Five tips for winter cooking
I know “winter” in Brisbane is pretty tame, but you know how we all get: as soon as the mercury dips below 23 everyone has pulled out the boots and scarves and we all start talking about soups and slow cookers.
So, the first part is easy – any self-respecting Brisbane woman has at least three pairs of boots in her closet – but what about the food? How do you cook all of those gorgeous soups, curries, and casseroles? Winter cooking is all about wholesome, hearty foods that satiate the soul: meals that warm the heart and the home, and fight the inevitable winter colds and flus that Bob from Accounting brought into the office. Just because winter food is hearty doesn’t mean that it has to be difficult to make. Here are five handy tips for winter cooking.
1. Cook under pressure
The art to great winter meals is allowing rich flavours to infiltrate an entire dish. Winter is the time to dream of stews, soups and meals like lamb shanks with creamy potato mash; however, traditional cooking methods don’t necessarily allow for such flavoursome and rich delights to be whipped up quickly at the end of a long day at the office. Think of these meals as opportunities to embrace your pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are fabulous for creating intense stocks, soups, curries and stews in a fraction of the time of traditional cooking methods. But these meals aren’t able to be cooked in any slapdash way: they should be backed up by a solid stovetop that provides an even and consistent heat to your pressure cooker. A gas cooktop can be great for this, but so is a modern induction cooktop like those sold by cooking appliance experts ASKO. Click here to browse their innovative options.
2. Take it slow
If you have the time, nothing says winter meals like food that has stewed throughout the day, permeating the home with an array of heart-warming flavours. Stovetops are the traditional option, but for those who work away from home all day, the slow cooker is the go-to winter appliance. And the best thing about slow cooking is that you can prep your meal in the morning and set it to cook while you are at work and when you get home, your meal has cooked itself – this means more time to binge watch House of Cards and less time in the kitchen.
3. Keep it seasonal
Root vegetables are winter’s seasonal produce; they are the perfect ingredients for hearty meals. Winter cooking is a great time to embrace the produce that winter willingly and affordably provides. Think of soups comprising carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and even parsnips and celeriac. My favourite: carrot soup with some coconut cream thrown in.
4. Be pre-prepared
There’s nothing nicer than a warm, welcoming meal as you come home after work or school. One of the best ways to ensure meals are hearty and nutritious is to pre-prepare pies, stews and soups when you have plenty of time. All these meals are freezable, providing a quick and easy winter warmer that only requires re-heating in the microwave or oven.
5. Roast it
Winter provides a great opportunity to get creative with your roasts: stuff different cuts of meats with all manner of delectable fillings from bread and herb stuffing to a mix of macadamia and mushrooms. The best thing about a roast is that once it’s in the oven, the hard work is done. What’s that, you say? We have time for another episode? Well then, okay.
It takes a little more energy to face the cold of winter than it does to bounce out of bed in the warm and cheery summer months. But with some great meals on hand to help warm your day, winter can be a cozy, comfortable and delectable culinary season. Now grab that scarf and go get your soup ingredients: you’ve only got another week or so of low 20s temps left!
DISCLAIMER: This was a sponsored post. Eating ain’t cheap, after all.