A great part of the winter vibe is hunkering down with some tasty warming dishes, an ideal antidote to grey days and colder temperatures.
Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore and here at Elixir Cafe in Perth, we are going to share with you the 6 best recipe ideas for a comforting winter dish. Dine in or cook up yourself at home with friends and family, all part of our commitment to bringing you the best food in Perth.
Good food doesn’t have to be complicated or heavy on the calories, feast your eyes on some of these mouth-watering recipes for dinner and enjoy some warming nutritious fare to brighten up your day. All of these meals are quick and simple, perfect after a long day at work but nice enough to serve up for guests too.
- Pulled pork with creamy mashed potato and BBQ sauce
Use a slow cooker or crock pot and set your pork on a timer. It’s just pork and onion maybe with a little garlic and water cooked slowly whilst you are busy elsewhere to produce the most tender and flavorsome meat. You can actually use any cut of pork although commonly, pulled pork is from the shoulder you can also use chops. The meat will be delicious and tender and fall away from the bone when it is cooked – it should separate into strips, hence the name.
Peel, boil and mash your potatoes, add butter or cream cheese and chop in some chives. Serve with a spicy barbeque sauce to keep the winter chill at bay.
- Spicy Italian meatballs
Ground or minced beef and whatever else you fancy all combined in a bowl with breadcrumbs. Add chopped peppers, onion – shallots are a nice alternative - crushed garlic, spice up with chilli flakes or just stick with traditional Italian herbs like fresh basil and oregano. A top tip is to soak the breadcrumbs in milk and then squeeze out the excess, this helps them to bind all the ingredients together. This is a great dish if you are cooking with children who love getting involved in mixing it up and shaping out the meatballs.
Fry in hot oil and then oven bake in the chopped tomatoes for around 15 minutes. Serve with al dente spaghetti and a warm tossed salad.
- Warming chicken pasta bake
Easy to make, an economical meal that seems to go far and is a lovely dish to put on the centre of the dining room table on a gloomy winter’s night.
Use diced chicken breast fillet coated in paprika and fried off quickly. The red of the spice makes this dish look inviting on the table and just gives it a real tang with the toasted cheese. Combine with onion, cooked pasta which you have made beforehand all stirred through with a homemade cheese sauce.
Make a basic white sauce with flour and milk before adding a strongly flavoured Swiss cheese. A teaspoon of French mustard will enhance the flavor. Combine all the ingredients together and top with a little grated cheese before baking for around 40 minutes. Serve with a side salad and some bread sticks and a cheeky glass of red which will accompany it perfectly. Dress it up for a supper party but equally, this is one recipe all the family will love as a weekend favorite. It also works just as well with tasty tuna steaks instead of chicken.
- Honeyed winter salad
Salads don’t have to be just a summer dish. Roast a tray full of onion wedges, butternut squash and parsnip segments in olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, drizzle with honey and scatter with sunflower seeds and roast for a further five minutes. Combine the warm vegetables with leaf spinach and make a dressing with white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. This unique fusion of warm, winter flavours with the lightness of the salad makes an ideal light lunch or salad accompaniment to an evening meal.
- Quinoa with stir-fried winter vegetables
Fancy a change from pasta, rice and potatoes but still want a substantial and hearty meal then dine out on this tasty quinoa combo. Flash fry some carrots, leeks and broccoli in hot olive oil then mix with chicken stock, sundried tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook for no more than five minutes and then serve on a bed of quinoa, pre-cooked and tossed in a little lemon juice. Tasty and nutritious, this will fill a gap and it will be ready to eat in less than thirty minutes.
- Pear and chocolate pud
No winter evening would be complete without a delicious pud and there is just something so decadent and utterly luxurious about chocolate and pears together.
Make a chocolate batter with melted butter, sugar, 4 large eggs, flour and cocoa powder. Pour the batter into an ovenproof dish and then nestle pear halves – you can use tinned as long as you drain them – into the mix, scatter with roughly chopped chocolate pieces and almond flakes and bake for half an hour. Crusty on the top, gooey in the middle, serve warm with oodles of cream. Now, doesn’t winter feel a bit better?
At Elixir Cafe, we like to share our food ideas and think of our dishes as community recipes. Full details of our 6 top winter warmers including ingredients and precise cooking instructions can be found on our website or in the cafe. If you are stuck for somewhere to eat and find yourself asking where is the best food open near me or great food around me then look no further.