Snow day cooking: 5 ways to good eats


Chicken Braised With Fall Vegetables, Bacon and Apple Cider (Deb Lindsey/For the Washington Post)
February 13

You braved the grocery-store rush and snagged your holy trinity of edible emergency rations (milk, bread, eggs). You’ve shoveled your walk and e-mailed your boss (“I can’t see most of my car!”).

And now you’ve got time. In between, um, work projects, that’s time you can cook. You can cook like it’s a Saturday — but one without errands. You’re craving comfort food, sure, but most of all you’re hoping to concoct something that takes a good chunk of that time.

So what do you make?

1. Bread pudding. This gets that milk/bread/egg thing out of the way. You’ve probably already had breakfast, so it’s a little late for French toast. (Or maybe it’s not, if you took one look at your snow-covered car and went back to bed.) Anyway, bread pudding is a better idea, because it requires your oven. Start one of these now, and eat it for brunch or lunch; or save it for dessert (or in the case of the strata, which is really just a savory bread pudding, for dinner):

Loaf of Bread Pudding With Caramelized Winter Fruit. Best if you bought a soft white bread (or, best of all, brioche), but you could manage with anything.

Dooky Chase’s Praline Pudding With Praline Liqueur Sauce. Rich and boozy.

Beet Greens Strata. Use whatever greens you might have, plus the optional sausage if you have/want, and instead of refrigerating it overnight, chill it all day and bake it for supper.

2. Loooong-cooked meat. You can’t get to your snow-covered grill without shoveling out a special path, but your oven does the job, too.

Slow-Baked Hanger Steak in Demi-Glace. (Just in case you happen to have this cut hanging around.)

Slow-Roasted Beef. And when we say slow, we mean slow: Nine hours for a four-pound roast.

Beer-Braised Pork and Carrot Stew. Even if you don't have the exact ingredients, it’s a good stew primer you can adapt to use what you’ve got.

Chicken Braised With Fall Vegetables, Bacon and Apple Cider. Bonus: You can finish it in a slow-cooker; for more crock-worthy ideas, see below.

3. Those magical beans. Finally, you have time for the soaking! Cover your beans with a couple inches of water now, and then an hour or two before dinner, get them cooking. (Or you can do the quick-soak method: Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and soak for an hour.)

Maple Baked Beans. New Englanders know how to get through the winter, so follow their lead with this traditional idea.

Jim’s BBQ Baked Beans. These get all crunchy on top.

Enfrijoladas With Egg, Avocado and Onion. Enfrijoladas are cousins to enchiladas: tortillas dipped in bean sauce, topped with whatever you fancy.

4. Slow-cooker anything. Just because it’s designed for you to set it and leave it, coming back from work to dinner, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it when you’re stuck in the house, of course. (Besides, you are at your computer answering work e-mails all day, right? Right?)

Thai-Inspired Slow-Cooker Tilapia. Who says you can't cook fish in a slow cooker? This is on the quick side of slow, so you could probably manage it for lunch.

Slow-Cooker Spicy Curried Pork. You get a deep curry flavor, with ideas for spiking it into something really fiery if you want.

Slow-Cooked South Carolina Pulled Pork. Barbecue flavor, without the smoker.

Bistro Beef Stew. Wine adds tenderness and a beautifully rich taste.

Spicy Braised Eggplant With Prunes. If you’ve got some vegetables in your crisper.

Slow-Cooker Greens. For the all-powerful kale.

5. Bread, quick or not. There’s great reward in dusting up a kitchen counter.

Slow-Rise, No-Knead Cinnamon-Raisin Bread. A winner from Nancy Baggett. (See her Slow-Rise, No-Knead Light (or White) Bread and Rustic-Caraway Beer Bread, too.)

Mark Furstenberg’s White Bread. You have time to do it right.

No-Knead Pizza Dough. A perfect project for the day; stash the proceeds in your freezer.

Cheesy Popcorn Bread. Quick and fun, with whole-grain goodness.

Maple Spice Sweet Potato Bread. Makes a moist, wonderful-smelling loaf.

Cheddar Chive Onion Bread. On a day like today, feel free to skip the cheese powder.

Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook." He writes the Food section's Weeknight Vegetarian column.
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