Winter_table_12_l

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If grilling is the essence of summer dining, then hearty, rich meals are the hallmark of the winter months. Everyone has memories of a household filled with the aromas of savory home cooked meals, their mouths watering as the fragrance off food delights their palettes.

Now, when it comes to winter food, it’s important that meals be substantial. “Substantial” is a polite way of saying “fattening.” But that’s okay, it’s winter after all. It’s hibernation season. How do you think bears stay warm while they hibernate? They eat big, delicious meals so they can survive the cold winters! So don’t feel bad if your food and drink are a little heavier than usual. These recipes are perfect fare for keeping you warm and satisfied during the winter and all of them feature complimentary drinks to round out the meal. Serve them with family or for the one you love, because these are Four Dinner and Drink Combos That Will Keep The Chills Away.

 

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Dinner: Steak Au Poivre With Split Top Baked Potato and Spinach
Drink: Black Cognac Cocktail

For delicious French bistro food, you’d be hard pressed to find something better than Steak au Poivre. Its velvety, creamy smoothness is wonderful and the warm depth of flavor offered by the peppercorns is sure to heat you up during the winter. And why cognac as its complimentary drink? Well, given the fact that cognac is involved in the composition of the cream sauce, it seems a good fit. Not to mention cognac is a smooth drink. The potato and spinach round out an arrangement of flavors that are unrivaled.

Dinner Ingredients:
Two petite filet mignons (4-6 oz)
1/3 cup cracked whole peppercorns
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 whole russet potatoes
8 oz baby spinach

Toss the potatoes whole in the oven at 325 degrees to bake while you work. Crack the whole peppercorns by using the bottom of a heavy skillet. Preheat a cast iron pan to medium high heat. Gently press the filets onto the pepper in order to coat. Melt the butter in the skillet. Just as the skillet smokes, add steaks. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Use 2 tbsp cognac to de-glaze the pan, reduce heat, and add cream. Stir continuously. Add remaining cognac, reduce heat to very low, and add steaks to pan. In a separate pan, cook spinach over medium heat with butter, season with lemon and garlic if desired. Remove potatoes. Cut a plus sign in tops and split the potato open top as desired!

Drink Ingredients:
1 oz cognac of your choice
Gently bruised with fresh pear
1/2 oz Black Raspberry and Black Currant Liquer

In a drink shaker, combine the cognac and liquer. Put in a fresh pear slice, cover, and gently shake. Pour into a nice crystal glass and garnish with the pear.

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Dinner: Smothered and Stuffed Chicken Breast With Rice Pilaf and Cauliflower and Broccoli Medley
Drink: Hot Apple Cider

Chicken’s great, isn’t it? In the summer you can grill it, and in the winter you can take the time to bake it in the oven. This recipe calls for a simple stuffing with tasty sides, and as a drink we have the popular winter staple—hot apple cider! With booze.

Dinner Ingredients:
2 whole split chicken breasts
2 slices wheat bread (stuffing)
10 diced cherry tomatoes (stuffing)
1/4 cup feta cheese (stuffing)
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella (stuffing)
3 cloves minced garlic (stuffing)
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (stuffing)
8 oz white mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion
4 oz cauliflower
4 oz broccoli
8 oz long grain wild rice
4 oz pilaf

Make the stuffing early in the day, and drizzle the mixture lightly with olive oil. Using a very thin knife, cut a pocket into the top of each breast. Stuff each to capacity. Gently boil 1 1/2 cups of water, add rice and pilaf and reduce heat to simmer. Place chicken in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. In a skillet, slowly cook mushrooms and onions with a little butter. Steam broccoli and cauliflower, cook the rice pilaf until the water is absorbed. Plate the chicken, smother with onions and mushrooms, and add the sides!

Drink Ingredients:
1 qt apple cider
1 tsp whole cloves
1 apple
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cinnamon sticks

Stud the apple with the whole cloves and combine all the ingredients (except the rum) in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and leave for ten minutes. Remove from the heat, toss the apple, add the rum, and serve. Don’t forget to garnish with the cinnamon sticks!

 

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Dinner: Crown Pork Roast with Butternut Squash and Corn on the Cob
Drink: Hot Buttered Rum

Really,there are few things in life better than an oven-roasted dinner. Sure it takes time.But the aromas it gives off and the succulent meat it yields are unparalleled. In the summer you can’t very well heat up the house like that, but in the winter it’s almost compulsory. A sweet butternut squash side dish and a simple accent of corn on the cob give both color and flavor to this dish, and the richness of the Hot Buttered Rum.

Dinner Ingredients:
1 crown pork roast, 5-7 lbs
1 butternut squash, halved and hollowed
1 peeled and diced apple
6 oz raisins
3 oz dried cranberries
1/2 loaf of wheat bread
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
2 ears of corn

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the roast with tips of bone.