When you think of cooking in winter you may think of bland and repetitive parades of the same beige root vegetables. We’ve got good news. It doesn’t have to be that way! Winter can be one of the most exciting times to cook with a little know-how. Here are some tips and tricks for using your Imperfect subscription to keep Winter meals festive and fun.
1. Stock Up on Aromatics!
Aromatic vegetables like carrots, onions, leeks, fennel, and garlic have a long shelf life and are the building blocks for hundreds of recipes. Make sure to get extra when you customize your box so you are prepared for the many roasts, soups, and stews that Winter will bring.
Recipe: Craig Clairborne’s Beef Stew
2. Embrace winter Spices!
Classic winter spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise aren’t just for desserts! They impart wonderful flavors on vegetables and are guaranteed to make your soups, stews, and sauces more delicious. Star anise is particularly magical when cooked down with onions; it makes meat taste more savory and vegetables taste sweeter!
Recipe: Red Braised Pork Belly
3. Savor the Citrus!
Winter is citrus season in California so let’s make the most of it. Try fresh citrus juice in your next salad dressing instead of vinegar, as a part of a meat marinade, or as the finishing touch on a winter soup. Nothing balances flavors like freshly squeezed citrus!
Recipe: Simple Green Salad With Lemon Dressing
4. Try Pickling!
Contrary to popular belief, pickling isn’t just for cucumbers. Pickling is a great way to make extra produce last, add a new dimension to your dishes, and add depth to your pantry. It couldn’t be easier! To make an easy pickle brine just combine 1 C water, piping hot from the tap, ½ C of your favorite vinegar, 6 Tbsp sugar. 2 ¼ Tsp kosher salt. Pack thinly sliced vegetables into a tall container, pour the brine on top, allow to cool, and enjoy!
Recipe: Pickled Carrots and Fennel
5. Go Global!
The challenge of winter is keeping your cooking interesting with fewer ingredients to choose from. This is your chance to shine as a cook. Break out that cookbook you just got as a gift and try cooking (or mastering) a new cuisine! Sure, everyone’s had mashed potatoes, but what about Polish Pierogies, Indian Aloo Gobi, Spanish Patatas Bravas? The possibilities are truly endless.
Recipe: Aloo Gobi (Indian Potato and Cauliflower Curry)