February Magic of the Month – Winter Comfort Foods

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February is often the time of year when people start to get a bit “antsy”. For those of us who live in a colder climate, we are definitely ready for spring. However, we’ve still got at least a month to go. So, if you have to stay holed up inside waiting for warmer weather, you might as well eat good food that will help warm your tummy!

We’ve chosen seven of our favorite winter weather recipes.

HEARTY BEEF STEW

This recipe comes directly from Mama Bear’s recipe box. Because she loved snowy weather so much, it gave her quite a thrill to serve this dish to her family at the end of a cold, winter day.

Beef stew closeup

STEW:

2 pounds stew meat

1/2 teaspoon garlic

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon each thyme, rosemary. marjoram and parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
SAUCE:
5 cups water
1 large onion, diced
8 large potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 14.5-ounce can petite cut tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
STEP ONE
In a large dutch oven, brown meat and garlic in oil, over medium heat
STEP TWO
Add 5 cups of water and scrape to loosen any browned drippings from pan
STEP THREE
Add the onions, celery, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, other spices and salt and pepper
STEP FOUR
Bring to a boil
STEP FIVE
Reduce heat, cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally
STEP SIX
Discard bay leaves
STEP SEVEN
Add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and tomato sauce
STEP EIGHT
Cover and cook an additional 40 – 60 minutes
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

This soup is a favorite of my daughter, Laura and her husband, Chase. They will make a big batch of it and eat leftovers all week. Chase will even sneak home and have some during his lunch break and will then eat it again for dinner! And for good reason…it’s delicious. It’s also great served at a dinner party. Serve with chips, salsa and guacamole.

Tortilla soup closeup

1 49.5-ounce can chicken broth

1 26-ounce can Cream of Chicken soup
2 15.25-ounce cans black beans, drained
2 15.25-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
2 15.5-ounce cans chili beans in hot sauce, undrained
1 8.75-ounce can corn, drained
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce OR diced tomatoes, undrained
1 4-ounce can green chilies, undrained
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 – 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
STEP ONE

Cook chicken breasts and shred
STEP TWO
Whisk chicken broth and chicken soup together
STEP THREE
Pour soup mixture into a large soup pot
STEP FOUR
Add chicken and all other ingredients to soup pot
STEP FIVE
Simmer for at least 20 minutes or until heated through
STEP SIX
Garnish with tortilla strips, if desired
STEP SEVEN
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips or corn bread

RED CHILI

Nothing says winter warmth like a nice bowl of chili. There are so many variations of this recipe that we thought we’d give you some choices. One is a bit spicy, one is a bit tangy and one is in between.

Red chili 1Red chili closeup

Marilyn’s Chili

We are very honored to have been given two recipes from a good friend, Marilyn Johnson. The first chili recipe was a favorite of her late husband, Gene. I love the fact that it includes bacon (who wouldn’t love that) and the onions make it a bit tangy. Spice it up by adding red pepper and more chili powder. Serve it with or without beans.

2 1/2 pounds hamburger

1 pound bacon
1 bag frozen chopped onion
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 15-ounce cans red beans (if desired)
STEP ONE
Slice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces
STEP TWO
In a large skillet, brown hamburger, bacon and onion until cooked through
STEP THREE
Drain meat
STEP FOUR
In a large soup pot, mix all ingredients together
STEP FIVE
Simmer on low heat for 1 to 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally
STEP SIX
Add spices according to taste

Chili Mac

The next recipe is from the kitchen of Evelyn Henschen Snider (Marilyn’s mother). This was a recipe she made when she was in a hurry – easy but good! It’s not especially thick, so don’t be surprised.

1 pound lean hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of uncooked macaroni, cooked according to box directions
1 10.75-oounce can condensed tomato soup
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, undrained
Salt and pepper, to taste
STEP ONE
In a skillet, cook hamburger and onion; drain
STEP TWO
In a large pot, combine all ingredients
STEP THREE
Simmer until all ingredients are heated through
STEP FOUR
Add additional seasoning to taste
TIP: Marilyn always add a squirt of mustard to her chili!
Dawn’s Red Chili
Dawn has her own chili recipe she and her family love. We wanted to include this one as well. It can be a little spicier!
1 pound ground lean beef
1 pound ground sausage
1 large white onion, finely chopped
8 ounces water
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 15-ounce cans petite cut tomatoes, not drained
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
3 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
3 15-ounce cans chili beans, not drained
STEP ONE
In large heavy pot, brown first three ingredients on medium heat
STEP TWO
Drain meat and add back into to pot
STEP THREE
Add water, tomatoes and spices and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add tomato sauce and beans and cook for 30 minutes, stirring constantly
STEP FOUR
Serve with corn chips, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, crackers or over rice or pasta
Alternative cooking methods:
#1 After browning the first three ingredients, place meats and all other ingredients into a crockpot and cook for a few hours on high or all day on low.
#2 After browning the first three ingredients, place meata and all other ingredients into a large roaster or large foil pan and bake, covered, for two hours at 350 degrees.

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

White Chicken Chili has become popular lately. It’s a nice change from standard chili and tastes wonderful. It is a rich and filling meal and if accompanied by warm corn bread or tortilla chips, it will make your family or guests very happy.

White chili closeup

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
5 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 15-ounce cans white beans, undrained
2 cups frozen corn
1 packet white chicken chili seasoning mix
STEP ONE
In large pot, cook chicken in oil
STEP TWO
Add all other ingredients and stir well
STEP THREE
Simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally
STEP FOUR
Serve with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips
GUMBO
This is an especially tasty gumbo recipe. Perfect to serve over rice on a cold night.
Gumbo 4Gumbo 1
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut bite size
1 pound andouille or kielbasa sausage, sliced bite size
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups okra, sliced (if frozen, thaw before use)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
STEP ONE
In a large, heavy pot coated with 1 tablespoon oil, saute chicken and sausage on medium high heat until brown on all sides (some of the meat will stick to the bottom of the pan
STEP TWO
Place oil and flour in pot and stir well to make a roux
STEP THREE
When flour is browned, add chopped vegetables and saute on low heat
STEP FOUR
Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly until blended
STEP FIVE
Add chicken, sausage and all other ingredients – except the shrimp, okra and parsley, which will be saved until later
STEP SIX
Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes
STEP SEVEN
Remove lid and cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
STEP EIGHT
Add shrimp, okra and parsley and continue to cook on low heat for an additional 15 minutes
STEP NINE
Serve over rice

 

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