Menu: Cozy Winter Evening
January 14, 2009
Every time I’ve wanted to complain about the weather this week (“I can’t feel my toes!”; “Let’s move to southern California or better yet Maui!”; “When’s our next vacation?”; “Is the sun still yellow, I wonder, because I don’t even remember”; “Why, Chicago, WHY?”), I visit weather.com and type in my grandparents’ zip code, which has frequently elicited an air temperature well below zero and a truly horrific “feels like” temperature (which, I’m convinced, is just a cruel feature and weather.com should be ashamed of itself for even thinking of it). If my grandparents can handle this Alberta Clipper, so can I.
When this doesn’t work—times like this morning, when I was engulfed in a whoosh of fat snowflakes that threatened to knock me over and successfully killed my hair for the day on my way into work—I instead try to go to my wintertime happy place, which involves an overstuffed couch, a crackling fire and hearty food. In reality, our couch is rather sleek and understuffed, if anything, and our fireplace is gas-powered, so crackle it does not. But hearty food—we’ve got that in spades.
Take, for instance, the cozy dinner I’ve cooked up in the image above: a thin wedge of butternut squash galette to start the evening; a plate heaped with a scoop of wine-braised beef shepherd’s pie, glazed red onions and lightly dressed spicy greens; all rounded out by a winter-be-damned finisher of salted caramel ice cream. A meal like this could almost make you crave a winter night. Almost.
So, this is new. Today is the first of what I hope to be a series of “menu” posts—a compilation of recipes already featured on this site into a menu, based around a theme (like “Cozy Dinner”) or season (like winter). I’m envisioning a “menu index” to complement the Recipe Index. I hope it will become a one-stop shop for you when you’re stumped with the age-old question “What’s for Dinner?” or when you’re dreaming up your next shin-dig. Ideas and feedback are welcome!
Cozy Winter Evening Menu