veggies in our meals. My favorite place to buy fresh local veggies is the farmers market, but since it is taking place on Saturday mornings I usually cannot go there since I teach that time. However, if there is a Saturday when I don't have to teach I go to the market and my fridge drawer for the veggies is filled to the brim after that.

When I made meatballs I used to take store bought ones, but when I saw a recipe for pork meatballs that are made with ginger, fish sauce and crushed Ritz crackers I had to try that. I paired them with roasted aspargus (a recipe my lovely neighbor gave me) - what can I say? It was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.

And since I had fresh ginger in the house I made this gingery fried rice with bok choy and mushrooms - that is going to be a new favorite! In addition to everything in the recipe I added some lemon zest and scrambled an egg in at the end. It is cooked in a wok and everything comes together fast and easy.

For the first time I tried Trout Armandine, a recipe I found in our local paper. I first couldn't find trout fillets, but then Trader Joe's started to carry frozen ones - fine with me. I was a bit nervous making these - there really was no need for that, they turned out fine and were super yummy. I will certainly try more dishes with trout fillets.

What about a cheesy spicy black bean bake? Perfect on a cold evening.

Or creamy gnocchi with sundried tomatoes and basil (a family favorite)?

We do like cauliflower - a lot. I'm always on the look-out for new recipes. I found a delicious recipe for roasted garlic parmesan cauliflower. An entire stick of butter goes into the crust - it's heaven! I paired it with Kibbeh, a new item at Trader Joes's that I simply had to try since I love Middle Eastern food (it's good, I can recommend it).

I had quite some leftover of the butter-garlic-parmesan mix. A couple days later I dipped cubes of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in it and "threw" them in a stir-fry with rice noodles and veggies. The remaining leftovers (yes, there still was quite some left) went on top of Alaskan sockeye salmon that I then baked and served with roasted carrots and zucchini a few days later.

My last dish is something that I made just this weekend - leftovers will be served sometime this week. It's a coq au vin rosé - the lighter wine makes it perfect for other seasons as well.

What is your favorite winter food?


Elephant's Child said...

I am salivating as I scroll through (despite being a vegetarian). They all look delicious. Hooray for left overs.
I am with you on cauliflower. I love it. I make a cauliflower pilaf that one of our cats (now gone) adored. He would start to beg as soon as I started adding the spices and kept it up until he was given a small helping.

Kokopelli said...

OMG, so much delicious winter food! I gain weight from just looking at the photos! Yum!

Michelle said...

Baked pasta is a favorite for us in the winter. Your food looks delicious!

Jeanie said...

This all look fabulous. I love ginger --- the meatballs sound especially delicious. But I would be happy with any one dinner at your home if one of these was on the menu. (Even if it wasn't!)

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Hallo Carola,
da kommt man ja ins Sabbern, wenn man die leckeren Rezepte von dir sieht! Auch so schön angerichtet sind sie!
Wir hatten diesen Winter oft Gemüsevariationen aus dem Backofen. Viel mit Kürbis und Süßkartoffeln, auch Möhren und Zucchini, Zwiebeln natürlich und vor allem Feta-Käse. Darüber ein Dressing aus Olivenöl, Zitrone, Honig, Zimt und Chili. Da könnten wir uns immer reinknien! Da bleibt nie was übrig!
Auch wir in Deutschland warten sehnsüchtig auf den Frühling. Es will nicht richtig warm werden. Für März sind die Temperaturen noch ganz schön frostig.
Für morgen ist Sturm und Regen angesagt.
Liebe Grüße aus old Germany sendet dir

GlorV1 said...

Looks great

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh Carola, I am drooling over your amazing dishes. You are quite a chef. I was smiling over over the meatballs, as my son just made homemade meatballs with onions and seasoning, and they were so good. Him and an uncle are the only ones that make them in the family. These all look so good, Carola. It's wonderful that you have these cooking skills and that you make delicious meals for your family. All of them look good, but the noodles with sundried tomatoes really got to me. ; )


Barb said...

I love seeing your food posts though I always feel I need to snack after reading! I started making a lemon pasta with capers, pine nuts, and parmesan that Bob loves. The leftovers are good, too. Just equal amounts of fresh lemon juice and white wine (I use about a cup of each so it's "juicy"). I usually add some green onions and fresh spinach, too. It's a recipe you can create with whatever you have.

Mae Travels said...

You and I share quite a few taste preferences -- all those dishes look delicious. I made some things that were similar, though at the moment we are eating very little meat. We just had a black bean skillet dish, that looks a bit like yours, but no cheese. It was served over rice with cilantro on top.

be safe... mae at

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What wonderful and delicious looking foods you posted, Carla. We enjoy soups of all types Nd chicken vegetable is a current favorite using the remains of a store bought rotisserie chicken. I get several meals out of the chicken and sometimes a bit of chicken salad for lunch. Pasta is a favorite here and your pairings look so good that I may have to borrow a couple of ideas for future meals.

Lowcarb team member said...

Your food looks so delicious, nice choices.

All the best Jan