Bektrom’s Favorite Winter Comfort Meals
One of the best parts of winter is eating comfort meals guilt-free. Comforting meals are the perfect solution to staying warm and cozy all winter. Now that spring is on the horizon and the holidays have ended, the time to move on to lighter meals is around the corner. However, we have a few more weeks of hard left to get rough, the perfect excuse to eat a few more hearty meals. Here are five of Bektrom’s favorite end of winter comfort meals.
Hearty Slow Cooker Chili
Nothing beats the winter blues the same way a big bowl of homemade chili does. It is hearty, easy to make, and satisfies the whole family. A quick and efficient way to make chili is in a slow cooker. Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker, allowing the flavors to marry and come together for an unforgettable meal. Need a side? Try Bektrom’s Loretta Muffin Mix to enjoy delicious cornbread that comes together in minutes.
2 lb lean ground beef
One large onion, diced
Three garlic cloves minced
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp Loretta Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Loretta Pepper
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
30 oz kidney beans, two 15oz cans, drained and rinsed
30 oz diced tomatoes with their juice
10 oz diced tomatoes and green chilis, with their juice
30 oz tomato sauce
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté beef until it releases fat (4-5 minutes), breaking it up with a spatula.
Add onion to the skillet and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add minced garlic and seasonings: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Transfer to a 6 Qt slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients into the slow cooker: rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, diced tomatoes, and green chilis with juice and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Season to taste if desired and serve warm.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is always a crowd-pleaser. More importantly, its rich and creamy flavors quickly warm up the heart and soul, making it the ultimate winter comfort meal. Making the pie crust is arguably the most challenging part of the recipe. Save yourself time and effort, and use Loretta’s All Purpose Baking Mix for a simple pie topping.
One box of Loretta’s All Purpose Baking Mix
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. finely diced onion
1/2 c. finely chopped carrot
1/2 c. finely chopped celery
Three c. shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1/4 c. flour
Three c. low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh thyme to taste
1/4 c. half-and-half or cream
One whole egg
2 tbsp. water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir them around until the onions start to turn translucent.
Stir in the chicken or turkey, sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring it until it’s all combined with the protein of choice and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, then pour the chicken broth, swirl it around, and let it cook and thicken.
Once it thickens, add turmeric, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Add the half-and-half or cream, stir the mixture, and let it thicken for about 3 minutes. Add more broth to the filling if too thick.
Pour the filling into a 2-quart baking dish: Dollop and smooth Loretta’s All Purpose Baking Mix over the filling.
Mix the egg with two tablespoons of water and brush over the crust’s surface.
Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly. To prevent the crust from getting too brown, you might want to cover it lightly with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking. Let cool and then serve!
One Pan Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
A classic dish that has improved over the years, roasted chicken and potatoes always hit the spot on a cold winter evening. Best of all, it can be done in one sheet pan and prepped in 10 minutes or less! Toss the ingredients together and let them cook in the oven to yield juicy chicken and tender, flavorful potatoes.
2lbs of chicken thighs, bone-in, and skin on
15-20 baby potatoes, halved
½ onion, quartered
Four cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Two teaspoons Loretta Salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon Loretta Pepper, or to taste
One tablespoon of dried rosemary
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add chicken, potatoes, carrots (if using), onion, garlic, and olive oil in a large roasting pan or casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Arrange chicken in between the potatoes. Then, sprinkle dried rosemary on top of the chicken and vegetables.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 25 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the potatoes are soft. Turn the broiler high and broil for 3-4 minutes for crisper and more browned skin. Keep a close eye on the broiler, as things can burn quickly.
Remove from the oven and serve.
You can’t go wrong with this rich and savory meal. Meat and potatoes are a combination that is both filling and delicious. It is the perfect recipe for indulging during the last few weeks of cold weather.
Two tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb. 90% lean ground beef or ground lamb
Two teaspoons of dried parsley leaves
One teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves
One teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon Loretta Salt
1/2 teaspoon Loretta Pepper
One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
Two garlic cloves minced
Two tablespoons all-purpose flour
Two tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup frozen mixed peas & carrots
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 ½ – 2 lb. russet potatoes
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup half & half
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Add the oil to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef (or lamb) to the skillet and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the meat is browned.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the flour and tomato paste. Stir until there are no clumps of tomato paste.
Add the broth, frozen peas and carrots, and frozen corn. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Set the meat mixture aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender.
Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return the potatoes to the hot pot. Let the potatoes rest in the hot pot to evaporate any remaining liquid.
Add butter, half & half, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes and stir until all the ingredients are mixed.
Add the parmesan cheese to the potatoes. Stir until well combined.
Pour the meat mixture into a 9×9-inch baking dish. Spread it out into an even layer. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Comforting Beef Stew
A timeless beef stew recipe is the perfect chilly Saturday dinner project. Cooked low and slow on the stove, the delicious aroma of herbs and spices will warm up your home and stomach.
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon Loretta Pepper
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into inch cubes
Five teaspoons of vegetable oil
Two tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
3½ cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
Two bay leaves
One medium onion, peeled and chopped
Five medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
Two large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
Two teaspoons Loretta Salt
Combine the flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef, and toss to coat well. If you want to add depth of flavor, try adding Larry the Cable Guy Steak Seasoning to give the meat a better crust. Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large pot. Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning the parts until meat is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; add more oil between batches.
Remove the beef from the pot and add the vinegar and wine. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the beef, beef broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.
Cover and cook, skimming broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 1½ hours. Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add broth or water if the stew is