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Record Breaking Cold- What's The Best Food?

Here in NJ and the East Coast, it is ridiculously cold and the usual turn-to of going out on the weekend and getting grub is becoming passed over for me as I don't want to even leave the house.

Now that I have the barleywines and double IPAs in the fridge for the weather, what food and recipes are best? I think I am going to have to go with some chili and probably some sort of sausage/pepper combination.

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  1. I am making a double batch of paprika chicken breasts -adding some onions. Will have that with mash pot and corn frozen from the summer. Leftovers to make chicken soup for tomorrow. (cold here in the mountains of western MD) Also fighting the cold/flu -so anxious for the soup!

    1. Made this chili last night for the cold snap

      I had an extremely spicy batch of chili powder so I cut the chili powder in half and it's still spicy, well for my Jersey wife, i still add Tabasco.

      1 ½ pounds ground meat
      1 tblsp olive oil
      2 med onions, chopped
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      ¾ tsp salt
      1 tsp ground black pepper
      ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
      ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
      7 tbsp chili powder
      2 tsp garlic powder
      2 tsp onion powder
      1 tsp hot pepper sauce
      2 15oz cans red kidney beans (drained)
      1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
      1 15 oz can tomato sauce
      6 oz beer (1/2 can)
      3 tblsp ground cumin
      1 tblsp Worcestershire

      Cook ground beef in olive oil with onion, garlic, salt and pepper until browned well in large pot. Break up meat as you cook. Drain off fat.
      Add onion bell pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and hot pepper sauce. Continue to cook on low heat for 3 minutes while stirring. After 3 minutes, add the remaining ingredients and gently bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes then turn off heat and allow to cool.
      Reheat when ready to eat. Serve with grated cheese and chopped onions.

      1. Like you alcohol wise we are well prepared with some port, half dozen single malts, and Baileys/Kahlua for hot cocoa.

        Sticking w/the soup/stew theme I made some faux gumbo last night, have some turkey chili in the freezer, plan to make some broccoli soup tonight, and have the makings for chicken noodle soup in the fridge. Hopefully that will get us through the weekend.

        5 Replies
        1. re: viperlush

          viperlush: have you tried the godiva chocolate liquer in your hot cocoa? :-) and what flavor single malts, if you would be willing to divulge, please?

          1. re: smalt

            If you haven't checked out the Patron XO (coffee liquor) it is awesome in hot chocolate - or by itself for that matter.

            1. re: Phoo_d

              Thanks for the tip, I just checked the WSLCB site and they do carry Patron XO.....(we don't get Canton ginger liquer to try.....)...

              Also scoped your website, very nice!

              1. re: smalt

                Hey thanks! I've been having a blast putting the site together.
                I read an article in the NY Times awhile back comparing the different coffee liquors and the Patron XO was their favorite. I know tequila and coffee liquor don't seem to go together well but after having tried it (and having also tried Starbucks, Godiva, etc.) I can see why Patron was the favorite.

          2. re: viperlush

            going for drink-ish recs, we've been heating up a good locally pressed unpasteurized apple cider & spiking the hot bev with brandy or cognac. very nice after shoveling duty! :)

          3. looking forward to it getting up to the teens this weekend, when it's in the single digits the (at work) landlord's main boiler is so over-encumbered that it saps the electrical for our kitchen equipment, and we have to make sure not to run the mixer at the same time as the food proc!

            soup it is, made with local (still amazing!) root veggies. for lunch i had a lentil wat, i love lentils in winter. we've been going nuts eating lots of hearty local game. venison stew & chili, wild pheasant wrapped in bacon and cooked in wild rice, bison, braises of pigeon & rabbit. we got our hands on a bona fide, 3 year old, free range farm rooster, so i made the real deal coq au vin last night for dh and myself & it was divine. used hugh fearnley whittingstall's recipe from the (fantastic) MEAT cookbook. i'll suck it up, in dorky mittens, long johns and hat-- to be able to eat this food each winter, it just wouldn't taste as wonderful in balmy weather, you know? :) although i *am* already looking forward to the spring thaw--not only can i put my sweaters away, i'm going to help my mom do sugarbush this year--woohoo!

            and. . . here's my confession: when it's cold, dh and i both seem to have the same craving for a creamy, baked-in-ramekin artichoke dip that's sinfully rich. msp people: you know the one i mean, that you used to get at the loring bar before it closed, that is now ubiquitously on every mid-range indie menu around town? uh, so we've been eating a lot of ooey gooey baked artichoke calorie-bombs, and i've resolved to make my own version tonight even though we just ate some (ordered in) a couple days ago ;)

            2 Replies
            1. re: soupkitten

              Will you please share your recipe for lentil wat? That sounds lovely...

              1. re: Vetter

                unfortunately i did not make that particular lentil wat, i bought it as a deli item at my co-op. again unfortunately, i found it to be on the underseasoned side & had to perform a quick fix w some toasted spices & other pantry ingredients to make it more palatable :(

                what i really *should* have done is made Cay's lentil wat recipe from this thread:
                & that's what i'll do next time! :)

            2. Over the last few days, it seems I can't get enough hot liquids. Lentil stew with pancetta; meat tortellini in beef brodo; chicken soup with vegetables; tomato soup with rice; hot chocolate; oatmeal with plenty of hot milk and brown sugar...
              Red wine with everything else.

              1. I crave braised foods, salty carbohydrate rich cheesy foods (okay, lasagna) and mulled cider when the temps drop low. Mr. B for some very strange reason, craves ice cream.

                1. Beef Stew:

                  2# stewing beef in flour

                  Brown at high heat in batches. Deglaze pot with:
                  32oz. beef stock. Return beef to pot. Add:

                  4 cloves of minced garlic
                  3 bay leaves
                  1 large sprig Rosemary
                  Cayenne pepper
                  Black pepper

                  Simmer medeum low for one hour. Add:

                  1C Cabernet

                  Simmer 1 additional hour, then add:

                  32oz. additional beef stock
                  Peeled and large diced potatoes and carrots (as much as the liquid will handle)
                  3T Worchestershire
                  1t dried Thyme
                  2T Tomato paste

                  Simmer one additional hour. Adjust seasonings and serve with

                  Fresh baked baguette from the local bakery for sauce sopping
                  Chopped parsley garnish
                  A hunk of Sharp Pinconning
                  A Cabernet

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: garfish

                    Thanks for posting this recipe, it sounds amazing. Next time I make beef stew, this is the one!

                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                      Add a large quartered onion when you add the spuds and carrots. Forgot that in the above recipe. I'd edit it in the above post but don't see the edit icon anymore. Did they change that?

                  2. Something that takes a long time to cook (on it's own, without you doing anything) and fills the kitchen with good smells. Homemade baked beans.

                    1. Y

                      Jfood spent the week in Minnesota and 7 degrees this morning in CT was 30+ warmer than yesterday out there. Jfood was walking around with his coat open today.

                      But with Mrs jfood down in FL for the week, jfood cranked up a triple batch of Rao's Marinara sauce to "can" tomorrow morning before heading to the airport to pick her up.

                      Took some lasagne out of the freezer into the MV and played some hearts on line. Pretty lonely, but at least the house smells great.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jfood

                        Jfood, glad to hear you survived your stay in the sub-freezing temps last week. It was a good time for chili and baked potatoes and soup and stew and apple crisp, and all other reasons for turning on the oven and hovering over the stove.

                        Me, I made a chipotle-enhanced Sopa de Lima from The Best Recipe International Cookbook. Other than engendering a close call with over-charred tortillas (I nearly burned my house down by forgetting them in the broiler), it was a wonderful soup.

                        Now it's too hot for soup - it was 22+ (ABOVE) today, and might even hit 32 tomorrow. I hate these heat waves. Brace yourselves, y'all in the east!


                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            oh great now you post and rub it in :-)) must have missed the evite for dinners....a week later..... brrrrrrrrrrrr

                            jfood ate 2 bacon cheeseburgers w onion rings at the hotel on two nights and two Punch pizzas the third....neither can be characterized as anything but belly fillers. blech

                            two weeks back east and then back to your fine TC's

                        1. Made about 3 qts of chicken stock today. Tomorrow's dinner will be Mac&Cheese. Probably do a cacciatore for after the Eagles win Sunday. I'm sure there'll be a beef stew in our near future too. Have a mixed case of ales and 3 cases of wine (all but 3 are red). I think we're set! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.......

                          1. Two severe nights inarow . Great nights for soup. So the first was a can of Campbells tomato, made with a gelatinous beef stock, and 2T tomato paste. A large dollop of cream swirled into each bowl. Perfect, with a hot buttered bagel.

                            The second night was more serious, -20C in Ontario, so I threw together stock, Thai vegs., and leftover duck meat, tossed in thick noodles and a pho spice bag.
                            Now that hit the spot. Nothing like soup on a cold night! Oh yes, there is 10 yr old Alberta rye for a nightcap!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jayt90

                              Yesterday was an historic low for Jan.16 here where I live in Michigan, with 2-4" of snow falling today. The answer: meatloaf with mashed potatoes, vegs and some leftover bread pudding (with rum) heated up for dessert. Great to keep the snowblower going. Plan B, hot and sour soup, spicy. Tomorrow, remainder of a beef tenderloin with blue cheese, spinach, salad and good hot bread.

                              1. re: jayt90

                                can you elaborate on the "pho spice bag"?

                                1. re: toodie jane

                                  It's something you can buy in the vietnamese grocery store that probably has cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and beef bouillon.

                              2. In the process of making a thick and creamy chicken and dumplings for the football games tomorrow. I have been craving this since we dipped below zero the last few days here in the south suburbs of Chicago.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Smoke14

                                  How do you make your dumplings? I've some great successes and some great failures and I can't pinpoint the problem.

                                  1. re: harryharry

                                    It was unbearable here in Chicago. SO, oatmeal for breakfast, cooked in apple juice with cinnamon apples nuts and raisins and soup, soup and more soup.

                                    Oh yeah and booze of course and hot chocolate for the kids.

                                    1. re: harryharry

                                      Dumplings. This may sound too easy but I use bisquick, some fresh basil, lots of fresh ground pepper and a scallion or two diced fine. Mostly the white part. They make around 10 dumplings. Just follow the recipe on the box. They have never failed me and make great dumplings. Every always raves. I've tried other recipes and this is best.

                                    1. Also in Jersey and I've had a pot of homemade turkey soup and a batch of butternut squash soup going. Then onto the braised short ribs, mac n cheese and creamed spinach prep for Sunday. Kids made s'mores and dh was craving ice cream (go figure). When the temp dips, I like comfort food. I hear snow for Monday...maybe meatloaf...

                                      1. Yah, we bought stout and belgian ale this week! Too cold not to have some good brew in the house. We've been eating a fair amount of Korean and Japanese food, actually--ramen soup with spicy dumplings, rice cake slice, scrambled egg, and bok choy; dolsot bimbimbap with sirloin; curry over panko chicken breast and rice, oh, and a chicken thigh "tagine" in the Dutch oven with dates. Also, drinking lots of hot black tea, chai, ginger root tea, and shuffling around in two or more layers inside the house.

                                        The weirdest part is that here it's been a rollercoaster with days of 60 degrees in between the arctic chill. So, we go from wanting tacos with guacamole to soup or stew. It's enough crazy making, thanks Mother Nature!

                                        1. I couldn't make up my mind whether to do a stew or cook a pot roast, and I really wanted to make tamales but it was too cold to go out and shop. So I compromised. I thinkly sliced a beef brisket across the grain, browned the pieces, and layered them with onions, diced green chilies, strips of fire roasted red peppers, garlic, cumin, and thyme and bay leaf. Deglazed the pan with red wine and a little beef stock and added it to the meat--about 2/3 up the pan. I cooked it in covered casserole in a slow oven for about three hours. It was fork tender. I served it with arroz Mexicano, frijoles pintos de olla, and steamed vegetables. The community said it was a good meal for a cold night. Not as warming as tamales, but certainly very good on a cold night.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Father Kitchen

                                            mmmm pot roast. that's a good one. i think i will try my hand at my grandmother's method, served with mashed potatoes and peas with onions.

                                          2. I eat soup year-long, but I crave spicy soups more than ever right now. I finally learned to make hot-and-sour soup, so I've been eating vats of it almost daily.

                                            Otherwise, I need thick, porridge-like polenta, preferably with a rosemary-spiked chickpea stew. (The ultimate? Add a soft poached egg on top.)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: piccola

                                              what is your recipe for the hot and sour soup? sounds great!

                                            2. Three days ago I made Beef Stew... based on the traditional French Beef Stew (you will need a whole bottle of red, dry wine). Mind you, it takes several hours to make and you shouldn't eat it for two days (so flavours have time to meld) but oh, so good!

                                              Haven't tried the recipes here for Mac n' Cheese, but read them with much craving http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586455 .

                                              Made this Shepherd,s Pie recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ho... suggested on the thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582331 two days ago and folks are still ringing to compliment the leftovers! (Very scant leftovers, I might add...


                                              I second the meatloaf suggestion, I make mine with turkey meat and a brown gravy topping.

                                              Winter's a great time to deepen your friendship with your kitchen, to organize and set it up for a new year of cooking (while cooking lovely comfort foods in the meantime). Enjoy (and stay warm)!

                                              1. I made a 16 bean soup, added diced tomatoes and turkey sausages. Really good and so easy.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: knitterbetty

                                                  Ox Tail Stew in the pressure cooker, served over quinoa + a nice big Cab. Leftovers the next day with a Sierra Nevada Stout...so good!

                                                  1. re: gunksny

                                                    Gunksny, would love to hear how you prepare your oxtail stew... it sounds so good I keep reading your post over and over :-).

                                                2. We live in an old house in SF, so we don't have heat. I always braise things to warm the house and our bones. Short ribs, beef daube, coq au vin etc....

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: hankstramm

                                                    You don't have heat! What do you do, braise overnight for warmth. It can get pretty chilly in SF.

                                                  2. Right with you, here in central NJ. Soups and stews are always great in this weather, but this week I.ve had Szekely Kapusta (a Hungarian dish of braised cubes of pork, onions, saurkraut, paprika, and finished with sour cream). Awsome peasant fare from my Grandma's repertoire.
                                                    I had some confit in the fridge, and some homemade garlic sauages in the freezer, as well as some pork left over that I didn't use in the other dish...so yesterday, I hunkered down and made some Cassoulet. A great dinner on a cold, cold, night with a pint of beer or a glass of wine. (I went with the beer this time). And it was even better today, reheated.
                                                    Now, maybe some Osso Bucco for the weekend....

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                      Prof. would you post your recipe for Szekely Kapusta? Please? Thank you

                                                    2. Just as people like to eat chiles in hot climates, I love, love, love chilled food in the winter.

                                                      A slather of Kraft mayo on chilled iceberg lettuce and the jello rainbow salad really feels right on a winter day.

                                                      1. We are looking at another cold snap this weekend here in Vermont.
                                                        My kitchen plans involve Choucroute
                                                        and Colombian Sancocho
                                                        I'll do both in the pressure cooker.

                                                        1. I crave heavy, spicy, long-cooked foods when the weather is this cold. The heat from the stove keeps the kitchen warm and the smells that waft through the house alert everyone to something delicious brewing.
                                                          Gulf Goulash - Hungarian goulash with harissa and marjoram
                                                          Haleem - braised lamb in stewed lentils and wheat with a spicy masala butter
                                                          Bigos - A hearty Polish version of choucroute garni
                                                          Southwestern CFS - Chicken fried steak with a chipotle gravy
                                                          Sinigang na baboy - pork ribs slow cooked in a spicy tamarind broth with vegetables

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                            JungMann, please share your recipe for the sinigang na baboy - that's something my mom would make for us as kids and I'd love to learn more Filipino recipes...steaming hot soup and fresh white rice!

                                                            1. re: IndigoOnTheGo

                                                              I appreciate sinigang as a perfectly simple dish: tender meat, sour broth and a few choice vegetables. Others enjoy a very full bowl of vegetables and I have included some of the other popular additions that can be added to make a hearty soup. It is near impossible to find green tamarind where I am so I use the Knorr sinigang powder, though you can also use a couple tablespoons of tamarind concentrate. Be forewarned that the concentrate may yield a slightly sweet sinigang.

                                                              8 c. water
                                                              1 tsp. salt
                                                              1 large onion, peeled and quartered
                                                              2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
                                                              1 pkg. sinigang sa sampalok seasoning (powdered tamarind)
                                                              1 tbsp. Sriracha
                                                              2.2 lbs. spareribs
                                                              3 knobs taro root, peeled (opt)
                                                              1 chayote squash, chopped (opt)
                                                              2 banana peppers (opt)
                                                              1 c. long beans or green beans in 2-in lengths
                                                              1 bunch leafy greens such as mustard or chard, leaves sliced into ribbons

                                                              Boil the water, salt, onion and tomatoes for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the next 3 ingredients. Simmer the ribs for 30 minutes in a covered pot, occasionally checking to skim the broth of any scum or fat. After 30 minutes, you can add the taro and chayote and cook until vegetables and pork are tender, about 10-15 more minutes. (At this point you may remove the meat from the bones, chop it into serving portions and reserve on the side). Raise the heat to medium and add the peppers, cooking for 2 minutes before adding the beans. Cook the beans for another 2 minutes before turning off the heat and stirring in the ribbons of greens. (If the meat has been deboned, you may now return it to the broth) Serve in soup bowls, adding rice if desired.

                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                Maraming salamat po! Ginagawa ako ang iyong reseta, lang. Piru sa akin, siguro dapat ilalagay ang mga kamitis sasama ang mga long beans.

                                                                Thank you. I'm going to give the recipe a try. To me, however, I'd add the tomato at the end along with the long beans.

                                                          2. Me, I live in FL it was 29 today, high low 50's. Nice for you guys but cold for us. Originally from MI, so I know cold weather. Trust me. Beef stew or braised short ribs a top favorite. Chicken and dumplings. Meatloaf and a variety of soups. Ham and Bean, Lentil, see my blog at www.simplykatering.blogspot.com (My SSS recipe) Soup, Salad and Sandwich. One of my favorites for cold days. Also these are my three chili recipes, regular, white and black bean. Sorry if it is long. These also are available on my blog. Enjoy and stay warm!!

                                                            Mine have a bit of spice, but remember you can always adjust the spice accordingly. And change whatever you like or dislike.

                                                            Beef Chili:

                                                            1 lb ground round
                                                            1 large onion diced
                                                            2 ribs celery diced
                                                            1/2 green pepper
                                                            2 cans light red kidney beans, don't rinse or drain
                                                            2 cans dark red kidney beans, don't rinse or drain
                                                            1 can of chili beans
                                                            1 can of green chilis
                                                            2 cans crushed tomatoes
                                                            2 cups of V-8 juice
                                                            3 tablespoons garlic
                                                            3 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste
                                                            )2 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning
                                                            Salt and pepper to taste
                                                            3 teaspoons cumin
                                                            2 teaspoons hot sauce
                                                            1 bay leaf
                                                            1 tablespoon sugar
                                                            1 can beer, I prefer dark beer like a Amber Bock or something similar
                                                            Olive oil for sauteeing

                                                            In a large pot, saute onions, celery, pepper and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, add beef and cook until brown. Add seasoning, tomatoes, beans, chilis, and any remaining ingredients. Yes it is spicy, but adjust accordingly. It really isn't as hot as you might expect. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream, scallions and cheddar cheese. I like to also serve a good crunchy French bread or baquette.

                                                            Black Bean Chili:

                                                            1 package of chorizzo (approximately 4 links)
                                                            1 large onion diced
                                                            2 ribs celery diced
                                                            1/2 green pepper diced
                                                            2 jalapenos diced (remove ribs and seeds if you want less spice)
                                                            1/2 red pepper diced
                                                            3 cans black beans, don't rinse or drain
                                                            2 cans crushed tomatoes
                                                            2 cans chicken broth
                                                            1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
                                                            3 tablespoons garlic
                                                            1 tablespoon oregano
                                                            2 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste)
                                                            1 tablespoon of all purpose seasoning
                                                            Salt and pepper to taste
                                                            3 teaspoons cumin
                                                            2 teaspoons hot sauce (OPTIONAL)
                                                            Olive oil for sauteeing

                                                            In a large pot, saute chorizzo until brown, remove and drain on a paper towel. In the same pot saute onions, celery, peppers and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, and cook until brown. Add chorizzo back in seasoning, tomatoes, beans, and any remaining ingredients. It really isn't too spicy but is very good. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream, diced avacado, and a caso blanco cheese, a soft white melting mexican cheese. This is also very good served over a couple of spoons on white rice. Excellent chili. Feel free to substitute chorizzo with ground turkey or chicken or other sausage.

                                                            White Chili:

                                                            1 lb ground turkey or chicken
                                                            1 large onion diced
                                                            2 ribs celery diced
                                                            1/2 yellow pepper diced
                                                            1/2 red pepper diced
                                                            4 cans cannellini beans or white beans, don't rinse or drain
                                                            1 can of green chilis
                                                            1 can crushed tomatoes
                                                            1 box of chicken broth or approximately 3 cans
                                                            3 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste)
                                                            1 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning
                                                            1 tablespoon cilantro
                                                            Salt and pepper to taste
                                                            3 teaspoons cumin
                                                            2 teaspoons hot sauce
                                                            2 bay leafs
                                                            1 teaspoon cinnimon
                                                            1 cup apple juice (It sounds wierd, but it is great), just buy one of
                                                            those little cans at 7-11 if you don't have any
                                                            1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
                                                            1 teaspoon allspice
                                                            1 teaspoon nutmeg
                                                            1 can of white corn (OPTIONAL) Sometimes I add it ... sometimes not
                                                            Olive oil for sauteeing

                                                            In a large pot, saute onions, celery, pepper and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, add turkey or chicken and cook until brown. Add seasoning, tomatoes, beans, chilis, and any remaining ingredients. Yes it is spicy, but adjust accordingly. It really isn't as hot as you might expect. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream and scallions. I love to serve with grilled bread that I rub with garlic, then chop up tomatoes and jalapenos and put on the bread and top with monterey jack and melt.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: kchurchill5

                                                              I'd love to try that white chili -- how big is that can of crushed tomatoes? And, what's 'all-purpose seasoning' -- is that similar to seasoned salt?

                                                            2. I recommend Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream. The fat should keep you through the winter followed by some frozen margarita's to get you to sleep well through the night. South Jerseyan.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: xceptit

                                                                I'm not sure about the flavor combo, but love the idea how it works! LOL

                                                              2. Howard Mitcham's "Provincetown Seafood Cookbook" (alas, out of print) has a great squid stew recipe. It's terrific Portuguese soul food. Basically:

                                                                Go to the fish store and buy about 2.5 lb.s of squid. I buy a block of frozen bodies and tentacles for under $8.

                                                                In a dutch oven or big stew pot, brown one chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Add
                                                                • 6 chopped cloves of garlic and stir for a few seconds.
                                                                • Add a quart of water (or stock),
                                                                • add 750 ml bottle of red wine
                                                                • add 2.5 lbs of cleaned, diced potatoes,
                                                                • add a 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
                                                                • add a 6 oz can of tomato paste
                                                                * add 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
                                                                * add pinch (or more) of cumin and allspice

                                                                Simmer for 1 hour.

                                                                Cut the squid bodies into rings (the frozen ones are all cleaned and ready to use) and add them to the pot. Add the tentacles in whole clusters. (I add the liquid from the cutting board, too.) Add salt to suit your taste.

                                                                Next: make the whole thing REALLY spicy. I've used tabasco and cayenne and in my last batch I uses a big gob of Thai red curry paste (the expiration date was over a year ago) I had in the fridge. Anything to make it hot is fine, but it needs kick. Simmer a while longer. It gets better as it simmers, so go as long as you like.

                                                                I make Bittman's no-knead bread to go with it.

                                                                That's it. It's great. It's easy. It's cheap. Everyone I've served it to loves it.

                                                                Stay warm.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: Dave Westerberg

                                                                  Just one caveat: I think people who are allergic to shellfish are also allergic to squid (Squid are also mollusks, like clams and mussels, etc.) So don't serve Squid stew to people who have a shellfish allergy.

                                                                  1. re: Dave Westerberg

                                                                    I am going to try this squid stew. As you say, squid is about the cheapest seafood around. And I make a loaf of the no-knead bread most weekends.

                                                                    1. re: Dave Westerberg

                                                                      Dave -

                                                                      After the squid goes in and it "Simmer[s] a while longer," what is the minimum amount of time before serving. Also, when you say "better as it simmers" what's the outside? An hour? More? Finally, why wait to add the pepper/heat?

                                                                      Sorry for all the questions, but I might try this tomorrow and want to get it right.

                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        Sorry I just now checked this. MItcham writes a full page raving about the stew at a certain restaurant in Provincetown, ("Cookie's Tap") and then says this set of instructions is not "a formula, but will do as a starter." For example, Mitcham writes, in the ingredient list: "Enough cayenne or tabasco to make it hot as hell." We are talking about THAT level of precision.

                                                                        His recipe says, about simmering the liquids pre-squid: "Simmer for 1 hour." (I've done 30 mins and I've done 2 hours) Post-squid, Mitcham writes: "Add the squid meats, raise to a boil and simmer for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 hours, depending on how much time you have on your hands. Stir now and then. If necessary, add more liquids."

                                                                        You can add the pepper/heat whenever you like. I put it in at the end, so I can make the hot to my taste at serving volume (the volume of the stew depends on how much it cooks down, which depends on how many hours I've simmered it.)

                                                                        I've made this stew lots of ways. Remember: this is home cooking of the most flexible kind. Once I made it wothout the onion (I didn't have one handy.) And I thought, "Surely somewhere in the Azores there is a Grandmother who NEVER puts an onion in her squid stew." And I doubt any of them ever put long-expired Thai red curry paste in her stew. I would do that again, tho. That one came out nice.

                                                                        1. re: Dave Westerberg


                                                                          I enjoy the maleability of such formulas, though I feared with an ingredient like squid there might not be so much room for experiment. Time did not permit trying this the other night; however, I intend to do so in the near future as I have lost any apprehension!

                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                            You bet.

                                                                            The only time I messed this up I used an old bottle of wine that had turned to vinegar (I didn't realize it until after I added it). I added sugar until it balanced the sour, more garlic, and it wasn't half bad.

                                                                    2. I just made some ham shanks with navy beans yesterday, which is excellent cold weather food.

                                                                      Operagirl's White Beans with Ham

                                                                      2 tbsp. olive oil
                                                                      1 small onion, diced
                                                                      2 ribs celery, diced
                                                                      2 cloves garlic, chopped
                                                                      1 lb. navy beans (you can use any white beans you prefer), soaked overnight
                                                                      1 lb. ham shank, cut into 3 pieces by your butcher
                                                                      salt and pepper to taste

                                                                      1. In a dutch oven or similarly sized pot, sautee the onions, garlic, and celery in the olive oil for a few minutes until soft.

                                                                      2. Add the navy beans, ham shank, and pour in water to cover by 1/2".

                                                                      3. Bring to a simmer, turn to low, then cover and simmer for about two hours, or until navy beans are tender and ham shanks are pulling away from the bones.

                                                                      4. Remove ham shanks, let cool for a few minutes, then de-bone and dice the meat into small pieces, and add it back to the beans.

                                                                      5. Salt and pepper to taste.