winter recipes

When it comes that time of year to hunker down and wait out the storm, most of us head to our kitchens in search of some serious comfort food. Who better than good friend and Yahoo! Food editor Julia Bainbridge to serve up culinary inspiration? The former senior web editor at Bon Appétit and all around bon vivant took our Chicken Soup Spice Set as a starting point, pairing each spice with a few of her favorite recipes for surviving winter. (And, what do you know, most of these wouldn’t be out of place at a summer picnic…)


Potato Salad, Saveur
Potato salad should be eaten year round, if you ask me! This recipe, which has a hearty dose of celery seeds and Dijon mustard, was one of my go-to dishes last summer.

2 lb russet potatoes
1 tbsp celery seeds
5 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Boil potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water; drain and chill. Peel and roughly chop potatoes; place in a large bowl. Add celery seeds, eggs, celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Using a potato masher, gently mash potatoes. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard.

Ginger-Lime Cauliflower, Bon Appétit
This recipe, which comes from Fat Rice, one of Bon Appétit‘s best new restaurants of 2013, relies on a fully stocked spice cabinet. Mustard seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, cumin – all are essential to the cauliflower’s success. But equally important is the turmeric, for that unmistakable yellow tint.

½ tsp kosher salt
1-2 inch piece ginger, peeled
½ medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)

Toss jalapeno and ½ tsp salt in a small bowl. Finely grate ginger and squeeze juice into jalapeno mixture (you should have about 1 tbsp juice); discard pulp. Set jalapeno mixture aside.

Cook cauliflower in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tops of florets are slightly translucent, about 1 minute; drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Cook oil and mustard seeds in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Add fennel seeds, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and mix in lime juice and reserved jalapeno mixture. Let cool; season with salt. Add reserved cauliflower to saucepan and let marinate at least 1 hour.

Top with cilantro just before serving.

Avocado Toast, Martha Stewart
While this kind of chili is often used with meat dishes, I use it as a garnish. Of course, there are a zillion avocado toast recipes out there, but I like Martha Stewart’s approach: She uses coconut oil instead of olive oil, a change-up that lends some interest to my almost daily breakfast routine. Same goes for the chili flakes: you could use any old red pepper flakes, but the Marash ones are earthy and fruity, like a flavor lovechild of cayenne pepper and sumac.

4 slices whole grain toast
2 tsp coconut oil
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Marash chili flakes
Squeeze of lemon

Toast bread slices, and spread each with coconut oil. Top with avocado, and season with salt and Marash chili flakes. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Gravlax, Gather Journal
This recipe is one of those no-brainer, go-to dishes. It involves about 10 minutes of active time, after which your refrigerator does most of the work. Bonus points: serving the gravlax by cutting the fish straight from the skin is almost a performance.

1 tbsp white peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ lb piece Arctic char fillet
1 bunch dill, rinsed, well dried and coarsely chopped

Stir together peppercorns, coriander seeds, salt and sugar. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with out one-third of the mixture. Lay fish on top, skin side down, then sprinkle with remaining mixture and scatter with dill. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a shallow baking pan. Place another pan on top and weigh it down with a heavy skillet or a couple of large cans.

Refrigerate for two days, turning fish over about every 12 hours. (There’ll be some seeping juices.) Discard dill and any larger pieces of coriander or pepper and store covered in fresh wrap without weighting. To serve, cut fish from skin in very thin slices.

Chicken & Rice Soup, Yahoo Shine
Frankly, I don’t understand the difference between Turkish bay leaves and “regular” bay leaves. Supposedly the former are milder, but one to two of them still flavors an entire pot of stew. And as this is the season of never-ending colds, so is this the time for curative chicken soup (especially when it takes only 20 minutes!).

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs), skin removed
1 ½ lbs (9 to 10 medium) carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
1 lb (5 to 6 medium) parsnips, peeled and halved crosswise
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
2 large onions (about 1 pound), halved and sliced
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
Coarse salt
1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced

In a large soup pot, combine chicken, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer partly covered, occasionally skimming and discarding fat from surface, about 1 hour.

With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove chicken, carrots, and parsnips from pot; set aside. Pour remaining contents of pot through a fine-mesh sieve into another large pot; discard solids, and bring broth to a boil. Add rice and white part of scallions. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove chicken from bones, and shred into bite-size pieces (discard any fatty or discolored parts). Cut carrots and parsnips into bite-size pieces. When rice is cooked, return chicken, carrots, and parsnips to broth in pot; add green part of scallions. Season generously with 5 to 6 teaspoons coarse salt.


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  1. June
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    The recipe for the cauliflower calls for what appears to be a 12 inch piece of ginger. I believe a space between the 1 and 2 might change that to 1 2-in piece of ginger. Is that a possibility?

  2. Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Yes! Thanks for the sharp eye, June. Otherwise that would have been one mighty spicy cauliflower…

  3. ali
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Permalink


  4. Posted July 1, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

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