As winter rolls in, it might be time to try some new comfort foods to stay warm

Recipes

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — When winter arrives, many of us crave comfort food.

With snow in the forecast, you might be in need of some soul-warming recipes.

There are traditional favorites like macaroni and cheese or chicken and dumplings. 

But on this Recipe Wednesday, we show you comfort food from around the world. 

Renea Meyers, the owner of Culinary U of the Triad, shares the delicious dishes.

BERBERE CHILI

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 10 oz. butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled, seeded and small diced
  • 5 oz. bok choy or swiss chard (or combo)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas or black beans, undrained
  • ½ cup corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 ½ tsp. Berbere seasoning or to taste
  • ¼-1/2 tsp. of each to taste:  chili powder, cumin, onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (can also use sour cream or Mexican crema)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese or goat cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. peanuts, chopped
  • Chopped cilantro

** If you want to use less Berbere, you can add some chili powder, creole seasoning, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder.

  1. Remove leaves from the stems/stalks of bok choy or chard. Slice stems and stalks into 1/4” pieces. Roughly chop leaves into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  Add squash, bok choy stalks/chard stems, minced garlic, and onion.  Stir and cook 3-5 minutes or until veggies start to soften.
  3. Add bok choy/chard leaves, chickpeas, corn, Berbere seasoning, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and salt.  Cook and stir 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in broth and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer 25 minutes or until chili is thick and vegetables are tender.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, lime juice and pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
  6. Serve chili garnished with yogurt mixture, feta or goat cheese, peanuts and cilantro.  Makes 4 servings. 

ONE-PAN CREAMY LEMON CHICKEN PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS

  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, skin removed, white and dark meat cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 10 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 pound thin stalks asparagus, tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese, cut into eight pieces
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese + more for garnish if desired
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Remove skin from chicken and pull white and dark meat from the carcass.  Chop meat into 1” pieces.
  2. Add olive oil and butter to a 12” skillet or large saucepot and heat over medium heat to melt butter. Add garlic and saute 20 seconds.
  3. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in pasta. Cover and allow to simmer 6-8 minutes or until just starting to soften, stirring once.
  5. Sprinkle asparagus over top of pasta (don’t stir), cover and simmer 4 minutes longer until asparagus and pasta are tender (there should be some liquid left in the pan to make the sauce).
  6. Turn heat down to low. Add in Neufchatel cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken and heat through. (you could stir in a little heavy cream if you want the sauce to be creamier)
  7. Remove from heat and rest a few minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly. Sprinkle with parsley and extra Parmesan if desired.  Serves 5.

AMISH-STYLE PRETZELS

  • ½ Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. water, 105° F
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour plus 2 ½ Tbsp.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 9 ½ oz. lukewarm water
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 ¾ Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. baking soda
  • Course sea salt Melted butter
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast and 2 Tbsp. water, stir slightly to combine. Let sit 5 minutes to dissolve.
  2. To bowl, add bread flour, all-purpose flour, lukewarm water, salt and sugar.
  3. Using a dough hook attachment, mix on low speed about 3 minutes until a dough ball forms.  Increase speed to med-high and mix for 8 minutes.
  4. Spray the bottom of a sheet pan or bowl lightly with cooking spray.  Place dough ball on pan or bowl and then turn upside down so that a little oil is on top of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 500° F.
  6. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together warm water and baking soda.
  8. Punch down dough and turn out onto a counter top or mat.  Divide dough into 10 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a 24” rope.  Twist into a pretzel shape. Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  9. Stir baking soda mixture and brush tops of each pretzel with the mixture.  Sprinkle with the sea salt.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes or until well browned.
  11. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.  Serve with mustard.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO WITH SHRIMP

  • 4 cups butternut squash, ½” diced
  • 8 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined and dried off
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • ½ cup shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine  (or additional chicken broth)
  • 1 Tbsp. mascarpone
  • Drizzle of nut oil (optional)
  1. Roast squash: Preheat oven to 425° F.  Toss butternut squash with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, sage and sprinkles of salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a sheet pan and roast 20-25 minutes until tender and caramelized around the edges. Set aside.
  2. Toast walnuts:  Place walnuts in a large dry skillet.  Cook and stir over low-medium heat until fragrant.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Wipe out pan.
  3. Cook shrimp: Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.  Add shrimp to hot oil and cook 1-2 minutes per side until pink with a slight sear. Turn off heat. Stir in 1 Tbsp. butter, remove from skillet and set aside. Wipe out skillet.
  4. Fry sage:  in the same skillet where shrimp was cooked, heat 2 Tbsp. oil until sizzling.  Fry sage leaves until golden.  Place on paper towel to drain.
  5. Heat the stock in a medium saucepan and keep at a low simmer. 
  6. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots.  Cook until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Add the rice. Stir until well coated and starts to make a “clicking sound” when stirred, 3-4 minutes. Add wine to rice mixture and stir until liquid is absorbed.
  7. Using a ladle, add 3/4 cup hot stock to rice. Stir constantly, at a moderate speed, in figure 8 patterns. When rice mixture is thick enough to leave a clear path behind the spoon, add another 3/4 cup stock. Add smaller amounts of liquid as rice starts to get done. When done, rice should have a soft “chew,” but not crunchy. Final mixture should have rice grains in liquid that is the consistency of cream. Takes 25-30 minutes.
  8. When rice is done, stir in the squash and cooked shrimp. Turn off the heat.
  9. Stir in 4 Tbsp. butter and mascarpone until melted and combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Garnish with crumbled fried sage leaves, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of nut oil.  * If risotto gets too thick, just stir in a little more hot broth to loosen. Makes 6 servings.

LASAGNA SOUP

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. basil-infused olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground turkey or beef
  • Half a (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon beef or turkey base
  • 12 oz. dried egg noodles
  1. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup basil, ricotta, Parmesan and ½ tsp. salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add shallots and saute until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add turkey or beef and garlic.  Cook and stir until meat is browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, fennel seeds, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  5. Add bouillon and 5 cups water. Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.
  6. Add egg noodles and ¼ cup basil.  Stir. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until noodles are al dente.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, oregano.
  7. To serve, divide soup among bowls and add a few dollops of ricotta mixture, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a few twists of black pepper.  Tastes great stirred together.

HELPFUL HINT: If you don’t think you will serve the entire recipe of soup right away, cook the noodles separately and add to the soup one bowl at a time. Toss leftover noodles in a little olive and cover.  Refrigerate leftover soup and noodles in separate containers. When ready to serve: Reheat soup in a large pot over medium heat and stir cooked noodles into hot soup base.

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