Being so close to December, we might be tempted to do away with summery salads and thin soups in favour of richer, deeper flavours and comforting stodge. Anything that warms you up after a long day at work for dinner will do, basically, but some meals are made purely with the cold months of winter in mind.
Christmas dinner – turkey with all the trimmings including stuffing, Brussels sprouts, chipolatas and roast vegetables – is a great example of comforting winter food, but it’s only made for one day of the year. The amount of food in season during winter isn’t as varied or colourful as it is during the height of summer, but some types of food, when cooked right, can make for a wonderful meal.
Starch is king
Potatoes are usually in season this time of year. When boiled, baked or even chipped on their own, they can be a little bland, but with a few other ingredients, their versatility comes to the fore. Recipes such as tartiflette, a French gratin-style dish, show that with some cheese, bacon and cream, they can become a winter dish to savour, whether for lunch at work or at home with some greens.
The humble spud also works well as a base for some soups. Blended with sautéed leek and some stock, it will help to make a wonderfully warming evening meal alongside some crusty bread. You might also want to consider potatoes as an ingredient for some casseroles too, especially when combined with meat such as chorizo.
To keep warm all night, a hot dessert is a good way to do that. A simple syrup sponge pudding will work, preferably with lashings of custard, but a homemade rice pudding will also go down a treat. Failing that, something healthier like, say, a baked apple or poached pear (skinned, of course) should work just as well.
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