Warm up this winter, no matter how cold it is, with any of our three recipes this week. Vegetables are always our favorites for dinner and these recipes all hit it out of the park. The couscous salad could really use any of your favorite hard squashes. Butternut or hubbard, or even a kabocha if one is in the market. The Orange Teriyaki Beef Stew is great for a New Year's resolution of less take out. Just don't expect the quick turnaround. But the flavor just might make up for it. Lastly, the white wine coq au vin won Kate's heart with the ultimate in cozy braised chicken. Serve that with mashed potatoes and settle in for winter's nap.
White Wine Coq au Vin, Winter Couscous Salad, and Orange Teriyaki Beef Stew
Best White Wine Coq au Vin: Country Living: Homey yet a little elevated with white wine, mushrooms, and leeks, this is just what you want in the oven after being chilled with a winter wind. The chicken is braised for an hour and a half, meaning it is ultra tender and takes on all the flavors of the sauce. This is what winter cooking is all about!
- Give yourself a little time for this recipe. Both assembly and braising will take some time. Perfect for a winter afternoon into the evening at home.
- Kate halved the chicken but accidentally didn't halve the sauce. No one was sad about that.
- Serve this with crusty bread or go full winter season and have it over mashed potatoes.
Winter Couscous Salad:Full Circle: By this time of year we've made enough roasted and mashed squash to feed an army. Time to bring out the winter salads and bright dressings! This salad is based on the larger, pearl (or Israeli-style) couscous, arugula, butternut squash, and a tangy balsamic dressing. Don't worry- the toasted almonds and parmesan cheese round it out very well. Make this for dinner and have some amazing lunches the rest of the week.
- We both roasted butternut squash. Full circle suggests hubbard, which would be nice. Maybe even kabocha or buttercup if you're feeling adventurous? Any peeled squash that roasts well would be good here.
- Do NOT overcook the couscous. It's easy to do. Betsy did it and Kate got pretty darn close. We both found package directions told us to cook for way too long. Start testing your couscous at 7 minutes. You want it to be just tender yet not soft.
Orange Teriyaki Beef Stew: Better Homes and Gardens: Maybe your New Year's Resolution is less takeout? Or perhaps you want to shake up your beef stew? Either way, we think you're going to fall in love with this beef stew version of the Chinese-American classic. Deeply savory and only a little bit sweet, this managed to satisfy a craving for teriyaki and stew. Pretty great, if we say so ourselves.
- Do try to find low-sodium products. Fully salted beef broth and teriyaki may be too much.
- White rice was a natural accompaniment to this stew. Needed to soak up all that delicious broth!
- Kate and Betsy both added extra greens in addition to the bok choy. If you're a greens lover, add it all! Betsy used a bag of spinach; Kate used a couple cups of mixed greens. Both were delicious.