When the outdoor temperatures take a dip dining guests are looking for meals to warm them from the inside out. With so many hot dish options it can be difficult to modernize classic cool weather staples. Cooler weather dishes should be hearty and served hot. To start, you’ll need to be well versed in the common comfort foods that sum up fall and winter cooking.
What could be more iconic than eating soup when it’s cold outside? We all know what a soup is, but not everyone knows that there are many different types of soups. All soups consist of some combination of vegetables and often meat or fish cooked in a liquid.
- Bisque – thick, creamy soup
- Chowder – uses flour as a thickening agent
- Gumbo – strong meat or fish stock and vegetables thickened without flour
Chefs and diners alike will often disagree on the differences between a soup and a stew or even whether the varieties of soup listed above are indeed soups. Either way soups and stews are definitely related. A stew also contains meat or fish and vegetables cooked in a liquid, however there is typically much less liquid and the contents tend to be simmered for longer in a covered pot.
A distant cousin to soups and stews might be the casserole. Also a 1-dish meal, casseroles are cooked slowly in the oven. Dinner table staples like lasagna and shepherd’s pie can be considered casseroles. One simple way to change up these cold weather classics is to take a traditional soup for example and change some of the ingredients to make it a casserole.
Baked goods are almost a requirement when it comes to cooking this time of year. There’s just something irresistible about fresh, hot goodies served straight from the oven. Standard baked goods for this time of year include seasonal and homemade breads along with heavy, hot desserts. Anything from pies to dessert breads will do so long as they hit the table hot.
Keep guests coming in for more, even if it means braving the cold to get there, by serving up warm and hearty meals all season long. Updated classic comfort foods can go a long way in making guests excited about your menu.