Comfort foods from winter’s bounty

"I like to keep my food simple but flavorful."

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf

Comfort foods from winter’s bounty

February 2, 2018


Winter may not be everyone’s favorite season, but at least it brings about one benefit: comfort food. We asked Emily Anstadt, a food stylist out of St. Joseph, Michigan, to design a warm and hearty meal for those stuck in the winter doldrums. “I like to keep my  food simple but flavorful,” Anstadt says. These recipes were inspired by the brightness of citrus, which is a great way to break out of the winter  blues!” 

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Winter may not be everyone’s favorite season, but at least it brings about one benefit: comfort food. We asked Emily Anstadt, a food stylist out of St. Joseph, Michigan, to design a warm and hearty meal for those stuck in the winter doldrums. “I like to keep my  food simple but flavorful,” Anstadt says. These recipes were inspired by the brightness of citrus, which is a great way to break out of the winter  blues!” 

Buttercup Squash Soup with Sumac Pepitas 

SOUP 

2 buttercup squashes, peeled and sliced
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sumac
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Heavy cream to garnish 

Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper and sumac and roast at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, put slices into a large sauce pan, add chicken stock and purée with immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Warm soup accordingly on the stove. Garnish finished soup with heavy cream, a sprinkle of the sumac, and the pepitas. 

PEPITAS 

Toss 1/2 cup of pepitas in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix with your hands to thoroughly coat the seeds.  Spread seeds out on a parchment lined baking sheet and season generously with sumac, salt, and pepper.  

Roast for about 5 to 6 minutes at 375 degrees. 

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Buttercup Squash Soup with Sumac Pepitas
Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Buttercup Squash Soup with Sumac Pepitas

Buttercup Squash Soup with Sumac Pepitas 

SOUP 

2 buttercup squashes, peeled and sliced
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sumac
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Heavy cream to garnish 

Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper and sumac and roast at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, put slices into a large sauce pan, add chicken stock and purée with immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Warm soup accordingly on the stove. Garnish finished soup with heavy cream, a sprinkle of the sumac, and the pepitas. 

PEPITAS 

Toss 1/2 cup of pepitas in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix with your hands to thoroughly coat the seeds.  Spread seeds out on a parchment lined baking sheet and season generously with sumac, salt, and pepper.  

Roast for about 5 to 6 minutes at 375 degrees. 

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Carrot Salad with Peanut Sauce and Lime

Carrot Salad with Peanut Sauce and Lime 

1 pound carrots, peeled and julienned (I use a julienne peeler for ease)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sriracha
Juice of half a lime
1/4 cup coconut milk or regular milk
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Cilantro 

Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, honey and milk together to create the dressing.  

Toss julienned carrots in dressing and let chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.   

To serve, garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and lime.  

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Carrot Salad with Peanut Sauce and Lime

Carrot Salad with Peanut Sauce and Lime 

1 pound carrots, peeled and julienned (I use a julienne peeler for ease)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sriracha
Juice of half a lime
1/4 cup coconut milk or regular milk
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Cilantro 

Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, honey and milk together to create the dressing.  

Toss julienned carrots in dressing and let chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.   

To serve, garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and lime.  

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Hasselback Beets with Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Pecans

Hasselback Beets with Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Pecans  

BEETS 

6 golden beets, peeled
1 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 bunch fresh arugula
Goat cheese crumbles
Olive oil
Chopped pecans 

Cut beets hasselback style and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast at 375 degrees for about an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork.  

Once cooked, coat them in lemon juice and place them on a bed of arugula.  

Top with red pepper sauce, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped pecans. 

RED PEPPER SAUCE 

1 red bell pepper
1 small sweet onion
Salt and pepper
Olive oil 

Slice and deseed pepper. Peel and slice onion. Place onion and pepper slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment and then drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then process in food processor until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Lemon Rosemary Skillet Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Skillet Chicken 

1 roaster chicken
2 lemons, cut into slices
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 small red onion, cut into slices
3 heads of garlic (slice off top of each head with knife to expose cloves)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil
Salt and pepper 

Place chicken in cast iron skillet. Rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   

Place 3 to 4 lemon slices, 1 head of garlic, and 2 sprigs of rosemary in the cavity of the chicken. Tuck the remaining garlic and lemon slices, as well as the red onion slices, around the bird.  

Drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil and place in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook another 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  

Let stand for 10 minutes before finishing with the fresh chopped parsley, a little more salt, and rosemary.

Photo Credit: Brad Wolf
Persimmon Roses with Cinnamon Yogurt

Persimmon Roses with Cinnamon Yogurt 

1  premade pie crust (you could use homemade but I like this as a fast cheat!)
2-3 fuyu persimmons, sliced into thin, half-moon shapes
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Zest of one orange
Dash of nutmeg
Powdered sugar for garnish 

ROSES 

Toss persimmon slices in the juice of 1  orange.  

Roll pie  crust out and cut into long, 2-inch wide strips.  

Lay persimmon slices along the top edge of crust strip, overlapping just a little. Then  fold bottom of crust up over bottom edge of persimmon slices  and roll into a rose shape. 

Place rose  into a muffin tin to bake. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.   

Plate with yogurt and garnish with powdered sugar.  

YOGURT 

Mix honey, cinnamon,  nutmeg, and orange zest  into yogurt and layer onto plate before placing rose on plate.