Recipes: Winter Weather Recipes to Make at Home

Bacon and Crab Chowder

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Serves four

Ingredients:

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 large onion, chopped

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4 celery ribs from the heart with leaves, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
6 cups whole milk

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12 ounces lump crabmeat, from the seafood counter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay brand (a palmful)
3 tablespoons dry sherry
4 tablespoons snipped chives
Oyster crackers
Hot sauce

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Preparation

Put a medium pot over medium-high heat, then add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the bacon and cook until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour off a little of the bacon fat, leaving a thin, even layer. Add the potatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper and bay leaf to the pot, season with salt and pepper and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the milk, cover the pot and bring to a simmer.

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Run your fingers through the crabmeat to check for shell bits, then combine it with the thyme and seafood seasoning. Uncover the pot, stir in the crabmeat and simmer for 6-7 minutes, until the potatoes are just fork-tender and the soup has thickened. Finish the chowder with the sherry and serve with the crispy bacon, chives, oyster crackers and hot sauce.

Panzanella Stoup

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Serves four

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling on stoup at the table
3 green or yellow bell peppers, diced into bite-size chunks
1 large softball-size onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
1 quart chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
4 cups stale crusty bread, torn or chopped (half a loaf)
Salt and black pepper
1 cup basil leaves (about 20), torn
Preparation:

Place a soup pot over medium-high heat with three turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Add the peppers, onion and garlic -- as you chop them, drop them into the pot. Let the veggies cook for 10 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar, then stir to cook it down, 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil and then add the bread. Within 5 minutes the bread will bloat; stir to break it up. Simmer for another 5 minutes to really thicken the stoup up. Season stoup with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the basil.

The stoup is done when a spoon stands upright in pot. Ladle the stoup into bowls and top with extra-virgin olive oil and cheese.

Corn and Salsa Tortilla Soup

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Serves four

Ingredients:

3 poblano chiles
6 corn tortillas, halved then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt
6 ears fresh corn, kernels scraped from the cob, or two boxes frozen corn kernels (10 ounces each)
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Pepper
One container vegetable broth (4 cups) or (32 ounces)
One can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, halved
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1/4 cup sour cream

Preparation:

Pre-heat the broiler. Broil the poblanos until blackened, 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool. Peel, seed and chop the poblanos.

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon oil and the cumin. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes; season with salt.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook until charred at the edges, 10-12 minutes. Add the red onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and poblanos.

Divide the tortilla strips among 4 soup bowls. Add the avocado and a squeeze of lime juice. Ladle the soup over the avocado. Top with cilantro; serve with the sour cream.

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