It’s good to be back. However, I can’t believe what an idiot I am. It’s freezing outside and in my haste to jump back into academia, I left my winter jacket at home. I don’t have time to go back and I’m too cheap to buy a new jacket. So before you make fun of some stupid girl in a hoodie trekking through a blizzard, think of me.
Consequently, I’m going to need some extra warming up this winter. Like all the other comfort I need, I will look to some fun wintry foods to get my fix.
An easy one-pot recipe that’s hearty enough to combat a cold night is chicken corn chowder. I bought a mix in Amish country when I was traveling this past summer, and couldn’t wait to try it.
For an easy recipe, saute and drain four strips of bacon, stir and add 1/2 cup each of chopped celery, onion and carrot. When these ingredients are cooked, stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for about three minutes.
Whisk in 1 quart of chicken stock or broth, then add 2 cups of cooked chicken, 2 cups of creamed corn, 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 cup of warmed heavy cream. Add salt and pepper for taste, let it cook for a few more minutes and you’ll have a chunky winter staple that yields plenty of leftovers.
This next food was such a hit in the back kitchens of my culinary school during the winter season that the chefs in charge added it to the restaurant menu. Sausage and black bean soup is so versatile – you can substitute almost anything for something like vegetarian sausage or extra canned vegetables.
Saute a chopped onion and two minced cloves of garlic in a little vegetable oil until tender. Add a can of undrained black beans, an undrained can of stewed tomatoes, a can of condensed beef broth and 1/2 cup each of chunky salsa and water.
When it comes to a boil, add 12 ounces of sliced sausage, lower heat and cover for 15 minutes. To refine your flavor add hot sauce, lime juice or cilantro.
A last hearty recipe that I never tire of is broccoli cheese soup. The cheesier I can make this soup, the better life gets. Saute half a chopped onion in a couple tablespoons of butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and gradually add 2 cups of chicken broth.
After it comes to a boil, add one package of frozen broccoli florets (thawed) and cook for two minutes. For the last step, stir in 2 cups of milk and 1 1/2 cups of cubed Velveeta cheese until melted.
Curling up on the couch with a bowl of one of these zippy recipes and the new season of American Idol is a great way to spend a cold Monday night. Almost makes me forget how easily the wind blows through a sweatshirt.
Brianna Barry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.